For my business English seminars, I’m often asked by my clients (internal or external) to cover vast topics in relatively short amounts of time. When this situation arises, I always make sure to inform the audience at the beginning of the seminar exactly how far we’re going into a particular topic. I bookend this at the end of the presentation by either sharing methods or resources to further study the topic or by promising future seminars within the same field.
To make all of this a little easier to remember, I’ve come up with a handy little acronym: I.P.O. (not to be confused with Initial Public Offering).
Inform your audience of the scope of your presentation.
Provide resources and information for the audience to continue researching after your presentation.
Offer follow-up presentations.
For example, in my two-hour Introduction to Human Resources seminar, I was only able to briefly cover an overview of HR, recruiting, selection, and equal opportunity employment regulations. In the beginning of the seminar, I stressed that HR could be discussed for weeks, and that a two-hour seminar was just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of the seminar, I mentioned that upcoming sessions would cover additional aspects of HR, such as benefits, compensation, and training/ development.
Why go through the trouble of doing all of this? Any good presentation or seminar will be judged, and it’s important to tell your audience exactly what you should be judged on. It’s always a good idea to poll the audience on what topics they would like to learn about next, however, that shouldn’t interfere with getting accurate feedback on the topics that you set out to cover.