Creating and presenting a PowerPoint presentation should be as simple as walking on a road with no traffic. Just lay one slide after another, focus on the narrative, and before even realizing it you have reached your final destination. Yes, it is that simple! But is it actually this simple? And if it is then, why do most of the presentations suck or fail to deliver what they are meant to do, leaving the audience’s fiddling through their smartphones? Even if we ignore all the funky fonts and blurry images used in a presentation, we can’t deny the fact that good presentations are hard to find. In fact, they are one of those precious stones hidden deep inside the earth that takes a lot of time and effort to find. You have to dig deep through it, to reach them. But not if you pay heed to the following pointers. Embrace these pointers and you are all set to rock that next presentation of yours!
1. Embrace that narrative
We all love bedtime stories. But bedtime stories aren’t just for kids! They can be adopted in a presentation too. In fact, your presentation should be like a narrative, outlining the problem to be solved, a body that delves into explaining the problem and providing solutions for it and a lesson that the audiences can take home with. However, all of this does not require plots, jokes, twists and turns, a hero or a villain that a story consists of. Neither it should look like a fairytale to keep your viewers hooked. All you need is some judicious use of charts and graphs showing the stats, status of the project and to engross your audience till the very end.
2. Start the ball rolling
The first 60 seconds is all you need to create an impact. These first 60 seconds determine the fate of your presentation, whether the audience will cling to it or detach from it. So start with a bang! Be upbeat, be realistic, be enthusiastic or be controversial. No matter which path you choose, the positive or the negative, try to hook the audience at the very start. Because if you lose it here, failure is bound to come.
3. Don’t be ordinary, be EXTRAordinary
I absolutely love Starbucks and their range of customized coffees. A new season, a new flavor is their motto which I absolutely adore. They are known for their customized flavors giving an unforgettable experience to their clients whether taking them down the memory lane or giving them a glimpse of their future, it all narrows down to that one sip of the ultimate coffee.
This is how a presentation should be. Not as boring as hell but as exciting as a road trip. Try to state some exciting facts to your audiences during the presentation to keep them engaged. You can also tell them a joke if you like. The whole point is don't be ordinary, be extraordinary because only extraordinary stands out from the rest!
4. Master that Slides-To-Speech Ratio
Cram your presentation with like never-ending slides (not literally) and you are sure to witness Death by PowerPoint.
How many slides are too many? There is no one-size-fits-all criteria here, but it usually depends on the complexity of the topic. Nonetheless, there is one rule of thumb that you can ace to create an awe-inspiring presentation- one slide every two minutes. For, eg- If your presentation is 20 minutes long, the number of PPT slides should be 10.
5. A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words
You can’t let your PowerPoint presentation do all the talking; you still have to go up to the stage and deliver the talk that is needed. But, you can surely lighten the burden by choosing evocative images that are self-explanatory. As rightly said, “ a picture is worth a 1000 words” select those images that convey your message to your audience as soon as you look at them. There are hundreds of websites providing you with high-quality images that you can download and use. Ditch using those cliche’s where people are forced to smile to get clicked. Cliche images will detract your audience’s attention, while inspiring images will attract them towards your presentation.
So, what are you waiting for? Go, out there, move out from your comfort zone and deliver compelling presentations in a flick of a second!