Rehearse your report in front of the mirror
When it comes to PowerPoint presentation here is what generally happens, especially when you are a beginner:
- You spend way too much time preparing your PP presentation online
- You forget that you actually need to talk to an audience and make it effortless, comprehensible and even interesting.
The best way for you to start learning about how to actually present to an audience is to rehearse.
Why rehearsal is important:
- Most of us are not natural born presenters. And in order to learn to effortlessly present you need to get used to hearing your voice.
- Next to hearing your voice, you also must pay attention to your body language, posture and gestures. The only effective way to do that is to rehearse in front of a mirror.
This exercise actually will help you feel more comfortable and to fight your shyness or anxiety too.
Read carefully your presentation
Proofreading your presentation before it’s actually shown to the audience (and to your bosses) is essential. Here are a few reasons why:
- What looks and sounds good for you may not look or sound cool for someone else.
- The images or the wording may not have the proper format: but when we tend to overwork on a task we become blind to seeing these errors. That’s why it’s so important for your colleagues or friends to overview your presentations.
- Proofreading is also great to filter out all the grammar and style related errors in a presentation
- More eyes see more: it’s always great to learn others’ opinion, after all you have composed the presentation for an audience. You need to know what they think before actually presenting it.
Pay attention to your breathing during the performance
There are several things you need to learn about the art of presenting to an audience. Let’s enlist there this time around. In the same time, let’s ensure you that all this can be learned when exercised, rehearsed enough times.
- Body language: it’s essential for you to learn how to stand properly and where to keep your hands while talking. Rehearse in front of a mirror or to record your presentation then correct your mistakes accordingly.
- Intonation: you can learn the proper intonation which means when you have something important to say, when you want your audience to feel certain emotions and also if you want them to surely remember of what you have to say.
Breathing while talking: When we are beginners we tend to get to talk up until the point we are out of breath. Learn to control your breathing and always take time to breath after each sentence.
One slide - one image
Images are fun to use but let’s use some of the following guidelines when we are using one.
- No matter if it’s a photo or a different sort of an image only use one per slide
- Remember people are to view your slide from afar too. Using more images on one slide would make the slide confusing and useless per se
- Using more than one image on one slide is highly unprofessional
- Make sure the image you are to use is easy to view even from further and easy to comprehend to.
- In addition to this, your image should always make sense with respect to your presentation.
One item - one slide
When we think about presentation we tend to want to share all too much on one slide. Let’s avoid so by following these simple guideline
- Make sure you comprehend to what your presentation is all about. It is just an aid supporting what you have to say.
- It is way easier to make one slide per topic then trying to include more topics on one slide
- Avoid the overuse of bullet points – they are boring.
- Stick with as less text as possible per slide.
Remember, PowerPoint is an aid, it’s like a background for your verbal presentation, so you can’t rely on it all too much. Use it as a help and not as a crutch.
Observe ten minutes rule
The ten minute rule was created to make presentations more successful and more memorable. Let’s tell you what this is all about:
- Studies show that due to the negative effects of one-sided presentations (back at school for instance) the audience generally tunes out after trying to pay attention in the first 10 minutes.
- Therefore you need to be the coach during the presentation and bring the attention back without giving a hint that you are aware most people are on their phones already.
- To achieve regaining attention use one or more of these tricks every ten minutes:
- Engage your audience: play a short guessing game ( about an image, a data-point or anything with relation to your presentation)
- Show the audience something funny: let that be a gif or a video
- Do a live demonstration
All in all do your best to re-engage audience every ten minutes.
Make the presentation understandable to those to whom you will tell it
This is clear and simple. Even if your presentation is a professional one, which includes the usage of profession specific or company specific terms, words and abbreviations, always make sure your presentation is clearly understandable:
- You need to get back to basics: use basic looks, simple language, words, headlines and other aids to your verbal presentation.
- Don’t ever want to get lost in the realms of professional language because in the end everyone will feel confused.
- Always stay on the safe side and if you use professional wording be absolutely aware on what it means and how to use it.
- Be ready to give a proper explanation on each term you are using during your presentation
Make the audience feel their
This simply means that you should try to generate certain emotions throughout your presentation in order for the audience to be more receptive for your topic and arguments. How to do this in the professional way? Let’s see some of the best methods:
- Make your presentation the least boring possible. It’s challenging but pays off. Use great quality photos, powerful phrases, mantras which elicit deep thoughts
- Use media to your advantage. Use gifs, use videos in order to support your arguments or your topic.
Do not talk all too much. Be brief, plain and simple and make sure everyone gets your points
Make sure that your text is large enough
People often go wrong as to what a PowerPoint presentation is for. Let’s provide you with a few key rules about presentation text, its size and its content.
- Ensure your text is large and legible enough: you can easily test this by standing further from the presentation and check whether you can still clearly see and comprehend to the content
- The slides are rather attention callers than actual content providers therefore their text is meant to be larger than the average text.
- Do not use Caps Lock to further grow your text size unless you really want to call attention to something. Words written with capital letters only are harder and more tiring to read.
Make a presentation is not in the PowerPoint, so different from the rest
When it comes to presenting, we tend to use PowerPoint by default. But there are so many other ways to prepare a presentation for an audience. Let’s see some of the alternate ways:
- PowerPoint is primarily devised as a help for the presenter. The more professional the presenter, the less he/she needs PowerPoint as an aid.
- If you check out videos of life coaches or other seasoned presenters, you will quickly realize that they don’t use PowerPoint at all. They use whiteboards, they may show you charts, they demonstrate examples to you and engage audience, all without the use of PowerPoint.
