05 Mar How can you improve the quality of your PowerPoint presentations in 3 easy steps
and change the way you see presentations!
When you think of a presentation, slides immediately come to mind. But a presentation is so much more. In fact, we can think of the presentation as a stool made of 3 legs where each leg is essential to ensure that the stool is standing up. I heard this analogy a few years ago from Andrea Pacini of Ideas on Stage and I think it’s very appropriate to represent the ecosystem of a presentation.
A presentation is therefore made up of the message, i.e. what we want to tell our audience, the visual, i.e. how we want to represent our ideas in a clear and engaging way and finally the delivery, which as we will see is an aspect that is very little developed in presentations but very important because you are the most important part of your presentation.
1. Simplify your content
One of the most common mistakes in PowerPoint presentations is overcrowding slides with too much information. This can happen because the presenter wants to be sure that the whole content of what we want to say is on the slide. But people are sitting in front of us because they want to listen to us, they are not there to read word for word what is written on the slides.
Streamline your content by focusing on the key message you want to convey.
What are the top 3 concepts you want people who listen to you to take home? Defining these 3 elements from the beginning helps you develop the presentation and filter out everything that is interesting but not essential for the purposes of the presentation. If we try to force more than 3 main concepts into the presentation we risk diluting the importance of what is really important and people will not be able to remember it in the following days.
Understanding the key points of the presentation is also a smart way to start structuring it, thus avoiding a stream-of-consciousness presentation without rhyme or reason.
To help you do this, another tip I want to give you is to resist the temptation to start by opening PowerPoint right away. it is much better to fix the key concepts on paper, in an analogical way, perhaps on post-it notes. I love post it because in this way it will be easier and faster for you to reorganize and create a structure to follow for your presentation. you will see that it will be very useful for you in the composition of the slides and even faster. So arm yourself with pen and paper, start jotting down the macro concepts you want to cover in the presentation, and then start developing each of them.
2. Design for Impact [visuals]
Avoid cluttered slides and too much text. Limit the number of slides you use to avoid overwhelming your audience. Use visuals like charts, graphs, images, and videos to make your points more engaging and memorable. But most importantly focus on your message.I am often told that the quality of the content of a presentation is always more important than the graphics and how it is presented. Certainly, your idea and your content are the most important thing, which is precisely why the presentation must represent and show your ideas in the best way. If it is true that we don’t buy a book just because the cover is pretty, it is equally valid that we choose to browse the books that have a cover that attracts us the most. Then we look at the content. Then we decide to buy or not.
So I want to give you some simple indications that will make a difference in the quality of your presentation.
Choose a simple and consistent design for your presentation. Use a clear and easy-to-read font, and avoid using too many different fonts or colours. Keep your design elements consistent throughout your presentation. Use high-quality images and graphics that support your message and avoid using irrelevant or distracting images. Un design semplice non significa un design povero, anzi. Vuol dire saper usare pochi elementi in modo tale da ampliciare la loro forza all’interno della slide.
Preparare delle slide efficaci vuol dire saper anche dosare la quantità di testo all’interno della slide stessa. Le slide che hanno un buon bilanciamento tra testo e visual sono semplici da leggere, comprendere e ricordare.
3. Practice [delivery]
Your presentation skills can make or break your PowerPoint presentation. Practice your delivery by rehearsing your presentation multiple times. Speak clearly, maintain eye contact, and engage your audience by asking questions or encouraging interaction.
1 Engage Your Audience: Make your presentation interactive and engaging by involving your audience. Ask questions, share stories, and use humour to connect with your audience. Use clear and confident body language, make eye contact, and speak in a conversational tone. Encourage feedback and questions throughout your presentation to keep your audience engaged and interested.
Anche se sei stato tu a scrivere la presntazone questo non significa che puoi evitare di ripeterla e farla ancora più tua. Ripercorrere la presentazione vuol dire anche acquisire fluidità e confidenza nella presentazione stessa e sapere esattamente quali sono i punti all’interno delle presentazione dove soffermarsi e perchè. Non c’è niente di più triste che vedere una presentazione ben fatta, con un messaggio chiaro, raccontata male. Non fermiamoci all’ultimo ostacolo e ricordiamoci di lasciarci sempre abbastanza tempo per affrontarlo.
By following these three steps, you can improve your PowerPoint presentations and deliver engaging and effective presentations that leave a lasting impact on your audience.
Credo che ognuno di questi 3 punti racchiuda un mondo ed è per questo che nei prossimi post mi soffermerò su ognuno di questi punti per aprirlo, sezionarlo e e dare spunti che possano essere di aiuto concerto per le vostre presentazioni.
As always, if you want to learn more about the subject, I leave you some books that deal with the subject from different points of view.
The first book has just been released Microsoft Powerpoint best practices, tips and techniques by Chantal Bossè
The second book is Beyond bullet points by Cliff Atkinson.
The third is Garr Reynolds’ timeless and must-read Presentation Zen.