Getting the most out of PowerPoint: Part One
Presentations, whether informal or formal, are powerful means to sell ideas, gain support, and to show your value as employee, manager, or salesperson. In order to leverage the presentation’s full potential, you will need to plan for the engagement. Failure to plan can make you look incompetent, and worse yet, lose the respect of peers and supervisors.
Knowing your target audience can ensure that a speaker remains focused. Answering a few key questions can ensure that your presentation remains on point. Answering these questions can also create a plan for obtaining the goal of the presentation.
Just like a report, a presentation must have a thesis or goal. The goal of any presentation is to transmit an idea to an audience. Ultimately one is trying to make a group aware of an idea or a concept which they might not already be aware.
A common presentation mistake results from presenters attempting to say too much on a slide. Presentations are an overview, not a comprehensive report. Using too many words, and images will detract from the message, causing confusion and loss of interest. Keep slides simple and to the point and don’t switch backgrounds.
Images play an important role in presentations, but too many images make slides appear disorganized and unprofessional. Visual aids should help communicate the purpose of the presentation not distract. Limit the use of colors to three and avoid clutter. Be careful of copyright issues!
When delivering your presentation there are some important rules to follow. Follow the 10–20–30 Rule which states 10 slides, 20 minutes of discussion, and slide font should be 30 point. These rules are designed to keep the audience’s attention. Speak clearly and know your material before beginning the presentation. Make sure that the software and equipment are working and ready when it comes time to make the presentation.
Thank everyone for attending. Thank you!