We have all been there, a big meeting is coming up and it’s you against the corporate world. Or perhaps you’re trying to impress new clients for your business, either way you have become the person in charge of putting together an impressive presentation. However putting together an inspiring presentation that sells yourself and your business or product isn’t easy. There’s the research, time, concept development, and of course finding the right words to say to explain your message clearly. And while most of these tricks of the trade, like public speaking can be acquired and improved on over time, presentations stand out as being more difficult to master. Yet, we have found some of the best and often least talked about insights and tips to help make your presentations go flawlessly.
Get Back To The Basics And Keep It Simple
Some of the best presentations are often the most simple ones, ones in which everyone will understand. There’s no complexity, but instead a message that everyone in the room can relate to, plus keep focused without spacing out from sheer boredom. Your goal is to keep the room’s attention so accomplish it by using short and simple words, avoiding long sentences and paragraphs, and making it easy to read quickly. Remember we did not set out to teach everyone in the room how to read or force them into an exercise.
Take note of the text itself, fonts, colors and where you put the text in your presentation matter. Things like bold and underlined fonts, and subtle color changes can reach your audience, and express your message in the same way you would say it yourself. Not to mention, the color changes make it interesting, and in a similar manner you’ll need to add images, graphics and possibly a short video clip. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, yet aside from just explaining your message in full clarity, you’ll also be keeping everyone focused. Keep in mind, these images don’t have to be fully apparent in your presentation, instead they can be used simply as a light background beneath the text to add some depth.
For the topics themselves, make sure you are telling a story, don’t go back and forth or jump from topic to topic. Consider your presentation as a story book tale, you are the speaker narrating the tale, and your presentation acts as the book itself. Not to mention, you wouldn’t explain the ending of a story in a book, without first telling the readers who the characters are first. However keep in mind, that with every few slides you are presenting, you should be setting up an end goal or a clear message you want your audience to understand. You’re presenting the information to support your idea or plan, make sure you are giving everyone enough time to fully comprehend what you are presenting as you go along. Consider this to be like a drawing, people love to watch paintings or artwork come to life, so paint them your story.
You Are The Center Of Attention Not Your Presentation
Don’t let your presentation or slide itself take over all the eye balls in the room, you should be the center of attention. The resources you use are only there to wow your audience and support everything you say, not to steal away the spotlight. Remember to use these resources wisely, things like historical data, dates, and times should be clearly displayed to back up your presentation. And if you’re making one that’s relative to a time frame, give Timeline JS a try, it’ll allow you to build fast and easy timelines that look fantastic. Plus you can add in all the text, graphics and videos you can imagine. In the same regard, if you need to shift away the attention from the slides themselves and back to you, check out Screenr. It’s a simple pre-recorded presentation that will allow you to set things up beforehand and auto play the slides while you are talking.
Successful Internet Webinars And Online Presentations
Not all presentations are done in person, from time to time we’ll find ourselves doing them online as webinars or educational and introduction videos. However, these are generally the same as being in person, except you’ll find the biggest disadvantages are you can’t see their reaction or feedback to what’s being presented. Yet the concepts and tips we’ve covered above should follow the same suit regardless of it being online or offline. For presenting things online a few helpful programs we’ve found include Sliderocket, Knovio, 9Slide and CloudOn.
Sliderocket gives you insights as to how long your presentation was viewed and for how long. Not to mention, it also shows the slides and information that was the most relevant and interesting to the person viewing it. This can be extremely beneficial by letting you know what to improve on and how to better develop your presentations to create a maximum impact. For Knovio and 9Slide, these programs give us the ability to show our viewer anything we deem necessary, such as documents, Powerpoints, or even videos of ourselves. Consider all the features these two services offer, and it really does make these two programs the ultimate all-on-one packages. Lastly, we all make mistakes, but sometimes we run out of time or don’t have access to our computers to fix them on the fly. Thanks to CloudOn you can make changes and edit your presentations directly on your iPad or Android device with ease and quickness.
Our Quick Ten Tips For The Best Presentations
Keep an eye on your audience – Always make eye contact, and make sure it’s with everyone in the room. Don’t stare at just one person the entire time; instead make contact with various people throughout the room making sure that everyone feels included in your presentation. Your thought should be to engage everyone, you should be working your hardest to make sure your audience pays attention and doesn’t lose focus.
Add humor into your presentations – Don’t be boring, add in a joke here or there for some small laughs and good humor. They say laughter is the best medicine, however while we agree, we also think it’s the best way to build trust and keep people alert. When people laugh it releases endorphins, and aside from making yourself and others in the room smile, it makes for a genuine and lower stress experience.
Be yourself – During a presentation you can’t be bland, you’ve got to add in some personality, and really be the center of attention. We all know how it feels when people talk in monotone through an entire presentation; and it short it makes it feel like the meeting will never end.
Interact with the audience – Create a compelling conversation that everyone in the room will want to join in on. Give them a reason to want to speak up with you, ask them questions and make them want to ask you questions back.
Move around and don’t be still – Walk around the room with confidence but don’t act like your running a marathon in a confined office space. Be someone who’s full of live and is so passionate about what their presenting they want to move around and share it.
Avoid the “Um” and “Ah” moments – We’ve all heard it before, people using the same “um” and “ah” words to fill in the gaps when they can’t figure out what to say. Even famous speakers, including presidents have done it, however you need to remember to keep it to a certain amount. Don’t go overboard and fill your presentation entirely up with filler words.
Be different, unique and one of a kind – Give people something they will remember. You are a unique person and in the same manner so should your presentation. Focus on branding yourself with something original that people will want to gossip about even longer after the meeting is over.
Remember to keep the spotlight for yourself – Visual are great, they help us to share the details we couldn’t other get people to remember, however consider you should be acting as the center of attention. Make your presentation a part of the background, don’t let your viewers read for themselves, instead become a teacher and explain and say it to them.
Don’t overstretch the truth – Being genuine is important and so is your integrity, so be honest with your audience. Make sure you have done the proper research and remember all the facts before your presentation begins. You don’t want to start the presentation and forget a specific number and make one up on the spot.
Be ready, but don’t be a zombie – Natural speaking is just that, it’s how you interrupt you audience and respond with facts and details and information to cater to what they want to hear. Don’t sound like an automated person who’s prepared so long that they lose their active and life-like emotions. Remember it’s important to connect with your audience, and you can’t predict how they’ll actually respond until you are doing the presentation live.