Efficient and outstanding presentations…How? (1st part)
26 steps to create amazing presentations and turn into a strong communicator
Think about it… How many neverending presentations have you attended in your life? How many cluttered PowerPoint with tiny fonts have you suffered? How many lecturers reading their own slides have you seen? But… it’s easy to see the mote in your brother’s eye, isn’t it? What about you? How many presentations have you made? Did you catch your audience’s attention?
Said that, I’d like to help you to reduce the number of yawns whenever you make a public presentation: You have to create something fully engaging and encourage yourself to use some tools and techniques to make a remarkable presentation. Your own distinctive and personal brand is at stake and you have to make it out of your comfort zone.
The Creation Process of a presentation could be split into 3 different steps:
– Preparation: starting point, data collection and overview
– Design and content: contents and container must go together
– Presentation: you are in the spotlight… Your time is now!
We could say that a presentation is nothing more than a social event. You are the protagonist, and you have a certain amount of time to make your (previously segmented) objective audience to listen to your message with a positive attitude. It is therefore a unique opportunity, and you have to try your best and seize it.
We can all recall the advertising and marketing practices from only some decades ago: reasons and rationality were indispensable. Nowadays however, we’re used to a two-way communication: emotional, storytelling and able to make us live new experiences. Then we need to come to a decision: are we going to communicate with emotions and feelings, or are we going to communicate in the old-fashioned way?
In order to make a successful, unforgettable and amusing presentation we need to focus on multiple aspects. Based on my own experience, I have come up with 26 steps that will help you out to develop an efficient public presentation.
1· As Abraham Lincoln used to say: “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”.
2· Begin without the computer, thinking globally, organizing the structure and visualizing what you want to be shown in your presentation.
3· There are some important issues you should take into account:
– How much time do I have? Falling short may seem unprofessional, and overdoing your time may be annoying.
– Who’s my audience? A great percentage of your success depends directly on this issue and therefore you should adapt your presentation to the audience before you.
– How’s going to be my presentation? It is by all means essential for you to know what you are going to talk about and how.
– If they had to remember 2 or 3 concepts, what would they be
4· Guy Kawasaki’s (@GuyKawasaki) 10-20-30 rule. This Marketing guru explains how a successful presentation should never go beyond 10 slides, 20 minutes and a font smaller than 30 points.
5· We remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we listen to and look at, 70% of what we say and 90% of what we do. If we want to be unforgettable, we have to make our audience to take action.
6· An emotional communication will ensure the engagement: data and statistics build trust and credibility.
7· We don’t have only images and text to develop our presentation: we can also use videos, gifs, external contents and interactivity with pop-up windows etc.
8· It is demonstrated that our brain activates with data and reasons, and it lights up as a Christmas tree when we’re listening to stories. Let’s then use more storytelling!
9· Let’s make a Marketing tool out of our presentation, and a personal and distinctive brand for us. How? You just need creativity and added value. Let’s dare to be different!
DESIGN AND CONTENT
10· A neat model of slides will allow a better understanding. A model of slides that changes along with the contents will provide more dynamism and will create bigger expectations.
11· An adequate font is always helpful, but a bad choice in your typeface can ruin your presentation. Therefore, we don’t recommend using something extremely “creative”, but picking up an elegant, simple and readable font. Moreover, avoid handwritten or script typefaces. This way you will always success for sure. And remember: when in doubt, Helvetica : )
12· One slide, one idea, one sentence. Get rid of long paragraphs or texts with small fonts because, doing so, your audience would only focus on reading instead of listening.
13· Fantasy backgrounds (gradients, textures…) are the greatest enemies of easy readings. White backgrounds will always make things easier.
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