When I coach people in speaking and presenting skills I always ask what they need to know about and especially what they fear the most. Pretty consistently the nightmare of most people is having to present something that someone else has prepared. These are mostly people who are already confident presenters of their own material but they dread being handed a pile of possibly poor quality slides and having to stand up and present them.
Fortunately there are some tried and tested methods for dealing with this problem and I have distilled them into a quick checklist of seven and a half things to do. I hope this helps you one day.
CHECKLIST: Seven and a Half Things to Do When Someone Asks You to Deliver Their Presentation
1. CONSIDER SAYING NO. Say no when there is no advantage to you, but consider benefits to relationships and career if you accept.
2. TALK TO THE AUTHOR. Talk with the creator of the presentation even if they have only a few minutes. If you just have one minute use that minute to ask what was their objective and their key messages.
3. FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE. Spend your time understanding the message and how to communicate it and less on the slides you were given
4. MEMORIZE INTRODUCTION. Starting without reading makes a good first impression.
5. AVOID PROBLEM SLIDES. Skip slides you don’t understand unless they contain some key data.
6. DISTANCE YOURSELF. If you disagree with something attribute it to the original author.
7. NEVER POINT OUT MISTAKES. Never draw attention to mistakes, poorly designed slides or other issues.
7½. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE. Make sure that your own presentations can be presented by others, using clear messages and notes.
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