But even these are no good if a presenter doesn’t have a grasp of the basics of a great presentation.
And so here we are to let you in on those 10 basics:
Knowing the goal of a presentation is the only way to reach it.
Ask yourself: “What do I want my audience to feel and / or think and / or do at the end of my presentation?” “What do I want them to remember?”
Figure out how to engage your audience.
Ask yourself: “Who will be listening to me, and how can my message make their lives better?” When you do this, you’re putting yourself in that audience and thinking, what would I like to hear? And you will automatically be saying the right things to the right people at the right time.
The first few minutes can make or break a presentation.
As with any first impression, the beginning of a presentation can trigger indifference. So from the moment you open your mouth you need to be saying things that can move a particular audience and make them want to know what’s coming next.
Tell a story. People like stories.
We’re all more receptive to stories than to numbing cascades of facts and numbers. So engage an audience with a story that will move them and make them feel connected to you. Be particular. Telling a war story to a group of women executives probably won’t move the needle. The story needs to fit the profile of the people who will be listening to it.
There is no right or wrong number of slides.
First of all, the number of slides used has nothing to do with the time a presentation takes. This actually depends on how long a presenter stays with each slide. So that famous 1-slide-per-minute rule can be wrong for most presenters and presentations. Just use what you need to get your messages across, show and tell – and move on.
Neutral slide background = better visual impact.
Avoid using visual elements in the backgrounds of your slides. They’ll only create “noise” and distract from the presentation. We recommend homogeneous slide backgrounds – plain and simple – and, if possible, backgrounds without texture. This way the important content of a slide is highlighted.
Typefaces convey messages.
When the right font is used in the right situation, it can enhance and strengthen a message and convey the right tone. So those cute curlicue fonts are probably no good for a serious corporate presentation. And boring block letters are probably no good for something fun, like, say, a music video.
Stop being afraid to just get up and talk.
To fight a fear of speaking in public, look at that dreaded presentation as an opportunity. An opportunity to inspire, impress, teach. The more prepared you are, the more you know what you want the audience to think and feel, the better you will do. So rehearse that presentation until it’s second nature, then get up there and take a deep breath. If you just breathe slow and easy, your body can help with the rest.
And there you are.
8 simple suggestions for a great presentation outcome.