Therefore if you feel you’ve reached the point that you are confident enough not needing PowerPoint as a crutch you can freely leave it behind.
Make a plan for your presentation
When it comes to making a PowerPoint presentation you need to perform the following steps:
- Find the exact topic
- Make a rough plan
- Start structuring it down to sections
- Start thinking about how you are to actually verbally present your topic
- Make slides and try to present them. If you cannot achieve a certain fluidity when you switch the slides, then you need to review your content
- Re-plan and re-structure until you get the best possible structure and presentation plan.
- Have someone proofread your presentation
After you are done it’s time to start rehearsing for you to see how you are to talk about your topic. This will instantly cause tons of corrections and reediting of your slides too. The key is to stay patient until you feel your presentation both written and spoken will work.
Learn to speak from the stage
All the professional presenters who make it look easy, spent years exercising how to effectively speak to a live audience, how to engage them, how to entertain them. Here is your action plan:
- Check out courses online or offline where you can learn more about how to act on a stage and how to talk to the audience
- Many professionals actually enrol in acting courses in order to exercise and to fight all possible anxiety issues. Check if you have anything similar in your area.
Try to rehearse at home in front of a mirror or in front of your family. It’s extremely important for you to learn to speak to others effortlessly.
Learn from others how they make presentations in PowerPoint
The best possible way to exercise presenting? Learning from others. Making a good, effective presentation is no rocket science but you need a few clues to grab the more important characteristics a presentation should have. Let’s see how the best way for you to learn from others is.
- Watch videos of others presenting with the help of PowerPoint
- Download or simply check out presentations which you find in connection with your topic online. We guarantee there will be tons of these available.
- Go through at least ten different presentations then start with the structuring and planning of your own.
- Do not work with pre-defined templates, always create your own.
Do not ever steel content from other presentations.
Keep the contrast of text and background
Contrast is always essential as people may view your presentation from afar and they need to be able to very well differentiate between the various texts, tables and the background. However, there are some key rules to stick to:
- Don’t go overload on contrast – avoid contrasting colors which are on opposite sides of the standard color-wheel.
- Avoid contrasting bright green and red too much: they are disturbing for the eyes and they are the most common colors people tend to be colorblind to.
- If you want to stay on the safe site go for a white or neutral-shade background and choose a shade which is clearly legible even from afar.
- Statistically green and blue are the safest colors to use, their best contrast is white or light-beige.
It is important to observe uniformity in design
What does the upper sentence exactly mean? It means that once you devise a certain slide style or design as a frame for your content, you will need to stick with that, this or that way. Why is this important? Let’s get to teach you some of the key reasons:
- Uniformity is what makes the presentation a whole. It’s the frame of the whole presentation, it’s like a signature dress or a color that signifies you.
- We can often get attracted to various designs but using all sorts of different designs during one presentation will make it look childish and unprofessional the very least.
- Uniformity also means to stick with the same of the below characteristics as much as possible:
- Slide style
Invite others to participate in your presentation
Why it’s good to invite others to complement your presentation? Here are a few reasons for it:
- It’s a great way to wake the audience up a fresh face will always generate more attention
- It’s way easier to make a presentation with someone else than alone
- It’s much more fun to present alongside someone
However if you want to look professional, you need to make sure you do the rehearsal with that person, in order to make sure the two of you complement each other the best way possible. Remember presentation takes some serious acting/presenting skills. You need to exercise a lot before you will be able to fully bring it on on the stage.
Important elements on the slides should not be too small
There is one key rule to a PowerPoint presentation. It’s that nothing should be small. Let’s see the key reasons why:
- Slides are made to contain key information, pictures or images always use one per page for the sake of perception.
- You need to use big fonts, large images and also large design elements so that they can be perfectly perceived and comprehended to even from afar.
- Remember, you are sitting in front of your presentation but ultimately you are doing it to present it to an audience who will view it from further away. Make sure everything stays as visible as possible.
If you do not know how to make a presentation, the best thing is to leave a white background and a black font
Remember if unsure always stick with the basic way. But it’s not the only reason why you should go for the black and white:
- We live in a minimalistic age: now people like everything simple and clear. The black and white is back in trend for this reason.
- If it not the effects and the colours which we use to call to action or to generate attention. There are so many alternate ways to go around that: think of the various multimedia tools you can use during your presentation.
Black letters on a white background is the most visible combination even from afar.
If you are talking about a problem, then by the next slide, give the solution to the problem
There is a clear cut way of bring up arguments during a presentation and it gives you great possibilities when you do so. Let’s see how:
- Start with a question or with an argument on a given slide.
- It’s high time to get your audience involved: ask them to reply to the question asked or to tell their opinion on the given argument. This is a great way to attract attention and to wake the audience up.
- And when all is done bring in the next slide which contains the target words for the solution which you are to further elaborate verbally.
- This is a great way to effectively discuss arguments, questions and to make the audience feel that they are part of your presentation as active participants not only as viewers
Identify the key idea of the presentation
Find what you want to talk about. This of course can be challenging, therefore you may need to have some preparations before starting up with your first presentation. Here’s a few steps on what you should do for start:
- Learn more about how to present and how to use PowerPoint as a tool to help you with your presentation. There are several online courses to help you with that.
- Find what you want to talk about. This is either a task or an individual plan. Either way if you have the topic, you are very close to getting the key idea of your presentation.
- Check for presentations in similar topics and learn more about the methodology of formatting a presentation