“Death by PowerPoint” is a common phrase used to describe dull, slide-based presentations that bore business audiences around the world. Hideous PowerPoint templates, excessive business jargon, and information overload are just some of the problems that plague the average business presentation.
Not all business presentations are doomed to mediocrity. With proper planning and the right approach, business presentations could be good, or even, great. The following are some of the most important ingredients that go into creating and delivering a captivating and memorable presentation.
There’s no way you can deliver a solid, engaging presentation unless you have something worth talking about. That’s why the first and most important step in creating a killer presentation is to conceptualize what you want to say. The best speakers quickly introduce the audience to a topic, explain why they care about it, and then convince audience members to feel the same way.
One of the most common mistakes that presenters make is providing too much information and detail. If you start to get too technical or use a lot of jargon, you will lose your audience’s attention. Don’t try to cram all of your knowledge of a topic into a single speech. Avoid trying to cover the breadth of a topic and focus on one big idea instead. Outline the scope of your presentation and cover only key points.
Great presentations are motivating. They conclude with a call-to-action, leading audience members to take action or make a decision. They also provide accurate data, which is why it’s important for presenters to fact-check and verify information. When putting together your presentation, think of yourself as an information architect of sorts. Boil down your message to around three key points. Once you’ve provided listeners with a big picture view, introduce details to explain your points. Keep your presentation simple and eliminate fluff.
Reading your presentation directly off of slides or a script is a bad idea because it can make people feel distanced from you. Use bullet points to map out what you’re going to say in each part of your presentation. Don’t use your slides as a replacement for presentation notes, and avoid repeating the same words on your slides out loud. When audience members hear and read the same words, it makes your presentation seem repetitive.
Talk in a conversational tone. Don’t try to orate or force a tone that’s not the real you. Be yourself and you will create a stronger connection with your audience. Don’t forget to show your enthusiasm for the topic. Your energy will be infectious.
Everyone loves a good story. Unlike facts, stories speak to one’s emotions. Great presentations make use of stories to better connect with audience members. In order to come up with stories that you can tell during your presentation, consider what message you’re trying to get across or what problem you’re trying to solve. Delve into the human dimension of the topic you’re exploring and then think of a story or anecdote that illustrates your point.
If you’re planning to use slides in your presentation, make sure that they’re the best they can be. You can make your slides stand out by using high quality stock imagery and graphics as well as ensuring that you limit the use of text. Each slide should focus on one idea. Don’t cram your slides with too much information. For the best results, use eye-catching presentation software like Prezi or Keynote. Intersperse your presentation with discussion, group exercises, and other activities that will keep your audience engaged. Interactive presentations are the most captivating of all.
There’s not just one good way to give a presentation. The best presentations are fresh and offer something new, whereas boring presentations feel stale and formulaic. Keep the above tips in mind when creating your next presentation, but don’t feel like you have to follow every single piece of advice. Focus on what makes your ideas distinctive and then create a presentation that’s authentic to you.
To make sure your business presentation successfully reaches its intended audience, use resource scheduling software like Resource Central. Resource Central connects with Microsoft Outlook®, so it allows you to find and book available conference rooms, invite attendees, and order any necessary equipment through the familiar Outlook® interface. For more information about Resource Central, sign up for a free trial or free online demo!