Unpopular opinion: great ideas aren’t as uncommon as you might think. It’s not that hard to come up with something amazing. What is difficult is to present something in such a way that others feel just as passionate about it.
First, you need to make people pay attention. They’ll need to become curious about what you have to say.
You can do this by having a great slide deck. Or by telling an engrossing story. You definitely have to convey enthusiasm.
But these are only a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. The perfect presentation doesn’t exist. There’s always room for improvement. Yet, there are a couple of boxes you should check to have a better shot at achieving your goal.
Creating an outline before starting on your presentation is always an excellent strategy. It will help you have a clear picture of what information you want to showcase.
You should start simple. Think of a great opener, 3 things that you want the audience to remember, and a remarkable closer. After that, you can add sub-points to your fundamental ideas to develop them.
By doing this, your presentation will have a clear structure. You’ll always have your main points in front of you.
An outline is great for building your speech, too. It will help you remember your most important points.
Pay Attention to Design
First impressions matter. And the first thing people see is the design of your slides. When choosing your template, you should have 3 key points in mind:
- How Formal Is Your Workplace?
A good way to measure this is your dress code. If you have to wear formal business attire, go with neutral colors. Otherwise, feel free to experiment, but stick to 2-3 complementary colors.
- Your Content
Obviously, your content should set the mood. If you’re talking about serious research, with scientific or financial data, try to be more conservative.
- Your Personality
You shouldn’t try to be something you’re not. Be comfortable with your presentation. Also, the design you choose speaks volumes about yourself, so be honest.
Make sure the design you use fits both context and content. But more importantly, that it is in sync with your personality. Luckily, there are plenty of free PowerPoint templates online and you’ll have a lot of options from which to choose.
Tell a Story
A powerful presentation shouldn’t just showcase facts. It should tell the story of an idea in a way that engages the audience.
How did you come up with your idea? Why? What is the reason behind your enthusiasm? Build up a narrative around what you’re presenting.
If it’s appropriate, you can also try to lighten the mood. Some contextual jokes or wordplay will make your audience chuckle and remember you.
Remember those key points from your outline? Try to break them into a few buzzwords.
They are what you want your audience to remember, even if other details will slip away.
Try to use them as often as it is appropriate, without making it sound unnatural. This way, you know your audience understood what you have to say.
All words and no images make Jack a dull boy.
We process images faster than text. So rely on them as much as possible. By using a GIF or short video, you can explain complex concepts in a short amount of time.
You can also use quotes. They’re easily remembered and will help your points resonate with the audience.
If you have to present structured data, try to use charts. They are visually engaging and easier to understand.
Also, if you want to showcase answers from a poll or study, use a PDF editor. This way you’ll present the information in a more appealing and easily understood way.
Interact with Your Audience
People get restless when sitting through boring presentations. And no matter how great a speaker you are, there will almost certainly be a low-energy point during your speech.
So what can you do about it?
You could conduct a funny quiz. Or ask a question and make them vote on something. You can even ask them to stand up if they agree with a statement.
If people engage, it’s more likely they will remember the point you were trying to make.
Attitude is Everything
If you are not stoked about your idea, why should your public be?
Feelings are contagious. This means that however you’re feeling about what you’re presenting will come through your speech to your audience.
Show that you’re confident. You’ve done the research. You know the facts. You’ve even put this presentation together! Show your audience that you are trustworthy.
The fact that people might remember your idea isn’t enough. They have to believe it. They have to care about it. Best case scenario, they will be as enthusiastic about it as you.
Have a Great Opener
The first few words that come out of your mouth can make someone either interested or indifferent. Beginning your speech with a strong, remarkable statement will, at least, make your audience sit up and pay attention..
Your closing statement is also important. Perhaps close an idea that you opened at the beginning. Or clarify something intentionally left ambiguous in your opener.
The way you begin and end your presentation has a great impact on how people will feel about what you’ve had to say.
This is golden. There are some things you should have in mind to make the most of your time with the public.
- 10 Slides
This is the best number of slides for a presentation. Having less than that will make you seem unprepared and unprofessional. Having more will lose the attention of your audience.
- 20 Minutes
This is how long you should try to keep your speech. If you’re going for more, there’s a high chance people will lose their patience. Also, the longer you talk, the more details are going to slip away from people’s minds.
- 30 Points Size Font
Keep in mind that your audience will be farther away from the place you’re projecting your slide on. This font size will make sure that, in general, people will be able to comfortably read the text on your slides.
This one is a no-brainer. Do the research and make sure your arguments are solid.
You should also expect a short session of questions at the end of your presentation.
To prepare for this, you could think of a list of questions your audience could have and try to answer them. Of course, you can’t cover all the possibilities but you’ll have a good chance of having it covered.
What You Need to Remember
Groundbreaking ideas are nothing without a stunning presentation. Its purpose is to break down information into easy to digest pieces and add a visual element to it.
Your presentation will dictate how people feel about your idea. Having an appropriate design, engaging with your audience, and being generally memorable will increase your chances of success.
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