Each presentation is a very unique combination of audience and presenter style, content, length and need for more or less visual support. But, despite of its uniqueness, you need to pay attention to certain universal aspects and requirements that will make your presentation stand out and will help you become a Presentation Pro.
So in this blog we’ve assembled the nine golden rules of presentation development, to help you reach Pro status.
1 – Know your audience inside-out.
Study your audience in advance. Know everything about them: ages, tastes, education, background, profession… and specially what they expect from your presentation.
Remember: If you don’t know your audience, you’ll never be able to connect with them.
2 – Identify your main message.
Your main message is the reason you’re preparing a certain presentation. What is the only thing you’ll want your audience to remember two months after this specific presentation? This is your main message. It needs to be clear, concise and easy to remember.
For example: usually the goal of a first sales presentation is NOT to sell, but to make a good impression and to schedule a second meeting. So, the script should be driven by the real goal of your presentation.
Remember: To state your main message you need only 1 minute.
3 – Create or recall a story to frame your main message.
Your story needs to have 3 acts: Introduction – to capture attention; Development – it’s the core of the presentation, where all the messages, problems and benefits are explained; and Conclusion – recalls the climax, draws a conclusion that reinforces the main message, and states the call to action.
Remember: To have a good story you need a good plot.
4 – Use a visual metaphor to illustrate your main message.
Now that you know your audience and you have a strong main message and a story to frame it, think of a visual metaphor that will perfectly illustrate your main message. The goal of this visual metaphor is to create a shortcut to understanding, simplifying what sometimes is complex.
Remember: Find the perfect visual match for your main message.
5 – Use only 3 or 4 colors that complement each other.
When choosing your colors, make sure they reflect the mood of your story and your visual metaphor. For example: If your visual metaphor is about sailing, you should probably choose blues or greens.
Remember: Color also conveys feelings.
6 – Choose one or two fonts that are easy to read.
You don’t have to stick to the same fonts all the time. Just as colors convey feelings, so do fonts. So again, choose your font based on your story and visual metaphor. There are many web sites that offer different fonts, like: http://www.1001freefonts.com/
Remember: People in the last row should be able to read clearly.
7 – Keep your slides as clean as possible.
Use one strong phrase and one strong image per slide. This doesn’t mean you can’t use more text or images, but it’s a rule you should try to follow. Align all the elements in your slides using the PowerPoint gridlines to help you.
Remember: Clean, simple but impactful.
8 – Use only quality images.
Each slide has a message, and that should be represented with a good-quality image. You can find Royalty-Free images on many sites, like: www.Istockphoto.com. Always look for 3-D images – they’re better.
Remember: Clipart pictures will always look awful.
9 – Be careful with animations.
The main goal of animation is to facilitate understanding. An animation should guide the audience’s eyes as to where to look first, second, etc. So, keep your animations simple and easy to follow.
Remember: Don’t be tempted to animate every element of a slide. It may get in the way of the main message.
You may also want to take a look at our Ipad App: Presenter Pro to learn more about this world of business presentations.
In case you missed it:
1 – Know your audience inside out / 2 – Identify your main message / 3 – Create or recall a story to frame your main message / 4 – Use a visual metaphor to illustrate your main message / 5 – Use only 3 or 4 colors that go together / 6 – Choose one or two easy-to-read fonts / 7 – Keep your slides as clean as possible / 8 – Use only quality images / 9 – Be careful with animations.