We’ve all seen presentations that put tears in our eyes, or just plain put us to sleep. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could create and deliver an aesthetically pleasing, yet engaging presentation? While we don’t have the time to teach each presenter the techniques that Steve Jobs or Barak Obama employ as expert speakers, we can provide you with a few techniques to prepare, design and deliver your presentation – and hopefully not put your audience to sleep. As a bonus, we’ll also give you a few reminders of what kills a presentation (absolute snoozers and confusers).
- Know who your audience is, and talk to them using their language. Exclude tech/industry talk and use laymen’s terms.
- Practice makes perfect. Over rehearsing makes it boring. Find a happy medium for you.
- Don’t read from your power points or ‘script’ your presentation. Your audience members can read faster than you can talk, so if you place all of your presentation in the power points, what’s the point in having you there?
- Ask yourself why your audience needs to know what you’re presenting. Likely, if they are watching you present, then they believe you have information they want to know. Use their (and your) time wisely.
- Start with the end in mind. Outlining your content before writing a script helps you edit information and keep within the boundaries of your presentation.
- Make sure the structure of your content delivery makes sense. Do the subjects flow nicely into each other? Creating an outline for this helps.
- Arrive early for the presentation. Get comfortable with your surroundings, whether it be in a boardroom or a webroom.
- Practice your intro and closing. A strong first impression and closing remark are what the attendees will remember most.
- Run through your presentation with a timer to make sure you are staying within the allotted time.
- Use 4 bullets with 6 words each, or 6 bullets with 4 words each. Use key words for the power points. Too much information is not engaging.
- Use Photos. A picture says 1000 words, and it breaks up mundane bulleted power points.
- Stay within a single design theme. Don’t use 100 colors and fonts.
- Keep it simple.
- Consider making your presentation available for the audience, so they can focus on what you are saying rather than writing down notes.
- Use simple charts.
- Use audio/visual to break up talking and power points
- Create a slide template for your presentation
- Font size must be large enough to be easily read. Size 28 to 34 with a bold font is recommended.
- Don’t use a standard PowerPoint template
- Here are some great presentations on designing effective and Killer Presentations.
- Engage your audience. Ask them questions. Take polls (whether by asking them to raise their hands or through a webinar).
- Don’t put too much info into the presentation. You can offer links or emails of where they can seek further information.
- Change your slides often. I recommend once per minute to keep the audiences attention.
- Prepare questions for the end of the presentation incase your audience doesn’t have any.
- Don’t be too salesy, we see enough commercials to know when to tune out a sales-pitch. Teach your audience something.
- The presentation is about your audience, not you. Provide the information that you told them you would inform them of.
- Speak at a conversational pace. Too slow will bore the audience, too fast will lose the audience
- Tell a story with your content. This allows your audience to easily follow along with you.
- Be confident. You know your subject matter, that’s why you are presenting it to someone else.
- If this is a live seminar, move around. Walk as your talking. This not only shows that you are laidback, but that you are confident in your knowledge of the presentation. It also allows you to engage with your audience.
- Try to deliver your presentation with passion and enthusiasm. It will help the audience to feel enthusiastic about the content as well.
- SMILE! Even if you are delivering a webinar, your audience can hear your smile.
Presentation Killers (the snoozers and confusers)
- Complicated presentations. Are you trying to provide your audience with ALL of your expert knowledge in a short amount of time? Why not narrow down that topic to just share the highlights.
- Photoshop is fun, but just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should go crazy with fancy backgrounds. The presentation is not about aesthetics, but about the your content. Delivery it cleanly and smartly.
- Does your audience need glasses? Regardless of if you are presenting to a room of people, or in a webinar web-room, you should stick to font between no less than 30pt .
- You have an audience, now sell sell sell! Wait, don’t!! We’ve all been trained to ignore commercials and advertisements since we were 5-years old. Find a unique was to sell you product or service during your presentation.
- Animation is neat, but you’re not showing a cartoon. Stick to the content, and let the audience seek their entertainment later.
What tips do you have when preparing, designing or delivering a presentation?
Want more info? Here are some great blogs I found on the subject.