29 Sep The Art of Good Presentation: 10 key pointers
For most, presentations can be an extremely nerve-racking and stressful experience.
The pressure of having to impress the right people without saying too much (or too little), not to mention the anxieties associated with actually having to stand up and present can often put people off.
Here are a few tips and tricks to create an attractive, digestible and engaging presentation, as well as some advice on how to banish those presentation nerves (and make a long-lasting impression on your audience).
Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 presentation style is a good foundation for your presentation’s format.
This easy-to-remember structure works for any kind of presentation, especially a very lengthy one that needs some refining. The format is simple: a maximum of 10 slides (any more may have your audience day dreaming) no longer than 20 minutes (any longer, your audience will zone out) and a 30-point font size (any smaller and your audience will be squinting and will post probably give up reading the screen altogether). As such, 10-20-30 makes a lot of sense!
Alternatively the PechaKucha 20×20 presentation style uses 20 image slides, which are each shown for 20 seconds. With a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds, this structure is concise and to the point. The text restrictions mean your audience will fully engage with you as they take in the visuals. The downside? Less text means fewer prompts, so prepare yourself with lots of memory-improving activities.
You could even create your own style by using a combination of the styles above.
Other Presentation Guidance
Sticking to one theme per slide allows the audience to easily digest information and not get overwhelmed by too much text or overloaded with ideas.
Also, no one likes to read a long list of bullet points, so keeping text punchy and concise will help maintain your audience’s attention.
Furthermore, making each slide memorable by using interesting (and unique) visuals will engage your audience like the professional presenter you want to be portrayed as.
Oh, and avoid Clip Art wherever possible!
If statistics feature heavily in your presentation, let them take centre stage. Slides should utilise the numbers – for example, use ‘1,000,000’ as opposed to ‘one million’. Let your audience see the numbers not letters, as this appears so much more impressive and it forces them to remember your achievements.
Presentation Nerves? Never Fear!
Nerves can kill a presentation so here are a few tips on how to combat those nasty little anxieties.
Try exercising the morning of a presentation. A quick workout has been proven to reduce anxiety by releasing feel-good endorphins which sets you in good stead for the day.
Keeping hydrated is a key to avoiding dry mouth syndrome during a presentation. Always keep a bottle of water to hand, even during your speech.
Presentations are all about body language. Maintaining a good posture, eye contact and projecting your voice can be extremely difficult, so here is some excellent advice on how to dominate and own your presentation:
- Before your presentation, stretch your whole body. This allows you to assume an automatic relaxed and open body position.
- Take up space when you’re presenting, by subtly walking around you are gaining the attention of the audience and dominating the presentation in a cool and collected way.
- Using hand gestures to reinforce your point also demonstrates your dominance of the presentation, but also your passion and enthusiasm for subject matter.
- Finally, humanise your presentation! A stiff and robotic presentation style won’t leave a lasting impression with you audience. Be relaxed, speak slowly and if you can, be entertaining – there’s nothing wrong with a little laughter!
Presentations are tough to master, but hopefully this guide will make preparing them a little easier. Just remember the key to a successful presentation is to keep it simple and informative, maintaining control and composure throughout.
For a bit of extra guidance or support why not speak to our presentation specialists? Call the PitchPro office on 03333 44 14 11 for further information.