How long do I have? How many slides should I make? Should I give handouts? How much time do I allocate for questions? How will I get my message across?
These are the type of questions we ask ourselves when we have a big presentation coming up. Nerves start to kick in and we begin to panic that our presentation will fall flat.
But, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Here at All Good Tales we know what makes a good presentation. We’ve helped upskill employees in some of Ireland’s biggest companies and show them that an engaging presentation doesn’t have to be hard work.
Now it’s time to share our wisdom. We’ve put together three ways how you can knock your next presentation out of the park.
Good looking slides = better engagement
Yes, this is a simple one but you would be surprised by the number of ugly presentations out there. Awful templates, too much text or graphs you can barely read unappealing slides can be detrimental to your presentation.
Images, contrasting colours and animations are three ways to help audiences engage with your slides.
Test heavy slides don’t work. They are difficult to read and have the ability to confuse audiences.
Where possible use images in your slides. Reduce your text to the necessary information. Any other information your audience needs put it in the notes section underneath your slide. You can simply tell your audience without them having to read it.
If you’re using text on your slides, make sure it is easy to read. One way to do this is to use contrasting colours.
White writing on a black background is easier on the eyes and therefore easier for your audience to read. You this tactic to make sure your slides are eligible.
Another trick to keep audiences engaged with your slides is to introduce pops of colour. While white writing and black backgrounds are a tried and tested technique try not to rely on it. Use pops of bold colour throughout your presentation to keep audiences awake. A bold yellow background with black text or a pink slide with white text randomly throughout your presentation can snap your audience back into focus.
You are not a robot
There is nothing worse than a robot giving a presentation. Monotone voice and robotic movements will put any audience to sleep.
It’s important to show that you are not a robot. You are a human full of experiences that you can share with your audience. Make sure to share some of your own stories. Times when you were successful and more importantly, times when you weren’t. Show you are human. This will help you get your audience on your side.
Your audience is there to listen, understand and engage with what you’re saying. It’s important you make an effort to engage and interact with them.
Ask them questions. Tell stories that they can engage with, ones that will make them laugh or cry. It’s important to make sure they feel part of the experience and your presentation.
‘ What if ‘ is the enemy
Nerves are natural but too make could spell disaster.
When giving a presentation one vital thing to remember is, you hold the power. You are the danger. You have the ability to control what happens during your presentation. You can focus the attention of the audience on whatever you want.
If you want to get the spotlight off you and on to an audience member, you can do that.
Being overly nervous won’t help you with your presentation. Although hard, push nerves and those “what if” questions to the back of your mind. Remember you know your slides better than anyone else in that room. The audience is here to listen to what you have to say. You are in charge.