Tuesday, October 16, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 59 - Become An Effective Presenter

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

We've almost completed our journey through the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. In this post, we're going to look at Step 59 - Become an effective presenter. Just like nearly everything else in life, giving an effective presentation is something that is learned. You can just get up and "wing it" and expect to be effective.

Giving an effective presentation is really important. We can do great analysis and come up with a novel and potentially effective problem solving solution, but if all this is lost in a poorly executed presentation what good is it?

The authors have some tips on effective presentation techniques. They include things like:

  • Thoroughly prepare.
  • Understand the venue where you will give your presentation. Learn what tools are available and how to use them. Modern presentation equipment can be complex and failure-prone.
  • At minimum, make sure your audience does not have to work to overcome your style to understand your presentation.
  • PowerPoint and other similar presentation software allow the audience to receive the information simultaneously in two modes: visually and aurally. However, there are dangers and limitations to using presentation software. Know what they are and how to avoid it.
  • Assume things will go wrong! Have a backup plan for when they do.
The entire chapter has a laundry list of things like these and more that will help you to make an effective presentation. I encourage you to read the chapter for yourself. In fact, it might even make a great checklist to go over prior to giving your presentation.

The next step we cover will be our last in this series. We'll cover Step 60 - Contribute to the store of knowledge.

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