Before you start making a presentation, you might have to follow few steps. Write a statement of purpose for the presentation. The statement could be a problem and you can also state the importance of the problem.
You have to collect ample amount of information by conducting secondary or primary research. Information can be your knowledge as well. However, it is important to note down what information you wanted to present.
Once the information is gathered, it is now essential to tell the story in a logical manner. Story boarding helps you engage the audience throughout the presentation. Please avoid detailing unnecessary information and keep your focus on key points or key concepts of the presentation. All key points and key concepts have to be organized grounded on its prominence. Prioritize your points well before the presentation. Keep all your sentences ideally between 10 to 20 words.
Practice makes perfection. Keep practicing and keep reworking on your PPT till you achieve perfection and clarity.
Let’s get into detailed tips of how to prepare your slides.
Preparing the Slides, Images
Use many pictures and decrease the usage of text. According to a recent study, more than 85% of the audience was deeply engaged with the presentations made of pictures. At the same time, only 10% of the audience was engaged in a text intensive presentation. I would even recommend presenting data in an interactive figure or chart rather than a table.
Be Precise: Let’s assume you have 50 slides. The probability of your audience being engaged in all 50 slides is 20%. But the probability of your audience being engaged in 10 slides is more than 60%. Hence it is essential to have fewer powerful slides than having many slides.
If you are developing a company presentation or any corporate presentation, it is vital to have a company’s logo on each slide. It will certainly help the audience for future brand recollection. This could be done by going to slide master and copy pasting your logo to the master slide. You can also combine sections of topics that are similar to create an interest in the audience. Probably you can add these sections back to back in your presentation. It is critical to proof read everything including pictures, charts, numbers, data, format, spacing, and texts.
Working with Texts and Fonts
For subtitles, the suggested font size is26 to 36 bolded. There are many free-for-use fonts on the Internet which can be used. However, it is important to follow global standards, meaning, use only the globally accepted fonts. Sans serif, Times new Roman, Arial are some of the fonts that are widely accepted.
Do not confuse the audience at any situation. Hence I recommend using contrasting colors, either dark on light or light on dark. Also ensure that pictures or graphics or charts are in no way meant to confuse the audience. If you have a method of presenting the information in one of the slide, and if you also have an opportunity to replicate the same slide with varied data, please go ahead and present it.
Your content’s font size should be always easy to view. Therefore, I recommend font size between 14 and 20. In short, you should not distract the audience by either smaller font or larger font size. You have to create the slide readable with powerful keywords. You can also convey your message with the awesome word art in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.
Working with Numbers
The numbers should be formatted so that it should not puzzle the audience. If you have two or more decimal figures, please round them to the nearest hundredth or thousandth or million or billion. Make sure you use the appropriate currencies and with consistency. Also, use only one number in a sentence. This may avoid misperception to the audience and moreover be useful to you for quickly copyediting the presentation. Avoid errors like comparing millions to thousands or hundreds to thousands.
If in any of your presentation, you use sales data, please be consistent on market name being used. For example, domestic market sales, the US market sales, or worldwide sales. Add your sources either in note section or towards the end of presentation along with slide number. This will provide audience extra credibility on the data being used in the presentation. When you cite your sources, make sure you font size is smaller.
You can use the notes section to write down your detailed notes. The note section is printable. It is important to add slide numbers and it is a must to add a title to each slide. A TOC slide is also essential. You can add hyperlinks in the TOC. This will be useful when you distribute the electronic presentation to the audience.
Working with Background Colors
For making your presentation look professional, it is essential to have a consistent background. If it is a corporate presentation, please do not use a dark background. Use light colors that will look professional to the audience. This does not mean you have to use the default color. You can add your own design to your background. If you have a larger presentation, you might need to change the background colors or designs of different topics. This is applicable even if your presentation is large.
You can add a video or an audio clip into your presentation. You can add minimal animation effects without distracting the audience. Sometimes sounds and transition might be annoying to the audience, hence, use it less. And sometimes animation effects can attract and generate interest to the audience. You can also consider using custom animation or animated clipart.
As I told you earlier, practice makes perfection. Practice, practice, and practice. Set your tone when you start your presentation. Please be dressed appropriately based on your audience and location. First things first. Plan to be at the location a few minutes earlier to set up the projector, laptop, or the desktop. Turn off your mobile phones. For gaining confidence of your audience and engaging them throughout the presentation, make handouts and distribute to your audience (most effective technique). Be prepared with at least 15% more handouts. Distribute your handouts to the audience before you start the presentation.
Delivering your Presentation
When you open your presentation, get to the point. Jump right to the problem statement and what the presentation is all about. First impression is the best impression. Always use the opening as an opportunity to generate interest in your audience. Briefly define the problem or the topic you will be presenting. Ensure that you briefly explain your objective of the presentation, idea, problem, or the solution. Always speak clearly, responsibly, and naturally. Moderate your rate of speech to a normal speed. You can repeat critical and key information with a projection of your voice. Pause at instances when you believe you’re audience needs time to think. Please do not read the presentation. Your audience might feel bored or even they can read it faster. Nobody wants to listen to a boring presentation.
To bring your audience into confidence, keep your eye on the audience and avoid artificial gestures. You have to talk your presentation. The objective of you presenting is to make your audience engaged with the message you wanted to deliver. Use all your public speaking skills.
Before you end, briefly summarize the key concepts or the key points. Deliver your conclusion with enthusiasm and confidence with what you wanted your audience to remember. You can also ask questions while concluding your presentation.
Towards the end of the presentation, ask questions, or allow you’re audience to ask questions. You can answer the questions if you have done your research well. If the questions are personal or specific, you can refuse to answer. Set a time for the Q&A session or be specific on the number of questions to be asked.
Now, start to develop and deliver your awesome presentations!