Presentation Pointers from a Pro

RBC Royal Bank - Women Entrepreneurs
(Sharing Biz Strategies), Winter 2002

In our world of constant media bombardment and short attention spans, it's increasingly difficult to engage peoples' attention and communicate your ideas, says communication and presentation pro Lorraine Behnan, President of ExpressionLab Communications Inc. An alumna of the Second City comedy troupe, she has honed her skills in captivating an audience...and shares these tips to help you catch - and keep - your audience's attention next time you are on the stage.

Components of a Successful Presentation

1. Preparation:

  • Know your audience (age, interests, expectations, needs)

  • Be prepared - it's one of the best antidotes to fear.

  • Research the issues.

  • Plan for a question and answer session. Don't view it as a tag on.
2. Dynamics:

When we connect with people, a certain level of trust must be established first. According to the communications expert and psychologist Albert Mehrabian, this is how much value individuals place on our interaction:
  • Body (55%) - this is your body language and facial expression

  • Voice (38%) - this is the HOW of your delivery eg. tone and credibility

  • Content (7%) - the is the WHAT, the information communicated
3. Logistics:
  • When using PowerPoint, copy the show onto a CD or disc.

  • Create transparencies and order an overhead as a backup.

  • Confirm any audiovisual equipment and the room set up two days prior.

  • Be familiar with your notes and slides.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The more you're out there, the better you become.

An expert on communication and presentation excellence, Lorraine Behnan provides coaching, seminars and resources. For more information, visit, tel: (905) 648-9462 or e-mail Lorraine at

 ©2005 ExpressionLab Communications