When making a presentation, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of relying on your PowerPoint slides to help get your message across. Although PowerPoint may be a great tool to help you present your information in a creative and interesting way, it’s dangerous to rely on it fully as this will just turn your audience off from what you’re saying.
Here are 5 tips to help make your presentation stand out from the crowd.
1. Be Compelling
PowerPoint is a great tool to put together eye-catching presentations, but remember that your audience has come to hear you, not look at a slide. So by all means make your PowerPoint presentation look professional and engaging but don’t forget that your speech needs to be compelling too. Remember, your slides are there to support your spoken presentation, not the other way round!
2. Keep it simple
Don’t overwhelm your audience with a mass of data, graphics and animations. The most effective PowerPoint presentations are simple – charts that are easy to understand, and graphics that reflect what the speaker is saying. It’s been suggested that there should be no more than five words per line and no more than five lines per individual slide. Any images, graphs and animations need to back up the information, not confuse the audience.
3. Be Engaging
Many of us have sat through a presentation where we have spent the whole time looking at the back of the speaker’s head! They have spent so much time reading off the slides, they don’t engage with the audience. PowerPoint works best with a speech that augments what’s on the screen rather than just reading off the slide. Remember, you need to interact with the audience in order for them to engage and listen to you.
4. Don’t use PowerPoint!
There’s a time and place for PowerPoint. It should only be used as an accompaniment to the presenter’s script so let the screen go blank if you need to. This gives your audience a break, but also helps to focus their attention on what the presenter is saying, especially during the question and answer session.
5. Rehearse and edit
Once you’ve drafted your speech and slides then rehearse your presentation. Do this preferably in front of someone else to ensure that what you are saying and presenting can be easily understood. If something comes across as distracting or confusing then get rid of it. Remember to keep the needs of the audience in your mind at all times as they are the ones who will be the ultimate judge of how successful your presentation has been.
Valerie Eaton is the owner of Smart VA Ltd, providers of virtual assistant support to small businesses and self-employed professionals. They specialise in providing a wide range of general administration support, as well as email marketing, website updates, document and presentation design and event administration. Find more information about our services on our website http://www.smartva.co.uk, and if you want to discover some great tips for small businesses then check out our free guides on the Free Resources page.