• The Simplest Way To Make A Presentation

    MANAGEMENT AND TRAINER BRIEF

    Everyone makes presentations – in meetings, on calls, after dinner, in sales meetings and lots of other situations but not everyone knows how to do it. This is the simplest way I have found to make a presentation. I teach it to companies all over Europe. I use it myself and it works every time. It’s called The 3 S’s Approach to presentations.

    The three S’s is a way to structure a presentation. The three S’s are: -

    SIGNPOST – Tell them what you will say.

    SIGNAL – Tell them you are saying it.

    SUMMARISE – Tell them you have said it.

    Familiar? Of course. It’s not rocket science. But let’s go a little deeper. What do you need to include in each S?

    S1 SIGNPOST – Tell them what you’re going to say.

    Include these things:

    • The title of your topic

    • How long your presentation will last

    • Your three (or more) main points

    • When you will invite questions (interrupt when you want or wait till the end)

    Duration is important so I can mentally plan my concentration span. So are the three main points. This will give me a roadmap of where we are going.

    S2 SIGNAL – Tell them you are saying it

    Include these things: -

    • Introduce your first point

    • Tell your audience you have finished your first point.

    • Summarise the point in a short phrase.

    • Introduce your second point.

    • Do the same for your second point and your third point.

    Why? Is it necessary? Yes, it is. It is easy for your audience to lose track of where you are in your presentation. They may lose concentration, get distracted or just get lost. Is the speaker on the third point? Oh, no. He/she has just finished the first point. Now I know where I am. Good!

    S3 SUMMARISE – Tell them you’ve said it.

    Include these things.

    • Sum up your three main points. Don’t focus on the titles of each point. Focus on the summary you made at the end of each point.

    • Conclude. Tell (or remind) your audience why you think it is important to remember these points.

    • Ask for questions.

    • Thank you. – So many presenters leave their audiences hanging in the air. Has he/she finished or not? Should I applaud now or wait? Can I ask a question yet? Avoid the uncertainty. Thank the audience. It’s the best way to tell them you’ve finished.

    It is so simple to do. Using the 3 S’s structure allows you to focus on your content, be briefer and more to the point. If you are a non-native speaker, it allows you to focus on the language. And you can even use it in your language as one French executive did. He was so excited by the 3S technique that he went home and taught it to his son in secondary school. His son got straight A’s in his oral examinations. Use the 3 S structure of presentations. You won’t regret it.

    TRAINER BRIEF

    Here is how I teach the 3 S structure in seminars – a simple seven step programme.

    STEP 1 CHOOSE A TOPIC.

    Ask your group to choose a topic each. Make it NOT BUSINESS related. It could be hobbies, travel, family, where they live etc.

    STEP 2 SET THE TASK.

    They must plan and deliver a three minute talk on their topic.

    STEP 3 EXPLAIN THE STRUCTURE.

    Explain the 3 S structure and teach the four things they must include. If you wish you can also teach common phrases speakers use.

    STEP 4 PLAN THE SIGNPOST STAGE.

    The group individually plan how to signpost their presentation.

    Then they can practise by delivering their signpost stage to someone else in the group.

    STEP 5 PLAN THE SIGNAL STAGE.

    The group does the same with the SIGNAL stage. They elaborate on their main points and practise on their partner.

    Maybe you can help them improve their TRANSITIONS (summaries) at this stage.

    STEP 6 PLAN THE SUMMARY STAGE.

    The group plan their summaries and practise on their partner.

    STEP 7 PRESENT TO THE GROUP.

    Each group member presents their talk to the whole group.

    Elicit feedback and comment.

    In particular, ask everyone the key point they remember from each presentation.

    STEP 8 PLAN A BUSINESS PRESENTATION

    Finally, ask each member to choose a business related topic and to prepare a similar presentation on that.

    FOLLOW-UP

    You can read more about the 3 S structure, learn the stock phrases that British and American speakers use when they employ it and listen to examples of how it is used in KEY BUSINESS SKILLS – Presentations, Meetings, Negotiations and Networking to be published by HARPER COLLINS on December 6th 2012. See the flyer in NEWS.

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