The 5Ps of Presentation

Preparing a brilliant short presentation video notes. For schools … but geez, adults need more help with this than kids! 

Embellished by me after learning from Frank Ryan of Vox Bandicoot, who was taught it by Steve Van Matre of the Earth Education Institute.

A ten minute presentation can be brilliant. It can also be totally boring and not even worth having stood up. We’ve all been there haven’t we. When someone delivers a really boring presentation …

So you have a topic. You might be speaking about your worm farm or your solar panels or your dual flush compact fluorescent toilet with bluetooth enabled flushing. Your topic is the easy bit. How are you going to reach an audience? 

Lots of people are scared about public speaking. They don’t like being the centre of attention. They’re worried about looking a bit silly. The funny thing is, nearly everyone gets nervous speaking.  That’s fine. It even helps. It makes us concentrate. The thing to remember is that the people in the audience just want to hear what you have to say. Your presentation is for them. Thinking about making it interesting for them stops you worrying about you. That’s why the 5Ps of presentation really help. Instead of thinking about you, they help you think about how you are reaching an audience. 

The 5Ps of Presentation

  1. Preparation:

  • Who is your audience? What sort of presentation would they enjoy? 

  • Bring the best of you. Are you:  a singer? A storyteller? A poet? A guitarist? funny? Silly? Then bring that to it!

  • Please don’t tell the audience everything. It’s totally boring. And they’re clever people. Put there just a spark. In one sentence, what do you want you’re presentation to say?  What three things do you want the audience to remember?

  •  Use powerpoint only to add to your presentation. Please don’t write every word in small font and then read it out. You may as well sit down and let the audience read it themselves. Use it for images, headings, short videos, quotes. And check in with the venue to make sure you have the right program and connections and then get there early, plug in and check it works. 

  • Only use a few notes, if any. Practise a lot, so that your presentation is not about remembering the content, but about how you present and how you reach the audience. 

  • Have a timekeeper at the back who can tell you when you’re half way, when there’s two minutes left and when you need to wrap up. 

2. Projection

  • Fill the space with your voice

  • Clarity of voice

  • Touch people with words

  • Tonal quality and volume

3. Position

  • Stand where every eye can see you

  • Spring on heels

  • Sparkle in the eye

  • Push it out with the whole body

4. Pace

  • Speed/slow

  • Loud/soft

  • Rhythm

  • Get on/Get off topics

  • Open and shut the gate for audience: they are a bit like sheep …

  • Start with a flourish. An audience makes up their mind about you in the first minute. A quote … a story … a joke … 

  • Whisper device

  • Pause

  • Close with a story or quote or a call to action

  • Handouts and questions at the end (they kill the pace)

5. Pulse

  • The feeling in you about the earth and natural systems that you are going to reach out with and touch the audience with. 

  • Art, poetry, stories, songs help to enrich the message

  • Collect feelings about nature