Top Tips to Make Your Business Presentation More Effective
It is indeed very rare for executives to make a business presentation without resorting to PowerPoint. This is because it is very easy to add visuals, sound, and animation to the text content to explain a topic. You can also share the presentation later by putting it up on the cloud, emailing it or even distributing it to the audience on CDs or pen drives. However, all said and done, countless business presentations are not as effective as they could have been due to a variety of reasons, mainly because presenters do not know how to build their presentations for maximum effect. So whether your pitching a new business plan, a marketing strategy or appraising the success of your business here are Some handy tips to make your presentations better:
Get the Structure of the Presentation Ready First
The best way of making a good PowerPoint presentation is to forget about the PowerPoint package and plan out the contents of the presentation first on paper or on the word processor if you are very comfortable with it. The first thing you need to make a note of is the presentation’s goal i.e. what message you want your audience to receive and what they should want to do after the presentation is over. It can be very helpful to describe the attributes of the audience in terms of what they know of the subject, their attitude towards it and what obstacles are there in their way that’s preventing them from appreciating it better.
Once you have been able to define where your audience is and where you want to lead them to, you can start laying out your main ideas and using facts and figures to convince them. Think how you can add visual content or even sounds to make your case stronger. Identify what visuals you would like to use so that you are not stuck when preparing your slides.
Decide On the Slide Template for Maximum Appeal, Consistency, and Readability
The basis of effective communication through PowerPoint slides is your ability to make them visually appealing, yet simple and easy to comprehend. The best way of achieving visual consistency so that the audience is not distracted is to use a PowerPoint template that you can make a standard for all the slides. The selected template should have a graphic element that is aesthetically pleasing without being distracting and a background color that will allow the text matter placed on it to be read optimally. The purpose of the template is to act as a visual framework to hold the contents together in a consistent manner.
If you do not want to experiment with the color contrast, you can use any of the color contrast calculators available online. The font and the font size should be such that the audience can easily read it quickly. Generally, a font that is around 24-28 points should be adequate for most presentation environments, even if it is being projected onto a large screen. Resist the urge to use fancy fonts and stick to sans-serif ones that are common like Arial or Calibri as they have better readability.
Make More Use of Visuals than Text
Business presentations full of text can be extremely annoying. The audience hates to read but is compelled to do so hence there a feeling of resistance creeps in, which is not exactly great for a proper understanding of the presentation concept. Avoid blocks of text and stick to making your point in brief phrases. If you need to present any numerical data, do so by way of a chart or a graph instead of tables of data. Try and make the maximum use of pictures to convey the points that need to be made. Even the pictures must not be shown in a dull way. Results of surveys and user experiences are best presented through audio-visual clips that can be embedded into the presentation for a greater impact.
Making Your Point
Just like speeches, presentations should be prepared in advance and rehearsed a number of times so that the impact is as you want it to be. View your presentation sitting in the shoes of the audience. Are the points being made in the slides clear? Is there any ambiguity or confusion between data in different slides? Is the presentation too long? Does your presentation provoke your audience to think and act in the manner that you had intended? If your presentation can answer these questions properly, then you surely have a winning business communication on your hands.
This guest post was written by Gabriel Collins, the chief training manager working at a leading fashion retailer. He recommends using a custom PowerPoint template to make presentations with more impact.