Very few people enjoy giving presentations; speaking in front of a group of people is not only difficult, it can be nerve wracking. A powerpoint presentation, however, is even more difficult to give, because not only do you have to speak, you also need to create a presentation that will grab people’s attention and keep it.
Consider the following when you give your next powerpoint presentation:
Don’t write paragraphs
People don’t go to a powerpoint presentation to read-they go to hear you present. Make sure to avoid just placing paragraphs on your slides, as this can bore your audience. If they are a fast readers, they will finish your slide before you’re finished reading it and stop paying attention; conversely, if your audience reads slowly, they won’t be able to keep up. In addition, text is hard to read and takes the focus off you and your message.
Don’t use too many pictures
Just as writing too many paragraphs is a powerpoint presentation no-no, removing most of the text and adding tons of pictures can also hurt your presentation. Too many pictures means that your presentation will be too busy and may cause people to pay attention to the screen rather than what you are saying. Too many pictures also means that you won’t have any room on your presentation for any information.
Use visuals instead of text slides :
Many surveys have been conducted to know what bothers most audiences about bad PowerPoint presentations.They have all confirmed the fact that audiences are more fed up than ever with the overload of text on slides (Results of the latest survey here).
Instead of using slides that only contain text, use visuals such as powerpoint diagrams and charts, photos and media clips to engage the audience.
The best presentation will support your discussion and provide the most important points to your audience. Since there will be supplemental information to this presentation (because you didn’t put all the information on the powerpoint), create handouts with more detailed information that people can review later. Make sure to leave a space for them to jot questions or notes down.
Pay attention to your appearance
Just because you are presenting doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be the center of attention; after all, you are the one doing the talking. Make sure that you dress appropriately and hold yourself in a professional manner. Make sure to stand straight with your shoulders squared. This radiates confidence and helps get people to not only pay attention to what you are saying, but also to trust you.
Pay attention to the way you talk
If you keep talking in the same tone, you are going to quickly begin to sound like a robot-and eventually become white noise. People will get bored and start nodding off or daydreaming, which will render your presentation a moot point. Modulate your voice and even pause the presentation to ask questions or engage your audience.
Write a script and practice it
Just as you don’t want to read your presentation, you don’t want to spend it stuttering and saying “uh” or “um.” This is just as detrimental as speaking at an unmodulated tone, because if you stammer, people will stop paying attention. Worse, people will stop trusting you-and doubt your competence. In order to avoid this, create a script and practice reading it several times. You don’t have to memorize the script, but make sure you get the main points down.
Bring notecards to help you remember the main ideas. Just be sure not to stand in front of your audience and read cards, or you will sound like a robot.