PM4DEV Blog

Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

General Management

Making the Right Presentations

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next project presentation.

The purpose of any presentation, written, oral or visual, is communication; and to communicate effectively, the information must be stated in a simple, concise and interesting manner. Your audience should be able to understand the purpose of the presentation; this involves knowing the audience, the occasion, and the expectations of the audience. This will be a critical determinant in what information is presented and how it is presented. You have to tailor the message to the audience - understand their needs, desires, knowledge level, and attitude toward the topic while being concrete, specific, practical, and relevant.

People learn and retain more information when learning is reinforced by visualization. Simple, clear, concise visual images, will lend support to the spoken words. This leaves the audience with a positive attitude toward the content of the presentation.

A good presentation is made up of four basic components:
 

  • The Opening. Participants are introduced to the purpose of the presentation. It should be a brief summary or outline of the points to be covered. This helps keep your audience oriented properly within the framework of your presentation.
  • The Body. This is where the subject is presented. The body should be separated into smaller, easily assimilated modules. Each module or subsection should make a single point or convey one idea. These subsections should each have their · own simple opening, body and summary.
  • The Summary.  This portion should be very brief and simple. It is a chance to reinforce the central theme and purpose of the presentation. The goal is to briefly emphasize the key points and main ideas of the presentation.
  • The Closing. The points that were raised during the question and answer session are summarized, and any handout material that was not required during the presentation is distributed. This allows the audience to review the subject and assures that the ideas presented will remain fresh in their minds.


Using PowerPoint Slides
 

  • When making a presentation that is using a PowerPoint Slide or other type of visual aid, do not read the text, unless people in the room do not know how to read. Repeating the text that is on the screen is just a waste of time.
  • Make eye contact with all the audience and speak in a clear voice, adding more content to the ideas presented to draw the audience attention.
  • On the day of the presentation, arrive and set up early. Have spare projector bulbs and extra copies of the handout material close at hand.
  • Images and text should be legible for anyone; a good test is to go to the back of the room and see if the text is readable.
  • Try to use large letters and 4 or 6 lines of text per slide, don’t clutter the slide with graphics or use too many colors and different fonts. Use font sizes large enough to view from anywhere in the room, try not to use fonts smaller than 28 points.
  • Excessive use of photos, sound, fonts, colors, backgrounds, transitions can be distracting and can misdirect the attention of the audience from the intended content.

Another good strategy is to deliver the hard copy of the slides at the end of the presentation, that will keep people from reading ahead of you and miss your talking points. Make sure that you go over all your materials the day before the presentation to ensure that you have all that you need.

 

Come to learn with us, we have courses opening every month, you will join professionals from other countries who will share their knowledge and experience guided by an online tutor. Visit your course schedule on the following link  https://www.pm4dev.com/elearn/course-schedule.html

 
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The Project Management Cycle

A project management methodology follows a cyclical approach throughout the life of the project. The cycle represents a continuous process in which each phase provides the foundation for the next. For example, during implementation the monitoring phase provides inputs and changes to the original design which then the project managers uses to modify the implementation plans. The cyclic nature among the design, implement and monitor phases is repeated throughout the life of the project.

The project management cycle consists of six phases:

  1. Initiate
  2. Plan
  3. Implement
  4. Monitor
  5. Adapt
  6. Close

The cycle allows for a constant, iterative process by which the project is constantly adapted, this repetitive cycle continues until all project activities and objectives have been delivered. The cycle approach allows opportunities to review the original project assumptions and plans, as the project makes progress the initial conditions could have changed making it necessary for the project to change course or readjust the original plans.

Managing a project is not a linear process, it is cyclical; with each phase receiving feedback from the preceding phase. For example, during the monitoring phase the project may encounter that the original assumptions about an  activity have changed which leads to propose a readjustment of the plans, either in schedule or in scope. No situation in which a project intervenes is static, project management is a cycle that is continually repeated to adapt to a changing context.

The project management cycle continues in a spiral fashion until the project is completed and closed. For larger projects the phases may be broken down in smaller manageable phase, each with its own project management cycle, where the closure of the first phase of a project leads to the initiation of the second phase.

The application of project management is an iterative process. For example, within the planning phase, several iterations of planning may occur as the team develops the best approach and methodologies to implement the project. This process requires additional improvements and refinements to the schedule, budget estimates, quality requirements and risk plans.

As improvements start to occur, the impact to other project management areas must be determined. Over time, the iterations should become smaller in magnitude and more defined as more detailed information about the project is developed. Each project’s management cycle is a knowledge cycle in itself that shapes the initial design and is fed by experience from each implementation and evaluation cycle.


Learn how to initiate, plan, implement, adapt and close a project that meets the needs of the beneficiaries and expectations of key stakeholders. The APM online course will introduce the elements of the project management lifecycle.  You will learn the methods for the efficient management of a project using a phased approach, and the concepts and practices necessary for the success of your management efforts. This course is open for all those who work or plan to get a job with the development cooperation and humanitarian field.

Register now and earn your certificate in Adaptive Project Management with a 20% early registration discount.

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Contact information

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