The presentation should have a start, culmination and a final
Why it’s important for a presentation to be clearly segmented? Let’s learn more about it this time around:
- As every story, happening in our lives, everything should have a proper storyline and there is no storyline without a proper start, a culmination and a finish. That’s how we are programmed and that’s also how we best comprehend to everything happening around us. And presentations are no exceptions from this.
- This doesn’t mean you cannot find a surprising start to your presentation, the main idea is, that it has to eventually have a logical start somewhere a storyline to develop until the end.
- As everything should have a proper start, your presentation should also have a proper finish. This should generally include a final verdict and a call to action.
These are the three segments which make your presentation really feel as a whole.
The presentation should carry the most basic information
When it comes to PowerPoint presentation follow these rules to look and sound professional:
- You need to present the core information in such a way, that it’s understandable, clear and simple.
- Do not include too much text on the slides: use target words, titles, headlines or short phrases. The rest you need to tell your audience your own way.
- Try your best to keep your presentation simple and as short as possible: do not fall in the trap of getting all too detailed. That’s why proofreading is so important.
- Include only what’s necessary to be featured in a text format call for action, to call attention.
Do not overdose on charts and statistics. That sort of data is only effective when it’s only a few of it.
The font must be readable
No matter what font you are using for your presentation you need to make sure the font has the below characteristics:
- Legibility – the font has to be legible even from afar or when the size of the presentation is has been enlarged and presented to an audience which views the whole from a few or more meters away.
- Clearness – go for a font which is free of any unnecessary decorations or writing style because no matter how good these look, they are very hard to read even for the average reader.
- When it comes to choosing the best compatible font always test it on yourself: do you get tired when reading the presentation for over 5 minutes? Can you see the fonts clearly or are they blurred?
It’s vital to make your presentation as easy and effortless to read as possible.
The first slide - the topic of the report and information about you
The first slide of your presentation should have the following attributes:
- Table of contents: this is where you have the core of your presentation and this is the only list which is allowed to be used in a presentation.
- You will need to be able to tell the table of content to your audience in order for them to be aware of your topic, the exact points you are to discuss and the arguments you are to raise.
Make sure the table of content is clear, simple and not over-detailed.
The facts will not be boring if we present them in the form of infographics
Let’s get one thing clear: presentations are boring by default. This means, it’s on you to make them less boring. And you can perfectly work with infographics to make your presentation all the more interesting. Let’s see why infographics are good in presentations:
- Because visual information is more comprehensive than text
- Did you know that people actually understand an infographic way faster than a text?
- An infographic can overly expressive and in the same time it saves you tons of time by not having to write down, bullet and explain text to your audience
- Websites and blogs using infographics are way more popular than those who don’t.
- You can educate and entertain with infographics in the same time
The audience's attention should be mostly focused on you, not on Power Point
Here is a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to any presentation.
- PowerPoint presentation is never the core and it’s far from being the most important aspect of your presentation.
- Your written presentation only serves as an aid, to support your presentation not to actually do it instead of you. It’s a rookie mistake to use it for that reason and it’s completely wrong.
- You are in charge of the presentation. If you need your audience to pay attention to the slide you are to present make them pay attention on it the proper way. Every other times, the audience should focus on you instead of your slides.
Thank people for questions after the presentation
When you are to present anything to a live audience it’s always essential to stay polite and to show your appreciation to your audience. Let’s show you a couple of ways to achieve that:
- Thank people for coming after your presentation. It’s not necessary to do so at the start but it’s totally up to you. Better thank more than less times.
- Always stay kind and address all questions or attempts to questions in the correct way.
- Stay polite but do not let your audience rule you. If you want the questions to come after your presentation, just make sure you kindly let your audience be aware of it.
Text and pictures must be aligned
Although most of us feel the urge to stack our presentations with interesting and fun images here are a few guidelines to follow before doing so:
- If you are to use pictures use them as big as possible so that they can be easily seen
- When you use a picture or photo on a slide, make sure only to include the minimum amount of text with it.
- The text should be aligned with the photo or should be edited to be within the picture (whereas part of the photo serves as the actual background) this way it looks modern and classy.
Talk to the audience to keep their attention
Monologues are organic part of any presentation. But it doesn’t mean you need to stick with it. Here’s a few tricks how to break the monotony:
- Engage your audience by asking them questions
- Try to make your audience feel that you are talking to them and not above their head. You can also maintain eye contact with a given number of people while talking ( if you are a beginner, you need to be careful with this, not to distract yourself all too much)
- Involving the audience in presentation requires professional presentation skills. Rehearse, exercise and check out the presentations of professionals to see how they do it and gain experience before you can confidently start with this technique.
Take yourself to the camera and watch how you tell the presentation
Once you tried to rehearse your presentation either in front of a mirror or to family members, friends of colleagues, another hard test is here for you to try: to record your presentation with your phone, then watch back, find all the faults with it then record it again.
- The good thing about this method is that it is actually free
- The bad thing about this is, that you must stay strong and not be too hard criticising yourself.
- Focus on correcting the key issues with your verbal presentation and posture first, then go on to concentrate on the rest.
- This form of rehearsal combined with the mirror –rehearsal method can actually bring very good results in actually gaining a presentation technique.
