Powerpoint isn’t an ugly word. Part 1

Powerpoint or slide presentations. Generally speaking, no one likes them.
It doesn’t matter what presentation software you use, a good presentation can be a big asset if it’s designed right. The problem is, they seldom are.

The Basic Principle

A presentation should support your concept or message. Not replace you.
Too many have content that is like a teleprompter, giving cues to the presenter. No one wants to sit through these types of presentations, it’s a quick way to lose your audience. If your slideshow can be read without you even there, it’s better sent as a document with a request for a follow up or used as a precursor to a meeting. The client or staff will thank you for this consideration.

Instead, a presentation  should be used as a tool to support you the speaker. Think of the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, the whole thing was a slide show. No one seemed to really notice because it was used to illustrate points the presenter, Al Gore, was making. Anyone can do this, it just takes proper planning.

Here are the first 4 steps to ensure you are on the right track.

When considering CONTENT

1. Customize your presentations to the audience: Is for clients, investors, or your staff? Consider what kind of relationship you want to have with the viewers? A consultant, a go to person, a support person..? Gear your message to convey that.

2. Know the needs of your viewers/audience: Write them down in a list and begin to structure a presentation that addresses them.

HOW to plan out your presentation

3. Show ideas, not slides. Use the slides to show the concepts/ideas of your services by using diagrams and images. People can’t really read text and listen to you at the same time. So use the slides to illustrate your points. Highlight what’s important, keep it to the point.

4. Show your personality: It’s important to come across as authentic. You are your brand, therefore you need to sit down and figure out what your language is going to be: proactive, supporting provider, partner? Figure out what impression you want to leave with them once you’ve left the room, and then integrate it into your wording and language as you are presenting.

Having these bones of the presentation worked out in advance, will ensure that what you present will be effective.

See my next post for presentation design tips 5 and 6.

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