As anyone who’s done it will tell you, pitching to clients can too often be all miss and no hit. Here, CEO of The Presentation Studio, Emma Bannister (pictured below), offers her tips to ensure your next preso has “winner” and not “snoozer” written all over it…
Ever sat through a presentation bored? Ever presented to an audience who has sat through your presentation bored?
Nothing sends people to sleep faster than screens of text, bullet points or numbers. Yet, unfortunately, that’s the case more times than not.
A powerful presentation is your most valuable business tool. When you create something memorable and meaningful, it inspires your audience to consider the difference between what is their current reality and what it could be with your help.
So you need to learn how to share what you know in way that takes them on the journey with you.
There are three stages to create a powerful presentation: writing, designing and delivering. More importantly, there are three main mistakes that you must avoid.
- WRITING A REPORT
There is a big difference between a presentation and a report – don’t try to present a report. A presentation supports a speaker and what they are saying. The slides are designed to help the audience understand and remember important messages. It uses visuals to evoke emotion, infographics to simplify data or diagrams to explain a process.
A report is a standalone document that has lots of information – facts, stats, data and graphs. This document can be read on its own (like a magazine or brochure). If you present this kind of report on screen, your audience will be confused with the small text and lack of focus. It is a distraction while you are speaking.
Keep it simple, short and only present critical messages on slides, so they support what you are saying not dictate it.
- DESIGNING WITH NO SPACE
Effective design involves much more than making your slides ‘look pretty’. Design carries a professional impression, supports the delivery of your message and makes it easier for your audience to understand your main points.
You need to use white space (negative space) to draw your audience’s eyes to important information. Keeping margins and blocks of white space around text makes it much easier to read.
White space does not actually have to be white! It refers more to the area of design that is empty or not filled with text or images.
Give thought to every element of the presentation to make sure each is contributing to the overall objective. Highlight the most significant bit of information on each slide and remove everything else.
Then think about how you can best visually represent this. Is it a large word, simple icon or a diagram you can use?
- DELIVERING AND NOT SHARING
Your presentation lives on long after the lights go down. Sites like SlideShare, YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn offer a range of ways to connect with an audience far more significant than those in the original room.
Presentations created in PowerPoint can be saved as a video file, uploaded and set to either private or public viewing. The highest resolution possible is 1920 x 1080 with file type options as either .MP4 or .WMV. Adding a voice over is ideal, or download a soundtrack to make it more professional.
PowerPoint can now export videos in 4K resolution, too. Some of our clients love this because it means they can present their looping presentation in higher quality for their 4K displays.
If you don’t share your presentation afterwards, then you’re missing out on a critical opportunity to have more impact with more people.
If, on the other hand, you follow these tips to write, design and deliver your presentation next time, then you are well on your way to a powerful presentation, not a boring one.