Are your PowerPoint demonstrations powerful and to the point?
If you’re anything like me and a lot of other business owners you’ve probably attended a few helpful (some not so much) business seminars. There are quite a few things that make some standout from others and sometimes there are events that stand out for all the wrong reasons. I’ve enjoyed attending seminars where the speaker is organised, confident, knowledgeable, charismatic and they’ve genuinely helped me solve a problem. The worst seminars are the opposite of all of the above. Get it right and people will attend your seminars time and time again, get it wrong and people may never come back.
Using a PowerPoint can be an excellent way to get yourself organised before an event, but you must have a proper focus and a backup plan if it all goes wrong – otherwise, you’re just going to be standing there holding a useless remote in your sweaty hand while staring at a sea of dissatisfied faces.
So, here’s some advice on how to make the most of your PowerPoint presentations.
1. Start with a plan – What do you want to tell people? Keep your message as simple as possible and then explore it as much as you can. If you’re starting to get off track, consider whether you actually have enough content to park for your next seminar. Although certain concepts may seem like child’s play to you, your audience may struggle to keep up if you try and pack too much information in. So, choose your topic, then make a list of bullet-points you would like to cover. This will give you a great starting point for your PowerPoint creation.
2. Choose a consistent brand/image – Have you got a logo or company colours? Use them. Consistency is key when it comes to brand identity. Your first PowerPoint page should include your branding and a statement about what you’ll be talking about. Take your time to think about it and get creative, it can be a lot of fun and is helpful for engaging your audience. Something like this: Powerful PowerPoints are Virtually in your Hands… (Lol)
3. How do you like a full screen of text? I don’t think anybody does to be honest. It’s absolutely daunting, and you’re either trying to read it while the speaker is talking, or the speaker is just reading it to you—um why don’t you just email me this Powerpoint and I’ll read it at home? When it comes to text less is more on Powerpoint-based demonstrations. One bold meaningful sentence is great. This should make a clear statement to your audience and trigger you as to what you were going to talk about—sort of like cue cards. If you’re worried you won’t remember what you were going to say, take some notes with you.
4. Use pictures – A picture is worth a thousand words so make the most of them. PowerPoint is a visual medium to make it worth looking at! You can keep your audience alert by interspersing your content with some fun pictures and you can get key information across with useful pictures. Use high-quality pictures and please—If you’re using graphs or charts, make sure that they are easily read and deciphered by your audience. Check with someone who knows nothing about your topic to make sure they understand before you proceed. If they can’t work it out then scrap it.
5. Keep things moving – Don’t fill a whole page with words and pictures and then just leave it there for people to stare at—you may as well just use a poster. Keep things lively and interesting by rolling through your slides. You should have a slide with a picture or text, accompanied by an explanation from you, maybe some questions for or from the audience and then move to the next slide.
6. It’s a wrap! Make sure you finish things off with a flourish! A slide that re-emphasises all that you’ve covered (maybe a few slides), maybe a funny picture that sums things up, and finally a call to action and your contact details if you want people to get in touch with you. Basically—tell people what you want them to do next.
7. The technical stuff – What happens if you arrive on the day and the gear you needed isn’t there? What if your computer crashes? You’ve got to plan for these events like a boss so that you can keep smiling and deliver the awesome information you’ve prepared. Forward a technical rider to your venue. Think about what you’re going to need and let the venue know so that you can plan ahead if they haven’t got what you need. Make yourself a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Will you need a microphone, a desk to put your laptop on, are you going to use your own laptop or does the venue provide one? Make sure you’ve got your PowerPoint saved on two USBs— just in case one doesn’t work. If everything fails you still need to deliver your presentation. Print out your PowerPoints so that you can still talk your way through things and then gather email addresses (a great way to grow your email database) and let everyone know that you’ll email the PowerPoint through.
8. Poor spelling and grammar? You’re an expert in your field but your spelling and grammar are letting you down? Get someone else to write your PowerPoint for you so you can play to your strengths. Don’t let poor grammar drag your slick presentation down
9. Stand and deliver! You’ve got to make sure your demonstration runs smoothly and how will you know if you don’t try it out. Gather your workmates or your family around and do a trial run. Get feedback and take notes so you can improve the experience. You might notice that something you planned to do isn’t quite working how you wanted it to or that you’ve missed something out. Go back and sort that stuff so on the day you are presenting the best version and you’re prepared as well as possible.
Get started. You’re going to nail this.
Got ideas but you’re allergic to computers?
Not used to presenting?
If you want help creating powerful PowerPoints, Virtual Assist can help you plan, and produce your PowerPoint demos, as well as create a technical rider for you and do a trial run. All you have to do to produce the best PowerPoints without fuss is contact us here.
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And until next time, keep up the good work!