The number of different modes available for professionals to communicate only grows with time. And yet, when it comes to delivering a spoken message, whether to a group or to an individual, a core set of concepts applies across contexts: understand what’s most important to get across, anticipate the factors that might interfere with your message, consider the effects of your environment, and prepare with all these things in mind. To help apply these concepts to various business situations, from giving a presentation to participating in a videoconference, we asked France 24 business editor Stephen Carroll for his advice on how to convey ideas and information in an effective, professional manner. Here's what he had to say.
Giving a great presentation doesn’t start with slide 1. It starts with your shoes. And with your clothes, your posture, your notes, and your body language. Giving forethought to these and other small details can make you feel more comfortable once your presentation actually begins and help ensure that nothing interferes with the message you’re sending.
2. What’s the point?
What would you tell your audience members if you only had 30 seconds of their attention? You need to start by identifying that kernel of information and building around it, to ensure the most essential information is delivered—slowly, and in plain, accessible language.
3. Remote control
Video conferencing technology can be an enormous convenience, but also enormously complicated. Even in the absence of technical glitches, speaking with someone through a screen can create odd quirks of etiquette or unforeseen distractions that dilute the communicative power of the meeting. You can plan for these things: take the time to pick the right room, get the lighting right, and put your camera at eye level. Once the meeting has started, make “eye contact” with the camera, and speak with confidence, even if connection lags may require you to repeat yourself later.