What Can Make Or Break Your PowerPoint Presentation

At a workshop recently I heard someone giving a talk which was really interesting and I took away some valuable points from it. So it got me thinking about what makes a good presentation. Now, I’ve designed a lot of PowerPoint presentations in my time but I’ve delivered very few of them. Like a lot of people, the thought of standing up in front of a group makes me nervous. However, others can stand up for an hour and speak off the cuff about their subject, and make it interesting and memorable. How do they do it? OK, there are a few people who are natural public speakers, but for most of us, it takes a lot of preparation to stand up and speak clearly and concisely about our subject.

So from my experience of both creating and listening to presentations, I’ve put together some tips of what I think can make or break a presentation.

Do

  • Rehearse your speech and ideally get someone to listen to you or record yourself.
  • Use humour and a personal story to open the presentation but be appropriate.
  • Know the message you are trying to get across and stick to the key points.
  • Keep the colour scheme simple and ensure the text is readable against the background.
  • Have the same slide design throughout the whole presentation.
  • Put your company branding and logo on the presentation to make it look professional and help build a relationship with your brand and the audience.
  • Keep animations and transitions to a minimum so they don’t confuse and distract the audience.
  • Use creative ways of presenting your information eg, pictures, charts, and animations which will grab people’s attention.

Don’t

  • Speak without any preparation or notes unless you’ve done it successfully before.
  • Start the presentation without checking that everyone can hear you.
  • Don’t wander off the subject, and if you do, ensure the audience knows why and quickly come back to it.
  • Use technical language, acronyms or jargon unless it is relevant for your audience.
  • Read from a script – it can sound stilted and prevents you from making eye contact with the audience.
  • Put everything you want to say on the PowerPoint slide and then just read it out.
  • Overload the slide with too much graphics or animation. They should be used to make the message clearer not confuse the audience.
  • Use different formatting and colour schemes on each slide.

Perhaps you have other tips to add to the list? However, it’s important to remember that a clearly delivered and well-designed presentation will promote you and your business professionally and effectively to your audience.

Presentation Strengtheners — Ice Breakers

The first rule of breaking the ice is to involve the audience. Whether we are presenting a keynote or a workshop, the more we can get participation from the members of our audience, the more attention we will receive for the rest of our presentation.

If we can get them involved the minute they walk into the room we’ll already have a jumpstart. One way to accomplish this is to have a puzzle and/or questions for them to consider while waiting for us to begin. I hand it out or have it up on the screen and tell them that it is fine to work with anyone else on the answers. Usually, I create a sheet of questions and/or a fun puzzle that relates to the day’s subject.

If the group has been doing a great deal of sitting already, get them physically involved. Being a fitness instructor, I have lots of spunky tapes. I will often start a presentation on creativity with music and asking everyone to stand up, breathe deeply and stretch. Then I will say something like, “All right. Now we are going to stretch our minds and creativity, because when the mind is stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original state.”

Well designed questions will also get your audience involved. The two questions that are effective and also help you the presenter — as suggested by Bob Pike, training guru — are as follows. Supposing your topic is time management, you would ask, “What happens when people don’t handle our management of time well?” and “What happens when we handle our management of time well?” Ask for the answers, and, if time permits, have someone record them on a flip chart. The first will list the problems that need to be addressed and the second will list the benefits that will be gained by listening to your presentation.

We can also make use of snappy introductions. If it is a small group, I will often have members stand up – one at a time – say their name, tell us what they did as a profession yesterday (this will actually be their profession) and what career they have today (which can be completely “off-the-wall.” They can be a movie star, an astronaut, an Olympic athlete – you get the idea). If the group is large, have members of the audience turn to the person next to them and do the same thing, or you can give them other questions to pose to each other.

The reasons for doing this breaks the ice for the group (even if they already know each other) because it will get them interacting and laughing, so that when you bring them back to the presentation, they are relaxed and open, rather than thinking, “Oh, now I have to sit through another speech.” The one warning here is to have a way to regain control. I use a drum, a bell, or another musical instrument to pull back the attention of the participants.

Graphic Design – Topography and Images to Present Information

Graphic design is process of visual communication using topography and images to present information and attract people. It gives an interesting mix of presenting varied information in attractive formats to increase the overall users’ base. Whether you are reading your morning papers or commuting by a public bus, or open a book to read, element of graphics can be seen every where. It gives a great way to express your thoughts, ideas and opinion to reach millions of other users. This creative process involves different formats of graphics, which are easily available in today’s world:

Logos

Logo is an important form of graphics that conveys lots of ideas to its readers and users. A logo provides identify to the vision and the purpose of the organizations or any other agencies. In addition, it is difficult to register a company without a valid logo attached with it.

Websites

Websites reflect the major works of graphics aiming to attract promising clients to the organization. So, make sure your website reflect good piece of information prepared through graphic design services.

Business Cards

Business cards are essential in this competitive business boasting world. An impressive business card can get you really good impact and you will be successful to express your mind freely and effectively.

Advertisements

Graphics in advertisements have a specific role to play. You can hire a graphic design company to get your advertisement really rocking and reflecting you ideology.

Brochures

Brochures also consist major graphic designing in it. Without a good design, a brochure may not look very impressive. So, graphic can bring a life in brochures.

Billboards

Billboards or hoardings consist of advertisements promoting a product or services so the major attraction point is graphic designing.

Product Packaging

Nowadays, product packaging has a definite role to play in the promotion of a product or a service. Packaging clinches eyes positively and gives you several benefits in future context.

Posters

Posters are one of the popular methods to express the ideas and opinions. Therefore, it becomes necessary to make it really effective with lots of graphics and pictures in it.

Book Design

Graphic has a definite role to play in book designing. While designing a book, it is necessary to represent the content of the book to attract the promising readers.

Magazine Layout

Magazines offer wide information about varied subjects and current happenings. Therefore, it has to be attractive enough to tempt readers to go through its pages. So, the role of graphics can be really important here.

Newspaper Layout

While layout a newspaper, the importance of graphics can not be ignored. Anything colorful and informative attracts readers to a great extent.

Greeting Cards

In greeting cards too, graphics can do wonders and equally express your ideas to the fullest.