Create a Conversation, Not a Presentation

How many of you conduct a presentation in front of peoples?

Most of you, right?

Some of you did not realize.

Lets get back to our school time.

I bet you remember about group homework at school.

Then some or all of you need to present the result in the class.

Then, what’s your feel about?

Happy? Worried? Can not sleep at night before?

Yes, most of us experienced the same.

Lets we take an example.


When I did a presentation in school, it’s like a nightmare.

I copy paste all material into slide power point.

I make the longest slide and just read the presentation until next 30 minutes.

No body ask me since they don’t understand with that.

Within the presentation time, I was very nervous, like my whole life would be disappear.

Then, along the way, I become more experience, more relax on present and teach peoples.

The most experiences was when I did a presentation in front of 200 peoples.

They were insurance agents, don’t understand the topic, asked a lot of questions.

I was so afraid can not present it in a good way.

Then I remember that we were all same, human.

So, I just present and relax my body.

And, 2 hours pass by with good result.

I am so happy.

Now, I am developing my own consultant firm and also become a lecturer in university.

These role need an effective presentation skill.

There are so many different audience compare with when I conducted a training to employees.

As a consultant, potential clients want a solution.

You can not come to them, present and back again with no solution.

At least, they want a clue about their problems – that’s what consultant are for.

That’s a reason why they hire you.

If you just come and collect data without any problem solving, they would not hire you again.

On the first time you present your firm, don’t give them a huge information.

Just present a highlight about less than 5 topics and less than 10 pages.

E.g. Your consulting background, type of service, clients, and project in progress/future development.

It’s like a 10 minutes.

Then, start with interactive discussion.

Asking them why they need us?

What kind of problem solving they want?

Remember, be more proactive, more flexible, and confident.

You have a huge competitor out there, with type of price and service.

They could kill you in a second.

At the first time, just listen and listen.

Collect as much as you can, then make a summarize about clue of solution.

Don’t always jump to conclusion.


You need to identify your audience.

They can read it and your job is to translate into something meaningful.

Usually, I ask them in group to:

1. Make a summary about next week topics.

2. Then ask them to present in a group.

3. Create a focus group discussion and you just ass some point.

It will help them remember about the topic.

Student is different with experience people.

I share you some tips:

1. Identify the audience.

Look after their current needs.

If you don’t understand, ask or browsing on internet.

2. Create a simple presentation.

Put your shoes on them.

Make the first 5 minutes as a greatest moment.

They will not pay attention if your presentation more than 15 minutes.

So, be creative, on create an interactive slide.

3. Send the material in advance.

If you were in office, send the material attached on the calender.

Ask them to read and make a summary of questions or ideas before meeting.

Notice them if there is no objection, then your next presentation would be a final version, no objection.

4. On the presentation time, come early to prepare the place and getting know about the situation.

For big audiences, I usually come 1 hour before.

For small meeting, I usually come 15 minutes before.

5. Make it short and don’t let anyone to ask beyond the topic.

Remind them about the point of view and will discuss on another time.

6. Make a resume of meeting and send it no more than a day after.

Okay, that a theory.

What about the execution.

1. Practice in front of a mirror or in front of people you know about.

2. Relax your body, don’t let anything come to your mind beside the meeting material.

3. Practice and practice.

It will make you success.

You can read another article as follow.


communication 02

We’re all familiar with these issues, and yet the tendency toward “the great unveil” presentation style persists. If we want to foster conversations rather than presentations, what are some effective ways to do so?First, draft the materials in careful partnership with important members of the audience. Often the best way to start problem-solving is simply to have an initial discussion with everyone involved and get their thoughts on the issues and potential outcomes in play. This helps surface the broadest array of topics and allows everyone to feel heard and included. Then, as the problem-solving evolves, work with these team members consistently at key checkpoints to review the latest information and get their thoughts. Keep them informed throughout the process so that at the end of it, there are no surprises in the room.

Second, design a presentation that invites insight and discussion. For most meetings, you want presentations that have enough detail to be read and understood in advance. You want to include key insights on most pages, along with call-out questions for discussion to keep readers thinking critically about the issues in play. Finally, use “punchline first” communication. If you start the presentation with an executive summary that lists key conclusions, your counterparts can keep those conclusions in mind, testing them as they encounter the more in-depth information throughout the presentation.

Third, send the “final” materials well in advance of any group discussion and require a pre-read. If you show up to the meeting with a warm deck that no one has seen, most thoughtful people will spend their time in the meeting trying to read and absorb it, even if you’re describing the material in detail in person. This is particularly true of introverts and others who prefer time to absorb information before speaking about it and drawing their own conclusions. Requiring a pre-read and offering a few days over which to accomplish it guarantees that everyone has an opportunity to fully consider a presentation in advance of the meeting.

Fourth, avoid marching through any document page-by-page, and disperse responsibility for leading components of the discussion. If everyone has prepared, they will be more informed—but they’ll also disengage if you then try to painstakingly read every word. The best approach is to appoint someone to facilitate the conversation, then have that person or others discuss the executive summary, any crucial ideas within the text, and open the dialogue. The presentation or document you’ve routed then becomes a reference for points of conversation. This works even better when several people help introduce the key facts rather than one lone presenter—establishing the environment for inclusive discussion.

Finally, appoint facilitators to draw out comments and questions from the whole group. If one or two people are primarily responsible for the project or viewed as the senior people or leaders in the room, have them ask questions of the group and assure that everyone’s voice is heard. This can be formulaic by surveying each person about key conclusions one-by-one, or with adept facilitators, it can be more free-flowing, drawing out opinions from various people as the conversation develops.

Communication between groups of people is most effective when participants are engaged, and the discussion is both inclusive and collaborative. Creating an ethos of conversation, rather than a one-sided presentation, for critical discussions can better leverage the collective intelligence of the team, make solutions to organizational problems better and more comprehensive, and improve ownership for execution of ideas.


Author by John Coleman, 29 July 2015

Access on 30 July 2015


8 thoughts on “Create a Conversation, Not a Presentation

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    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your support.
      It’s correct, my goal is to create a simple understanding for complex issues.
      Sometimes, peoples are too genius to talk about.

      I also a teacher and need to translate to a simple language to my student.

      Thanks a lot for your great compliment.

      Please share this website to others and family.



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