Tell a StoryTry to turn your presentation into one giant story, rather than a fractured grouping of slides and facts that have little to do with one another. The point of any presentation is to sell your idea to those in the crowd, and the best way to do so is by discussing in detail a cohesive narrative pertaining to the topic at hand. Make sure that throughout the presentation, it all has relevancy to the main subject.
Keep It SimpleDon’t clutter your slides with unnecessary words and pictures. The slides themselves should simply be a support for the things that the speaker is saying. If you make your slides too busy, the audience will be distracted from what you are saying and be solely focused on trying to take in all of the information and media on the screen. Keep the presentation simple, and the focus on yourself.
Make Slide Backgrounds SubtleYou do not want your background to detract from either you, or the information that you have put onto it. Backgrounds should relate to the topic, and be simple enough to where they are not the main focus of the slide. If there is text on the slide, you do not want the background to be so busy that some words or letters are hard to make out against the picture. Pick wisely when inserting backgrounds of your own choosing. Use high contrast between background color and text color.
Have a Visual Theme Without Used PPT TemplatesTry to customize your presentation so that it is all of your own creating. Anyone that has Microsoft will be able to find the basic templates, so you really aren’t doing anything to set yourself apart. Use quality pictures as your background or simply just solid colors. What you choose as your background images, will be what sets your presentation apart from the rest and has the ability to leave a lasting impact on those that view it.
Choose Fonts CarefullyThe font that you decide on has the ability to say a lot more about your presentation and you as a presenter than you might initially think. You should use the same font throughout your entire presentation, and not jump back and forth between different scripts. Also be sure that the font that you choose can be easily read from anywhere in the room that your audience will be. The last thing you want is people that aren’t getting the message due to not being able to read the words, or people that are having to squint the entire time just to make out the words.
Limit Bullet-Points andTextThe best and most effective slides, will have little to no text at all. Put only the most basic facts onto your slide, then take the time to delve into each with more detail in your talk. If the slides are too wordy, the audience will be distracted and read everything you will be discussing before you get the chance to say any of it. Use slides as a guide, not as a crutch. In this slide, I have outlined the different layers of the atmosphere, but will go on to talk about each in much more detail from the information and knowledge I have, rather than writing up there individual paragraphs about each one for the audience to read.
Limit Transitions and AnimationsUse animations sparingly, they should not be a part of each slide in your presentation. Listeners will get bored of excessive animations on each slide, so use them sparingly. Try not to use the most flamboyant ones as well, a simple “appear” or “fade” will suffice, instead of the “fly-in” and “wheel” which tend to be unnecessary and take up too much time. I used the “fade” animation in this slide to simply highlight a handful of common zoo animals.
Use HQVisualsAlways use high quality graphics and visuals in your presentation to keep it looking as professional as possible. Microsoft clipart has a tendency to look sloppy and amateur, so make sure you are searching online for HD images that will not appear blurry or pixelated when put onto the slides.
Check Spelling and GrammarIn order to maintain the professionalism you are going for, make sure that there are no typos or grammar mistakes in your presentation. As soon as they see a mistake it will immediately detract from how seriously they take you as a presenter. Proofread your presentation a few times before giving it in front of the audience in order to maintain their respect.
Keep Presentations BriefThe attention span of your audience will only last so long. Make sure that you are not droning on, otherwise you will have lost your crowd already, and no information will be received once they tune you out. Gauge the group that you are going to be presenting to, and adjust your presentation accordingly. Keep it as brief as possible, while still including all of the material necessary to get the message across.
RehearseA good presentation won’t just be solely based on the speaker, or solely based on the slides. The two should coexist and mesh together to make one singular solid performance. Practicing will ensure that you will not have to look down at your notes continuously, and will also sell the crowd on the fact that you know (and are passionate about) the material that you are presenting to them. They will be much more likely to listen and tune into someone who has the confidence that comes from being well-versed on a certain topic.
Presentation first, PowerPoint SecondThe presentation itself should be the main focus. If all of the information is already up on the screen, then what is the point of the presenter being there. Other than charts, and other media such as images or videos, most of the facts and information should be coming from the presenter; not the slides. The audiences attention should be wholly on the person speaking, not on the screen behind them.
Know Your AudienceWhile developing your presentation, take into consideration who it is that you will be presenting to. The information should be relevant for the crowd that will be viewing it, otherwise you will have a disinterested group of people just watching the minutes pass rather than a bunch of people enthralled by the things that you are saying. Make sure that the topic is not too lofty or too below the audience also.
Know Your MaterialBeing well-versed in a certain subject matter conveys confidence due to the fact that you are incredibly knowledgeable in that field without having to read off of notes or the PowerPoint itself. Spend a substantial amount of time with the material, and the presentation will have a way of simply rolling off the end of your tongue. It will be second nature to you because you have gone over it many times. The audience will pick up on this confidence and be much more likely to take you seriously, and also soak up the points that you are trying to make.
Eye ContactMaintain eye contact with those that you are speaking to. It will go a long way towards making them know that you are passionate about the material you are discussing, confident that you are well versed in it, and will also keep them paying attention. The chances of them walking away from there with a real connection are greatly increased when the presenter engages them throughout the slides.
Body LanguageBody language plays a huge role in getting the audience involved and paying attention to what it is that you are saying. Body language shows that you are passionate about whatever it is that you are talking about, and also the energy that you give off gets transferred out to the audience. If you stand in front of them completely static and not moving your hands, chances are that those viewing you are going to have a negative perception of you as a presenter; whereas if you are moving around and using your hands, they will pick up on that energy and pay more attention to you as a speaker.
Take Home the MessageMake sure that your presentation is not all over the place throughout the whole of it. Every few slides you should relate it back to the main point or message that you are trying to convey to your audience. Establish what exactly you want them to walk away from your talk with, introduce it at the beginning of your PowerPoint, and occasionally bring the discussion back to it so that your audience does not get lost in the material.
Stick to the Key ConceptsKeep your presentation as brief as possible without leaving out any information that you need to get your point across. Some presenters have a bad habit of going on talking for way too long, which quickly loses the interest of the audience. Stick to the main points, without rambling on and on.
Pause Between SlidesPause between slides in order to allow your audience to take in and process the information. If you move too quickly from slide to slide, there’s the chance that some folks will still be thinking about the previous slide as you are trying to present new material to them. Give a short space to breathe between slides and you are much more likely to keep your audience on track from beginning to end.
Ask QuestionsAsking questions throughout your presentation is another way of making sure that the audience is still sticking with you. By asking them, you are encouraging them to relate to the material and think about it thru their own lens. It puts them directly in the situation or environment that you are discussing, and makes the talk as a whole a lot more visceral. A question at the end of the presentation will leave them still thinking about what you were saying long after they stand up and walk out of the room.
Proper PowerPoint Design and Delivery
Proper PowerPoint Design and
By Jason Renfro
What’s your story?
Keep It Simple
Doesn’t get much more basic than…
http://money.howstuffworks.com/business-communications/effective-powerpointpresentations.htm#page=10 “10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations”
http://www.inc.com/ss/5-tips-for-a-great-powerpoint-presentation#0 “5 Tips for a Great
http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/design/ “Top Ten Slide Tips”
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/tips-for-creating-and-delivering-an-effectivepresentation-HA010207864.aspx “Tips for Creating and Delivering an Effective Presentation”
PowerPoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation”
http://www.cob.sjsu.edu/splane_m/presentationtips.htm “PowerPoint Presentation Advice”
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/10-tips-for-more-effective-powerpointpresentations.html “10 Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations”
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.