|Over the years I have attended more than my fair share of presentations and I have certainly given more than my fair share. Always, in addition to hearing from speakers and learning from what they have to say, I am always on the lookout for presentation tips and techniques.
Many people may think that good presenters were just born that way or are naturals, but I have found that not to be the case. Like with any craft, being good takes planning and practice. And in the case of giving a good presentation, it can also take having a good command and repertoire of some of the common and effective tips and techniques. So today, we have amassed a list of tips, ten altogether, for giving PowerPoint presentations.
- Simple Design: Keep the design of your PowerPoint presentation very basic and simple. Decorate sparingly, but beautifully. You want the information to jump off the page, not the design.
- Consistent Appearance: Have a consistent appearance throughout your presentation. Use the same font style and sizes throughout your presentation. Use color in a consistent way that adds meaning and fosters organization to your content. A poor choice of font styles, sizes, and colors can ruin an otherwise good presentation.
- Use of Contrast: Use contrast to help your audience easily view your presentation. Black text on a white background is great contrast and prints well, but also a boring choice. Experiment with colors to find the contrast of background and text that you like remember first and foremost that you don't want your audience to have to strain to guess what is on your slide.
- Apply Brilliance: Carefully select your colors to bring out your message. Using too many colors will weaken the color effect. Seek to match a few colors for design and then use good contrast to highlight your message. The combination of a few colors and contrast will produce brilliance and will be very pleasing on the eyes of your audience.
- KISS: We all are familiar with the term Keep It Simple, Stupid. A good rule to remember is that your slides are only there to support your talk, not to replace it. Be sure to tell your story and in your own words. Use slides to emphasize key points. If you read your slides, you may run the risk of putting your audience to sleep.
- Aha Message: In your presentation, make your message an aha message. This is not just a summary of your data or summary of your story, but an epiphany for your audience that is memorable.\
- Use Images: Use more images than text, but don't over decorate. A great image will convey not just words, but thoughts and emotions. Use images to visualize and explain your point.
- Don’t Be Foolish: Be mindful that your audience defines the content and context of your presentation. Use humor to complement your message as appropriate, but don't go overboard with it. The last thing you want is for your audience to remember your humor but not your message.
- Remember Your Audience: Always keep your audience in mind. Seek to understand what they know, what they need you to tell them, what they expect from you, what will help keep them focused on your presentation and message. If you lose sight of your audience, no amount of creative design, animation, and colors will bring them back.
- Practice: Years back, my high school golf coach would plead with me to practice like I play and play like I practice. This would be sage advice for giving presentations, especially to the executive team. Know you material inside and out. Practice giving your presentation and then give it with the same confidence, comfort, and control of your practice. Don't allow yourself to be unprepared to give your pitch.