Power point presentation pizzazz


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Power point presentation pizzazz

  1. 1. PowerPoint Presentation Pizzazz By Chelse Benham "Begin at the beginning" the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end; then stop." Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll Presentations are a staple in the business world. Presentations come in nearly as many forms as there are life situations. In the business world, there are sales presentations, informational and motivational presentations, first encounters, interviews, briefings, status reports, image-building and training sessions. Presentations can also be categorized as professional and non-professional. In addition, they are expository or persuasive. And they can be impromptu, extemporaneous, written or memorized. “You have to make a lot of presentations out in the business world and in life. The number one piece of advice to remember is the presentation is a backup,” said Lourdes Servantes, placement specialist at The University of Texas-Pan American’s Career Placement Services Office. “Many people try to use the presentation to take the attention off of them and forget they should be the focus of the information.” At feedback@presentationhelper.co.uk some expert PowerPoint ideas are offered that could make your next presentation exciting. Every presentation has a beginning, middle and an end. It may seem obvious but if you follow this approach it should make your presentation more thorough and concise. A clear message is an understood and memorable message. Starting a presentation - This is the most important part of the presentation and serves two main purposes: 1. to state your thesis: What is the point of the presentation? And, 2. to tell your audience what the presentation will prove or accomplish. There are a few options when starting your presentation. You can begin with any of the following: - A funny story (if humor is your thing - but avoid religious, sexual, sexist or racist jokes) - A video clip, but if you use one, make sure that it is less than 60 seconds - Unusual statistics about your industry or about your audience - A cartoon - Suspense (e.g. walk on with a cardboard box and place it in the middle of the stage - but don't tell people what it is there for until the end of presentation when you finally disclose its purpose)
  2. 2. The middle of a presentation - A good presentation technique is the rule of three. The rule of three is based on the technique that people tend to remember three things. In oratory it comes up all the time. Here are some examples: "Friends, Romans, countrymen," "The good, the bad and the ugly" and "Blood, sweat and tears." Think if there are only three points that you would like to leave your audience with, what would they be? There you have the middle of the presentation. All you now have to do is to think of ways of illustrating these points and then you have the bulk of the structure of the presentation. The end of the presentation - The end is more important than the beginning. People remember the last thing that they are told. This particularly applies to lists. So the ending of the presentation is important. Come full circle by restating your thesis, recap on the three main concepts that you have put forward in the middle section and state your solution. Leave your audience with a “call to action.” Visual presentations are great – they are one of the best kept secrets in the business world. PowerPoint can be a very powerful tool and one of the best ways to convey your ideas and to convince your audience. However, there are a number of traps that people fall into. At www.bitbetter.com some of the deadliest sins of power point presentations are listed. Here are just a few: • Using bullet points. Lots of presentations use bullet points. While they are fast and easy to use, they are a poor way of getting your message across. According to research carried out at UCLA, a visual presentation is five times more likely to be remembered after three days than a presentation using just bullet points. Also, make each bullet point appear individually. You don’t want your audience to read ahead of you. • Using Clip Art. It’s an idea behind its time. Clip Art used to be a great way of making a presentation visual now looks very dated compared to a color photograph. • Grainy pictures. A lot of visual presentations are let down by the use of grainy images. Generally images taken from a web page and increased in size look grainy. The problem is that since they were saved as small files to make them load quickly, they do not enlarge well. • Copyright theft. It’s so easy and so tempting just to lift an image off the web. But you must obtain the permission of the copyright owner before you can use any image. Often this is obtained simply by sending an email to the web master. If you don’t, you could easily end up with legal proceedings against you. • Images purely for decoration. A picture is worth a thousand words. So why would you slap down any old image just to fill up a bit of space? The image should help to tell your story. • Video clips that are too long. It is very tempting to add in a video clip into a presentation. The difficulty is that an audience’s attention span
  3. 3. when watching a video is very short. The audience will typically start to get twitchy after around 60 seconds and start to switch off after two minutes. Now that you know the deadliest sins, feedback@presentationhelper.co.uk offers some tips to improve your presentation. • Add in pictures. Nothing improves a presentation like the addition of pictures. According to research of information that we receive during a presentation 55 percent is visual. Use pictures that relate to your presentation. These can be scanned in or found online. • Use the right fonts. Verdana is a great title font. Arial or Tahoma are very clear for use in presentations. Comic MS can work if you want to be lighthearted, but can show signs of insecurity. Avoid Times New Roman - this is best for print. • Start your presentation with a quotation. You can find lots of quotations on the Internet. • Produce an unusual statistic. It could help build some connection with the audience. For instance, 93.7 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. Be sure to quote your reference. • Avoid the jargon. Don’t use expressions or acronyms that aren’t widely accepted. • Involve the audience. Make the presentation interactive - if you can. Remember the motto: "Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand". • KISS. No - not kiss the audience - Keep It Simple Stupid. Reduce your presentation to simple concepts and your audience should be able to follow you. • Don't use PowerPoint sound effects. It may seem funny to have applause at the end of a slide, or a screeching sound for a new bullet point, but it will get old very quickly. • Check out the room before your presentation. Make sure the room has everything that you need and make sure the presentation works on the screen. • Have a back up plan. If you have your presentation on a laptop, back it up on a CD ROM and carry a hard copy with you. Take a spare power lead. Plan what to do if the projector breaks down. • Check your appearance. You will be on display. Your audience will be looking at how well you are dressed. Take a spare tie or pantyhose. You don't want a gravy spot on your tie or a run in your hose that will cause you to be self-conscious before you speak. • The eyes have it. Maintain good eye contact with the audience. Don't keep contact with only one group of the audience. Spread your attention around the room. • No-one ever complained of a presentation being too short. Long presentations can turn the audience off. Keep it short and concise.
  4. 4. • Always leave handouts. You have gone to a lot of effort to produce your presentation. Leaving handouts will reinforce your messages, and will help them to remember your presentation when they look at them again. Always include your contact details so that the audience can contact you. • Memorize your speech. Do not read from your notes, unless you have frozen or not prepared. It will sound flat and stilted. If you have learned your speech it will sound natural and you will even have the chance to ad lib, if the opportunity arises. • If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. This is one of the biggest mistakes. People think that they can "wing it", but in reality those who appear to be "winging it" are often very well prepared. Off the cuff should mean well planned. “It takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” - Mark Twain. .