Whenever we talk about a Great Presentation, our mind starts popping out words like, effective, concise, powerful, interesting, lively and many more. This is true but very few people actually know how to do it. Your Presentation, be it a sales presentation, a personality development seminar or any other subject; don’t just prepare it for the sake of modern presentation styles, prepare your presentation with its own personality and make it stand out.
Sure we all talk about how to make our presentation mesmerizing, by adding flavors of humor, maintaining eye contact with audience, answering questions aptly etc. etc. This is important, but what about your backup? That’s your presentation slides, we all believe that we are the presenters not the presentation, then why do we need a presentation at all? A great presentation happens when it’s balanced with smartly designed Slides and perfect delivering skills. So, let’s have a look at some design elements that can take your presentation to another level.
- Remember, Your Slides aren’t making a point, You are –This should be taken as a thumb rule. We have all seen many types of presenters including those who completely depend upon the pointers on their slides and actually read from it and the other type who leave points strangling on the slide and do not bother to explain it all. Confusing….. Just think that your audience is suffering from short-term memory loss and the words you say on stage by reading your own slide will be a burden to the audience to remember what is being told. As I said before, the bullet points you included are just to help you and you are the one who should make a point out of it. Keep it neither too cluttered nor too sparse. Find a balance & make your slides look smart.
- Empower Your Slides with Excellent Graphics –Incorporating graphics in your presentation gives it an emotional appeal that reaches your audience instantly and they connect with you. Keep your audiences’ auditory & visual instincts busy with the help of a balanced presentation having engaging graphics & your nicely modulated voice to capture their mind. Using high quality graphics will help a lot more in creating the impact you want and will connect with your audience better. Remember a graphic is worth thousand words here.
- Go the Story Telling Way –This is the best way to capture your audiences’ senses. Use many examples to explain your sub topics and just keep single bullet point to place on single slide along with a relevant picture or clipping. It will be even better if you are able to convert your bullet point into a humorous caption and relate it with the allotted video or image, your viewers will feel the exclusivity of your presentation.
- Don’t stuff animation desperately –This is a humble request not to give trauma to your viewers eyes. Assigning animation to every sentence/bullet point or two much slide shuffling and swiveling will take the audiences’ interest away. Always try to keep it simple yet stylish. This does not mean that animation is bad for presentation’s health. Use animations smartly and make slides look classy.
- Use Graphs & Charts to represent Data –Whether it’s a business presentation, sales pitch or comparative study of products & companies; Using graphs & pie charts brings your complete data to one place and you don’t have to write any such analytical data as bullet points. Bar graphs and pie charts give a clear idea to the audience about your analytical data study. You can always go into details by explaining those graphs and it makes your presentation concise. But remember one table/chart/graph on one slide please. Pie charts are used to define percentage study, Horizontal bar graphs are used to compare the amount of work done, or sales figures. Line charts can be used to show what is trending, growth etc.
- Legibility of Text – First study about the fonts. What fonts are the most readable & eye friendly to your eyes from near and far distances. Don’t use flashy, cursive fonts as it confuses your viewers. The audience should be able to read your slides quickly. There are two-three fonts that are used for presentations like Ariel, Times New Roman and Calibri. These fonts are catchy & easily readable. To make the text legible and prompt using correct color background with contrasting font color is very important. If you are using a light yellow background and white fonts no matter how big the font size is, it won’t be readable. So choose the combination wisely.
- Using Typical Templates is a No No –It’s true that there are thousands of PowerPoint templates available to choose from but the fact is that most of them are used and seen already by your viewers. Customization always helps and makes you a trendsetter. Design slides on your own take relevant background images, graphics, colors, and fonts. Using animation smartly will make your presentation stand out.
- Use Quotations & Reviews –Incorporate quotations from famous people in your presentation with appropriate high quality background image relevant to the quote and the quote should be relevant to your presentation subject. This helps you in making a certain image around your presentation.
- Always Use Slide Sorter – After completing your presentation you should always go to Slide Sorter View in PowerPoint to help better your presentation. Sure we all need to see and check our presentation before finalizing it. Slide Sorter shows your presentation in thumbnail form where you can add more slides, delete unnecessary slides, reorder them, have a look at animations etc. This helps you enhance the clarity and maintain the logical flow of the presentation.
- Always Summarize Before Ending –Putting up summary slide at the end brings back the interest of your audience. Highlight the best points in your presentation at the end summarize with the best example, audio effects, or even a video. Communicate the central idea of your presentation by including a summary slide designed to bring your audience back.