Delivering Someone Else's Presentation

I was helping a government NGO get their training presentations up to a decent standard so that the learning, which was honestly of national importance (even if the nation might not agree)  was consistent, understood and acted on.

The brief? “We’d like them to be more energetic, more confident, funnier - just better.”

Unfortunately, the presentations were written by another team who had micro-managed them to death. Literally every second was accounted for. “12.41 – slide 27 – bullet point four…. “ - that sort thing.

If you’ve not delivered someone else’s presentation before – then I promise you, it’s much harder than delivering your own.

Having just been asked to deliver 'Clive from accounts,' quartlery report, Jane reviewed his slide deck!

In order for the presentations to be delivered with energy, confidence and humour, then the presenters have to first understand the purpose of each section of the presentation, and then start to make them their own. 

So we came up with a template to ensure the presentations could be delivered with gusto and energy. And here they are!

5 simple ingredients to successfully deliver someone else’s presentation. 

Preparation. You are going to need to ask the slide deck's author some direct and clear questions This will help you, their business and your audience. If you deliver a good presentation then everyone benefits. And that’s all this is about. 

1. Ask the author the following questions “What is the purpose and intended impact of the presentation?”  “Who’s the audience and what’s their 'So what?'" Getting answers to these questions will give you clarity and focus. If you understand what you’re trying to achieve then everything is going to be so much easier.

2. Ask the author for a few threes. Three things the audience can take away, three things that the presentation is about,three things that are going to be of use to the audience

3. Add a story to the presentation to give it clarity and context. Start to make it your presentation.

4. You will need to blag. Fake passion, energy and intent. The audience don't know what's going on in your head and nor do they care. If you look like you mean it then they'll enjoy it more and you will pick up on their more positive energy - thus creating a virtuous circle rather than one of doom. 

5. Do not read your slides to the audience. They can read! Present it as conversationally as you can in your own words.

  • Try to look at your audience for at least 90% of your presentation. Every time you look down or behind you to check the script, you lose connection. 

  • Print out your slides so you can avoid looking behind you - but don't read - put it in your own words

  • If you can place your lap top in front of you

  • Read, rotate, relate. If the screen is behind you then read, rotate back to audience, then relate what you’ve just said. It’s really OK to pause. And pausing between slides gives them time to digest your presentation

Finally, give yourself a break. This is hard. Accept you cannot deliver it as brilliantly as if you'd written it yourself.




About the Author

User login