Dec 14, 2009

How to outsource your presentation?

Follow these 5 simple steps the next time you outsource your slides to anyone. And you will have no problems delivering a successful presentation.

1. Prepare a Presentation Brief
2. Plan the presentation along with the subordinate on a whiteboard (or paper)
3. Edit the slides which your subordinate creates
4. Rehearse the presentation
5. Re-edit the slides (if needed)

These 5 steps will take care of all the problems that might occur when you present slides that someone else has created. Let's discuss each of the steps in detail.


1. Presentation Brief (30 minutes)

I had introduced the concept of Presentation Brief in an earlier post. A Presentation Brief is like an advertising brief. Before making every TV commercial the client tells its advertising agency what is the objective of the commercial, what message to convey and to whom. This brief guides the agency in making a commercial which serves the clients' needs well. All you need is to spend around 20 to 30 minutes making the brief. Click here to view a sample brief and click here to download the brief format.

The presentation brief ensures that the subordinate fully understands the objectives of the presentation and knows whatever is important about the presentation. For your ready reference, I am listing down all the questions that you need to answer in a brief.

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A. The Facts
1. Who is presenting? 2. Who is the audience? 3. Size of the audience? 4. What is the duration of the presentation? 5. When is the presentation? How much time do I have to prepare slides? 6. Where is the presentation? How will it be delivered? 7. Significance of the presentation? 8. Is it a regular presentation?

B. The Story
1. What is the objective of the presentation? 2. What are the key messages? 3. What is the audience expecting from this presentation? 4. What action should the audience take immediately after the presentation?

C. Presentation Specific Information
1. Do's and Don'ts for this presentation 2. Remarks

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2. Plan the presentation along with the subordinate (1 hour)


As a response to the last post where I talked about problems of outsourcing, Olivia Mitchell commented; "...The presenter should plan the presentation and storyboard on paper the slides they want to go with them. And then give another person with more time, technical proficiency and design flair the job of actually creating the slides."

Olivia's point is absolutely correct. However, you should start planning the content and flow only after you have filled and handed over the brief to your subordinate. Use a whiteboard in your office and plan the presentation along with your subordinate. I recommend using a whiteboard over paper as a board gives you more space and a better overview of the content and flow.

Click here to get tips on planing a presentation.

This is the stage where you need to tell your subordinate whether you need animation, do you want transition, what kind of slide template is required. Remember the maxim; prevention is better than cure.
3. Slide Editing (30 minutes)

Ask your subordinate to send you the slides well in advance. After receiving the slides, you need to spend some time going through each and everything. View the slides in slideshow mode and run through the presentation twice. First time, just go through everything as your subordinate has put it. Start the editing process only in the second round. Somethings make sense when you see the presentation in an overall way. Remember to keep the brief in front of you while editing.

4. Rehearse the Presentation (1 hour)

Rehearsal is a must for any presentation and more so for a presentation which you have outsourced. The way to rehearse it to stand up and present the slides the way you would do in an actual presentation situation. This will give you immense amount of clarity on what to say when and how to take charge of your presentation.

I would go so far and say that, in case you are outsourcing your presentation, rehearsal is the best thing to do in order to ensure you fully understand the content and overcome the handicaps of outsourcing.

5. Re-Edit the Slides (15 minutes)

After the rehearsal you will find a few places where your flow breaks down or you need to add/subtract some matter. Take out time and do that.

You are now ready to deliver the presentation in a confident manner. Go ahead and thrill your audience and yourself.


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Image credit: Suat Eman