Presentations are an effective way of relaying information to your audience as compared to speeches. There are certain elements in presentations that allow for audience engagement and the retaining of information long after the presentation is over. Here are eight things to keep in mind while creating your next corporate presentation.
1) Use Key Phrases
On your PowerPoint, Flash or Keynote presentation, use key phrases and add only essential information on the slides. Choose three or four important points regarding your topic and emphasize on them throughout the delivery. Limit the words on each slide and reduce the bullet points to three per slide; the surrounding ‘white’ space will make reading easier. Use simple language for quick reading.
2) Slide Layout
Slides need to be easy to follow. Put a title page where it should be and the remaining slides should have a coherent flow. Important information should be put near the top of a slide especially if you have a large audience. Those on the back rows are usually not able to see the bottom portions of slides. Pick slide designs that appeal to your target audience.
3) The writing
Punctuation clutters the slide while using all caps makes statements harder to read. It also causes you to lose the audience attention as they will feel they are being shouted at. Use simple and easy fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana. Calligraphy will make statements almost impossible to read. Use a maximum of two different fonts; one for headings and the other for content. Fonts need to be large (24-30 pt) so that those at the back of the room can read easily.
Avoid white backgrounds and use lighter colours like beige because they are easier on the eyes. You can use a dark background if your main corporate colour is dark but remember to use a light text colour. Experimenting with patterned or textured backgrounds is not advisable as it reduces readability. Also, keep the colour scheme consistent in all slides.
5) Slide Number
On average, a slide should be change every minute. Keep your slides to a minimum to avoid distracting your audience with constant changing of slides.
Break up your presentation every ten minutes with demonstrations to re-engage the audience. Relevant photos, graphs and charts keep audiences interested in your presentation and provide another way for them to process information and keep them actively engaged. Use more pictures as they increase the retention of the message being conveyed. However, adding too many transitions and animations can be distracting.
You may not always have your machine with you so ensure your presentation can be viewed from any computer before you copy your presentation onto a flash disk or a CD.
8) Audience interaction
Ask for questions or feedback at the end of your presentation.