Take care of good physical fitness before the performance
Contrary to what you may believe, presenting in front of an audience, acting on a stage where everything needs to be carefully planned and structured, takes toll on your body. Here is a few tips for you to try if you plan to become a professional presenter:
- You need to find a hobby where you are moving, either in a gym or out in the nature
- If you feel you lack the proper discipline and you are not too trained hire a personal trainer to help you. They will make sure you are on point and will also prepare a customized fitness and nutrition plan for you.
- Always make sure you get enough sleep and rest before going on to present to an audience
- Learn about meditation, clear your mind, don’t let anything distract you from your presentation.
Study the presentations of Steve Jobs
When it comes to real professional presenters, there are few people who did they job better than Steve Jobs, the brain of Apple Inc. today’s largest IT and telecommunications company. Let’s give you some clue as to why it would be so essential for you to check him out on the internet:
- It’s not about what he says, it’s how he says it.
- Check for the body language
- See how effective you can work with using the proper intonation of what you are to say
- Learn how to get your audience engaged and pay attention to you
And in the end, learn how to think out of the box. As the founder of the iPhone we believe there is not many people who could prove to be a better example for that.
How can you speak specifically during a presentation? It is easy. Here is the key ways to achieve it.
- Focus on the main topic and the key subject you want to discuss.
- Do not let anything to distract you. There are always some people who would like to ask questions and this generally has a disrupting effect on the presenters, but do not let this happen to you. Carry on and focus on what you must talk about.
- Have a good powerful structuring. This way both you and the audience will surely know each stage and sub-topic which you are to include, all in connection with the key content of your presentation.
Simplify, simplify, and simplify again
When we are newbies in terms of presentations and learning presentation skills both on and offline there are some very important guidelines to stick to. Let’s see some of these:
- Beginners have the urge to complicate things. That’s why after you are done with the first structure give it some time then get back to it.
- Learn from the professionals: check out other presentations which have similar topic or structuring to yours. Check out the points where it differs and why.
- Get back to your own presentation and look for ways to simply it. People prefer the basics and the slides should only support your verbal presentation, they are not there to “tell” it instead of you.
Select statistics, if available
The use of statistics is almost compulsory when it comes to professional presentations. But follow the below guidelines to make sure, they complement your presentation instead of distracting it:
- Use statistics in a clearly visible format. Word and Excel is full of templates which look good and are visible on a slide.
- Use data which is easy to comprehend to and which has a clear and direct connection with what you are to say.
- Do your best for all the numbers and letters to be comprehensive even from afar.
Make sure you don’t overuse statistics one or two of them is more than enough.
Remove unnecessary sounds and effects
Let’s be honest, all the clipart tools of PowerPoint are not in use any longer. Let’s see some of the key reasons why that is.
- Clipart, sound effects and all the rest are highly untrendy today. They are very Nineties. They are boring and therefore you should steer clear from them all in all.
- Sound effects are highly distracting.
- Even if you want to call attention back, using sounds, especially particular high pitched ones will not work in your favour. Most people find sound effects disturbing.
- The same goes for all the old time effects which made PowerPoint so popular about twenty years ago. Leave them in the past, stay clear, basic and maintain a pure, minimalist and professional look in your presentation.
Remove all unnecessary
Creating a presentation all at once then leaving as it is is a myth: it’s physically not possible. There are various reasons why you need to review and proofread your presentation multiple times. Here’s why:
- When we are beginners we tend to get carried away: too many slides, too many images, too many unnecessary icons.
- Ask a friend or colleague to proofread your presentation to make sure no grammar errors stay in it.
- Give it some time, then get back to it with a fresh mind and be ruthless: cut it down as much as you can. You are to talk and not about to read your presentation.
This is the best approach for you to get rid of anything and everything which should not be part of your presentation.
Remember the rule 10/20/30
We have previously discussed that a presentation should keep with the topic, should be basic yet fully informative and that it should be kept within certain limits. There is no rule better to help you actually exercise these basics than the role of 10/20/30. Let’s see what this is all about:
- 10 stands for the number of slides to be used: try to keep your content down to 10 slides. Remember you are not to write on the slides only include keywords to aid your verbal presentation.
- 20 stands for the actual duration of a presentation: the shorter is the sweeter. Although ten minutes would be way too short, it’s best to keep a presentation under twenty minutes. Anything above that and the audience will likely tune out once and for all.
- 30 refers to the minimum font size on a slide. In order for your fonts to be real visible you need to keep them big enough at all times.
Remember, you can add a video to the presentation
There are so many alternate ways these days you can use to spice up your presentation. Although the good old ClipArt days are gone, there are alrernate methods which you can use to your advantage in a presentation.
Why it’s good to use videos in a presentation?
Remember the 10 minute rule? If you want attention to get back on you you need to come up with something that’s engaging. Videos are a great tool to support your argument, to help with your presentation and to demonstate anything you would like to demonstrate. Make sure you find the proper tools to properly embed the video in the presentation though.
Remember, in the presentation you can add GIF animation
When it comes to PowerPoint presentations there are trendy and untrendy ways to try to spice up a presentation. Let’s see which ways to steer clear from and what to implement to make it all the more interesting:
- Use various multimedia tools to make your presentation all the more interesting.
- Embed videos, either one done by you or one which supports or connects with the leading topic of your presentation in some definite way.
- If you want to have a surprising call to action effect then use a GIF. They work perfectly if you use them as a form of a break or at the end of your presentation.
Try Tumblr to Google search for funny GIFs which you can use in your presentation