As much as public speaking is a skill that can be acquired & improved through practice, the right presentation material is not a skill. Here are some simple (unspoken) rules & insightful tips; the type that can make your next presentation a true success!
Part 1 – The Basics. The Best Presentations Are …
- Short and simple with words. Use keywords on your slides, never full and long sentences. Watch Pinterest’s Ben Silverman talk at Y Combinator’s Start Up School and see what his slides say.
- Easy to read. Watch the size of the font, colors, & placement of text. Don’t have too much text – it is a presentation, not a reading exercise.
- Supported by images and graphs. Visual support is the best technique to keep everyone focused. Here is Seth Godin’s speech on spreading ideas and how he combines his talk with images in the background.
- Flowing. Try to create a natural flow in your presentation rather than jumping from topic to topic. Try storytelling instead of chapter-style speaking.
- Messengers. Send a major message every few slides. Don’t prioritze every slide but rather give enough time to absorb the information.
- Fueled by examples. Use the chance to illustrate what you mean. Give good examples and let your audience dive into the topic.
Part 2 – Special Features In Your Slides
They say that presentations should only support your speech and not become the center of attention. True. However, you should definitely use all the resources possible to wow your audience.
- If you need to demonstrate an action on the screen, prerecord it with Screenr and embed it in your presentation. This way you can click & play your example any timewhile continuing your speech.
- If you are giving a presentation about a progress, a time frame, or a historical development, consider using Timeline JS. You can build a simple but beautiful timeline, add pictures, dates, text, & even videos!
- Even though Powerpoint is still the most used presentation software around, there are new solutions for making stunning presentations. Try Prezi. It’s perfect for presentations that describe an interconnected matter, involvement or relation.
Part 3 – Last Minute Changes Made Easy
You are already on the train, headed toward your meeting, giving your presentation a last look … when you suddenly discover: A typo on the main slide! No worries. With CloudOn for iPad/Android you can edit your presentations easily on the go and save the latest version back onto your cloud storage service.
Part 4 – Presentations Over The Internet
Sometimes we are sending presentations via email and do not get the chance to interact with the audience in person, see their reaction, get instant feedback. Next time, don’t send your presentation via email, send it via Sliderocket. It’ll tell you by whom & when your presentation was viewed, how long it was open for and what slides were most interesting to the viewer.
In other cases, we hold web conferences. They allow us to walk our audience through the presentation, but the viewer can only view his video live screen OR your presentation while you are presenting. For this matter, there is Knovio or 9Slides. Both offer an incredibly useful service, and combine video & presentation all in one.
PS – if your presentations are business proposals, and you have trouble keeping track of all of them, Pipedrive is here to simplify your life. It helps you track your proposal status and makes it easy to follow up on your leads!
These are just some ways of making presentations easier, simpler and more appealing. What do you use?
Melanie Haselmayr is the CEO of Mevvy, The Next Generation Tool & App Store. Mevvy features a collection of the best apps, web tools, software and useful websites for all your devices in one place.
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