How many times have you gone into a presentation and within couple of minutes have said “Oh no! Not another of those boring Power Point presentations….!!!!!!!!!!!”
The truth is, bad Power Point happens to even good communicator and quite often the person giving the presentation is just as much a victim as the poor audience.
Here are few tips which help you to add a bit more spice to your presentation and make it interesting. By all means this is not a comprehensive tips but a start feel free to share your tips also.
It has been a common phenomenon for presenters to make their presentations first and then work on the speech. They align their speech according to the slides. But honestly it should be other way round. The slides are the tools to aid in your presentations. Unless you are an expert in improvising, make sure you write out the script of your presentation even before thinking about the slides. Your script should follow good storytelling conventions: give it a beginning, middle, and end; have a clear pathway that builds towards some sort of climax. Then start working on the making your audience appreciate each slide but be anxious to find out what’s next; and when possible, always leave ‘em wanting more. Remember slides should blend in your presentation not distract.
One Slide – One Point.
Remember to orient your slide to the timing of your speech. The slide should represent only what you are saying. Remember the audience will read the slides as soon as it is up. If you have already given the next point, they will not be interested in what you are saying. If the slide needs to have more than one point use the animations. Your job as presenter is to control the flow of information so that you and your audience stay in sync.
One of the most popular ways is to put everything onto the slides, in great big chunky blocks of text. This only enhances the Boredom Quotient of the presentation. Your slides are the illustrations for your presentation, not the presentation itself. They should underline and reinforce what you’re saying as you give your presentation — save the paragraphs of text for your script.
Use bullet points for illustrating your points. If possible keep a punch line for every slide.
Keep it Simple
PowerPoint and all other presentation packages offer all sorts of themes and animations, which can make your slides flashy, funky with a few mouse clicks. Avoid the temptations to make your pages too flashy, it can have animations, but only when it is an addition to your presentation. Don’t make it an annoyance
Focus on the basic simple design like
- Using San serif fonts as text
- Decorative fonts only on slide headers, only if they are easy to read
- Put dark text on a light background. Again, this is easiest to read. If you must use a dark background – for instance, if your company uses a standard template with a dark background – make sure your text is quite light (white, cream, light grey, or pastels) and maybe bump the font size up two or three notches.
- Avoid clutter – don’t clutter your slides with text or charts. Keep it Simple
There are two schools of thought about images in presentations. Some say they add visual interest and keep audiences engaged; others say images are an unnecessary distraction. Both arguments holds true; therefore use images only if it illustrates your point. Try to avoid common pictures.
Try to plant a hook at the beginning of the slide. The most powerful hooks are often those that appeal directly to your audience’s emotions. One of the ways to enhance the effect of hook is to have it in the slide clear enough so that everybody sees it, but in your speech avoid reading it.
Don’t read your presentation
Remember to not read your slides. While you are on your speech, the presentations should be in the back ground catalyzing your points. The moment you start reading from the slides, the audience will stop listening to you and start reading.
Break it. Remember there are no such hard-bound rules in presentations. If you know there’s a good reason to break a rule, go ahead and do it. Rule breaking is perfectly acceptable behaviour in presentations. Imaginations and improvisations are the very basics of public speaking or presentations, so always be ready to break a rule while improvising.