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Dress Rehearsal

You've got the right technology. Now it's time to pull everything together into a winning presentation. Claudyne Wilder, co-author of Point, Click and Wow! A Quick Guide to Brilliant Laptop Presentations (Pfeiffer & Co.) and president of Wilder Presentations, a Boston-based presentation training company, tells how:

*Don't overdo. Use every flying bullet and unique effect that your presentation software comes with, and you'll drive your audience crazy. Keep these features to a minimum so they'll have maximum impact. That way, viewers won't get distracted from your key message by watching cute red balls float across the screen.

*Cut, cut, cut. Whittle down your presentation so that only the most relevant information is included. Try to keep topics like company background to a minimum, and be sure to address any key concerns or questions your audience might have.

*Think big. Display text in at least 24-point type so it's easily viewable. Reserve serif fonts for large titles only; stick with sans serif for the main body of your presentation.

*Be organized. Every presentation must have some kind of structure so that it's easy to follow. A very basic--yet effective--organizational structure includes an introduction/agenda, key points, a closing and recommendations.

*Spell it out. Explain the purpose of charts or tables through a clearly worded title. Also, avoid merely conveying statistics. Explain exactly what the statistics mean within the context of the chart.

Contact Sources

Apple Computer, (800) 538-9696

Corel Corp., (800) 772-6735, http://www.corel.com

Dell Computer, (800) 388-8542

Gateway 2000, (800) 846-4875, http://www.destination.com

The Hill Group, (408) 257-7828, mhill@hillgroup.com

In Focus Systems, (800) 294-6400, http://www.infocus.com

Microsoft Corp., (800) 426-9400, ,a href=http://www.microsoft.com/office>http://www.microsoft.com/office

Proxima, (800) 447-7692, http://www.proxima.com

Sigma Data, (800) 446-4525, http://www.sigmadata.com

Wilder Presentations, (617) 524-7172, http://www.wilderpresentation.com

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