25, April 2016: The EA had an accident and will be away for 2 weeks so you and another colleague have to cover for her. The boss asks you to make a presentation at the next management meeting which will be held in two days’ time.
The other EA is snowed under as she has to type up a massive report for the meeting and then has to prepare herself to take the minutes at that meeting.
Your PowerPoint skills are shaky whereas Excel is so-so; you can get by with Excel. You are fully aware this presentation is boom or bust for your career prospects. You are also fully aware that a poor presentation can damage your profile dearly in the eyes of these senior managers. This is causing you much distress and sleepless nights.
Can you ask someone with excellent PowerPoint skills to assist with the presentation? Maybe you can do it yourself once you plan and preparewell in advance and not have to rush it at the last minute.You decide to do it yourself.
It is very important to plan as you know the managers, their needs, the length of time for the presentation and, more important, the subject.
You should have a list of the main points from which you can build your presentation.You should focus on the needs of the managers and stick to these points.
Now you are ready to draft these points onto slides while being aware that this is a business presentation. Finally, review the slides with a critical eye.Do they relate to the subject? Are they too wordy? Is the presentation effective?Does it flow from point to point?
You are aware you took a long time in getting this presentation ready because of your lack of knowledge of PowerPoint. You know that you spent too much time in researching how to perform a simple task. While your Excel skills are good, you found it difficult to import it into PowerPoint.
You had many late nights in perfecting the presentation. You viewed it over and over with a critical before you are satisfied it is good.
On the day of the presentation, you can see the managers are satisfied as they have a look of approval which is the silent approval that your presentation was excellent. You are relieved as the tension slowly leaves your body.
You now have added at the top of your ‘to do’ list – book self onto a PowerPoint course so as to make this weakness a strength.
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