How to Make the Best Professional Presentations
Unless you are naturally comfortable in front of a crowd, speaking at length about your industry, product, or services may be a daunting challenge. Keeping it all together, knowing your audience, and nailing the slides can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. Here are just a few ideas on how to make your slides professional looking, easy-to-read, and, dare we say, interesting.
It may seem like a tall order to be able to reach everyone in your audience, especially professionals that have to listen to convention speeches, pitches, and seminars all the time. There are some things you can do to perk up your presentations and make the whole process easier.
Choosing the Right Presentation Tool
There are so many different platforms and apps that you may choose from. Here is a great article that can help you choose which one may be best for you and give you an idea of the main cost or advantages of each. We suggest you choose the one that you are most comfortable with and that allows you to the ease to work on the project from many locations, share with others, and create an easy to follow series of slides.
Before you even begin to write your presentation or collect your slides, decide on your goal. What three main messages do you want the viewers to glean from your presentation? Start by telling the audience in the first few slides (and seconds) of the presentation what they will learn. There should be no mystery in what you want them to take away from your presentation. Once you know what you want them to learn, organize your slides and presentation accordingly.
Keep Your Presentation Slides Uniform
Once you start organizing your presentation slides, use a uniform font, size, and color palette. Try not to have every slide take a different form. This will let the audience know what to expect from each slide without distracting them with extraneous colors and images. This includes having every slide either “landscape” or “vertical” orientation. Too much switching around can take away from your message.
Limit Bullets and Text
Presentation slides are really meant for the audience to know what you want them to learn or the key takeaways. Do NOT clutter your slides with too much text or too many bullets. Not only will this clutter your slides, but it may indicate that you need the bullets as reminders of what you want to say. The only thing on the slides should be main ideas.
Use Charts and Images
This suggestion comes with a caveat. Only use charts or animation images when it helps explain your point. Too many charts tend to turn off audiences, especially if they are hard to read.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Even if you think you know the information well, practice it in front of team members or colleagues to be sure you have hit on all the main points you want to hit.
Need help preparing a professional presentation? Check out our workshop, “Present Like the Pros” on Feb 6th.