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Delivering an effective IT presentation

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This guest post is by Alan Carroll, author of “The Broadband Connection: The Art of Delivering a Winning IT Presentation.” Here, he explains the importance of clear communication in a language the techies on your team will appreciate.

When an IT professional stands up in front of an audience to deliver a presentation, the professional is the sender (the source router) of communication and the audience is the receiver (destination router). Given that there are no wires connecting the presenter to the audience, the presenter is transmitting his or her communication packets and space packets over a wireless local area network in one collision domain.

Almost all the packets the IT professional delivers are communication packets and contain only one element — data. In an ideal situation, the communication flow would contain two kinds of packets: communication and space packets. Communication packets include several components: data, voice (which may contain emotional tone), video, and sometimes mass.*

IT presenters who are striving to present at the highest level of effectiveness should attempt to integrate both communication and space packets into their presentations. Space packets, or interframe gaps in the VoIP world, are extremely important because they represent the portal through which a broadband, present-time connection is made with the audience. In fact, the top presenters know that “space packets” have priority over “communication packets.”

The ideal mix of components in a communication packet is 7 percent data, 38 percent voice, and 55 percent video. Voice and video together compose 93 percent of the communication packet.

Video Component

One way to become more memorable (a picture is worth a thousand words) is to integrate video gestures into all your communication packets. Using your hands and arms provides most video images. When you embody the thought with physical expression, the audience not only hears the data but sees the data.

Mimes — who only use their bodies, never their voices, to communicate — are great examples of the outstanding use of video.

Voice Component

Your voice is like a musical instrument. It can play a wide variety of notes. You can change the speed of your voice, that is, the baud rate; you can change the volume and the cadence, as well as the inflection or emphasis of your speaking. All these changes can make listening to you more interesting.

What are some of your tips for communicating complex information to your team members more effectively?