Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Good Rules to follow

During an office presentation –

After a small gap, I am back to my blog, with an urge to pen down some of my thoughts/opinions.

1) In an office presentation, at least in a Multi National Company, English should be the chosen medium to present, discuss and review a presentation. Preparing the presentation in English and addressing the meeting in English is one thing. It must be ensured by the listeners and the presenter that all questions and responses are in English. Regional languages like Hindi/Kannada/Tamil must not be used as a medium to exchange views. Though regional languages can be used for offline discussions/one on one meetings based on comfort level of the parties involved, in a general meeting, even when one is sure that all involved know a regional language, it must not be used in communication. One never knows who he/she is leaving behind unclear because of choosing a regional language for exchange of views.

2) Eye contact must be maintained with one and all in the meeting room and not just with the manager. The meeting/discussion/presentation is convened to convey ideas/information collected to all and sundry, not just to impress the manager and show him/her how much you know. This applies to all listeners as well when they have some crucial knowledge to share in the meeting.

3) When a question is asked to the presenter, he/she must be given some respectable amount of time answer. Only when the presenter claims that he/she does not know the answer (which he/she must candidly do and not spin tales), should the listeners provide their opinion/answers to the question raised. If nobody has the answer, the question must be taken offline with the presenter taking responsibility to find the right answer to it.

4) Always wait for a person to finish talking, not only in a presentation but almost always before pouring out your opinion. This saves a lot of time, paves way for a more streamlined discussion, prevents it from becoming a futile argument and stops a lot of chaos.

5) Never read out the contents of a presentation line by line. The presenter must be descriptive, use some diagrams/figures to illustrate and offer to go to the drawing board when necessary. The lines in a ppt slide are only for reference, to help presenter maintain a continuum. If the contents had to be read out in order by the presenter, the presentation can be emailed to all team members as an email attachment. The team members can read it line by line from their seats and save time by not attending a sermon.

6) Always be terse, non-repetitive and keep the number of slides in a presentation to bare minimum. If the topic is vast, break the presentation into logical parts and arrange more than one session over a short period rather than complete it all in one sitting. Preferably, avoid post lunch sessions, to ensure you have genuinely somebody listening to you. After all, you have put in efforts to convey some information, let that not fall on passive, sleepy ears.

May be there are few more good rules which have to be kept in mind. Please share them with me in comments to this post.

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