Presentation Perfection

“Great presentation… just don’t be so selfish next time.”

Leo Bottary, a PRO at Hill & Knowlton received this comment above after giving a presentation. The commenter meant that Bottary shouldn’t be so nervous when giving his presentation, because the presentation is about the client, not him.

It is easy to be consumed by your nervous feelings when speaking in public, but you have to shake it off and put trust in yourself and your knowledge of your client and the service you are providing.

As a college senior I have seen my fair share of text heavy slide show lectures. They are BORING! It wasn’t until last term that I realized when a lecture is being given with a visually pleasing slide show it helps your audience pay attention.

So here are a few tips on how to give a good presentation:

  • Make your point in 3-7 words. If you have text heavy slides your audience is going to get caught up reading your text, rather than listening to you
  • Start with a verb. What do you want to get out of this slide? What is the core? ex: Give better presentations. No more than one idea on per slide
  • Keep the slide details simple. Avoid jargon, crazy busy slides. Keep it simple, clean and concise. Your slide should compliment your speech.
  • Identify questions early. Put yourself in the shoes of your client. What questions are they going to ask? Try to answer their question in the presentation.
  • Make your messages sticky. make your messages simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and use stories. (tips from Made to Stick by the Heath Brothers)
  • Use eye pleasing visuals. Just looking at text won’t cut it. When there is a picture that has meaning related to the content on the page, your client will know you put time and effort into this, rather than throwing words on a colorful background. For example, look at the photo above, the pencils have “points,” which goes with my first point (no pun intended)

Put these suggestions to work and you will make your clients happy, as well as your students!

Thanks to Kelli Matthews for the inspiration and check out her Slide show here!


~ by stacianne on April 22, 2008.

3 Responses to “Presentation Perfection”

  1. Look at you with the tips! 🙂
    Check out Leo’s blog, he reposted the story that I try to (lamely) tell in class. It’s a great blog.

  2. Great advice. I had a professor last semester that would lecture with Powerpoint. He usually had 65 text-heavy slides. Honestly, I never paid any attention because it was too much.

    I also hate it when people use dark images for their background. If you can’t read the text because of the background, why use slides at all?

  3. […] Presentation Perfection […]

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