Improving your presentations


If you need help and advise with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, dilapidations claims, specific defects reports, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please call 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

The following is taken from a day that we spent on a course looking at how to improve presentations, which we thought it was worth sharing.

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First things first

Talk about the objectives of the course

The very first thing the people doing the presentation advise that we should talk about are the objectives of the course (in our case we were preparing a presentation on dilapidations), then of course go through what they termed as the domestic arrangements, i.e. fire escape points and toilets etc. Interestingly enough, the very next presentation that we did we forgot completely about these!



The use of workbooks and assessments

The presenters advised assessments were good way of testing and measuring how well a student or client has taken on board the information you are giving. You should make sure your students or clients understand that it is not a test, it is to help and aid them.


Don't forget to say who's who

The presenters then went through who was who, which is very helpful in a presentation scenario as it helps break down barriers so that any students or clients wishing to ask questions know your name!


What you need to know!

If was emphasised how important it is that you should set down the learning requirements to successfully complete the course. Good general ones are as follows:-

•  Make a positive and active contribution.

•  Show a willingness to improve.

•  Complete the paperwork, which in this case was a workbook (please see our earlier comments).

They then went back over the course objectives again! The presenters advised that you can never go over the course objectives too many times (although I am sure there is a limit)! They also felt it was very good to emphasise to the students or clients that participation helps them learn and also helps the day go quicker.


Good phrases to use

Use a questioning process

Using a questioning process to your audience. If you ask a question and no-one answers a good comment is to say something along the lines of you know the answer we just need someone to say it. If you after you have asked a question and there is still no answer try asking the class whether 50% or more would agree with the following statement and then make a statement and then divide this down to 25% etc, or more until you get a reaction from your audience. Try always to look for agreement.

Another good phrase is that you are only refreshing their memory and you are sure that they knew it anyhow.


Divide issues into three

The importance of dividing issues into three (digestible) information and getting the class to make an educated guess as to the right answer.

Get agreement from the class. Then reiterate it to get examples in threes and relate them to your case.


Ladder method

Ladder method of presenting

They also advised about the use of a ladder method, which was to give priorities. A good example of using a ladder would be to ask the class as a percentage how often they thought schedules of dilapidations were served on tenants leaving properties. Then, as a separate ladder, also ask them to see as a percentage how often they thought schedules of conditions were produced.

They talked about learned behaviour; how we can control some of this by enforcement, i.e. the law, by engineering, which is putting people into a situation that they have to make a decision, such as making a decision within a system, e.g. at a roundabout, then there is education, which is what we were up to.


Ask questions as a percentageIdentify problems and work to the solution


Getting the class to work back to the solution.


Utilising the workbooks to allow people to put answers in that they will, at a later date, be able to review. Again, reiterate that it won't be marked.



Laminated photos

They used a system of laminated photos between four students asking them to point out the issues and then went through them via a power point presentation, getting the whole class to join in, with that particular group commenting.

They then went through the good use and the bad use of a video. Although the video was relevant to the point it didn't relate to the audience and therefore lacked relevance. They advised that videos should either have relevance or you should make them relevant.


Giving physical demonstration

The example given was the reaction time demonstration, which was a dropping a pen example and typically reactions are within 0.5 of a second to see if anyone could catch the pen, which made an amusing break in the process.

Going back to the videos, they showed a clip of a video and then asked us to talk about what we had seen.



They ended with a very good three line summary, which identified areas that you could improve to make it better. They identified areas and the consequence of you not, i.e. not passing the degree exam.


Take away some action points from each presentation and act on themAction points


You should always take away some action points and act on them within 48 hours.



Click to view a selection of presentations on Dilapidations



We hope this helps you but if you want any further independent expert advice from a chartered surveyor with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, dilapidations claims, specific defects reports, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a chartered surveyor to give you a call back.

If you have a commercial leasehold or freehold then you may wish to look at our Dilaps Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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