Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Use numbers effectively. When speaking, use rounded numbers; otherwise, you will sound like a
computer. Also make numbers as meaningful as possible. For example, instead of saying
in 83
percent of cases,
in five out of six cases.
Do not extrapolate, speculate, or otherwise
to interpret the output of statistical models.
For example, suppose your Excel model has many input variables. You might be able to point
out a trend, but often you cannot say with mathematical certainty that if a company employs
the inputs in the same combination, it will get the same results.
Some people prefer recording their presentation and playing it back to evaluate themselves. It is
amazing how many people are shocked when they hear their recorded voice
and usually they
are not pleased with it. In addition, you will hear every um, uh, well, you know, throat-clearing
noise, and other verbal distraction in your speech. If you want impartial feedback on your
presentation, have a friend listen to it.
If you use a pointer, be careful where you wave it. It is not a light saber, and you are not Luke
Skywalker. Unless you absolutely have to use one to point out crucial data on a slide, leave the
pointer home.
Handling Questions
Fielding questions from an audience can be tricky because you cannot anticipate all of the questions you
might be asked. When answering questions from an audience, treat everyone with courtesy and respect. Use
the following strategies to handle questions:
Try to anticipate as many questions as possible, and prepare answers in advance. Remember
that you can gather much of the information to prepare these answers while drafting your
presentation. The Notes section under each slide in PowerPoint can be a good place to enter
anticipated questions and your answers. Hidden slides can also contain the data you need to answer
questions about important details.
Mention at the beginning of your talk that you will take questions at the end of the presentation, which
helps prevent questions from interrupting the flow and timing of your talk. In fact, many PowerPoint
presentations end with a Questions slide. If someone tries to interrupt, say that you will be happy to
answer the question when you are finished, or that the next graphic answers the question. Of course,
this point does not apply to the company CEO
you always stop to answer the CEO
When answering a question, a good practice is to repeat the question if you have any doubt that
the entire audience heard it. Then deliver your answer to the whole audience, but make sure
you close by looking directly at the person who asked the question.
Strive to be informative, not persuasive. In other words, use facts to answer questions. For
instance, if someone asks your opinion about a given outcome, you might show an Excel slide that
displays the Solver
s output; then you can use the data as the basis for answering the question. In
that light, it is probably a good idea to have computer access to your Excel model or Access
database if your presentation venue permits it, but avoid using either unless you absolutely need it.
trying to fake the answer. For instance, if someone asks you the difference between the Simplex LP
and GRG solving methods in Excel Solver, you might say,
That is an excellent question, but I really
Then follow up after the
presentation by researching the answer and contacting the person who asked the question.
Signal when you are finished. You might say that you have time for one more question. Wrap up
the talk yourself and thank your audience for their attention.
Handling a
s nightmare. Fortunately, this experience is rare in the
classroom: Your audience will consist of classmates who also have to give presentations, and your instructor
will be present to intervene in case of problems.
audience or a heckler is every speaker
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