10 Tips for a Knockout Presentation at your Creative Agency

When it comes to putting together effective presentations less is definitely more. And by less, I don’t mean less practice, prep, structure and thought. I am simply referring to keeping your PowerPoint slides less cluttered visually and not putting together slides to be used as a teleprompter.

When I think back to the first presentation I did in a business setting, I am struck with a fresh feeling of terror. The audience was definitely out for blood and picturing the audience naked elicited the gag reflux in a big way. In preparing for the presentation I decided that PowerPoint was definitely my ally. I could just jam it full of every tid bit of information and that way I had backup. I would also wow the group with my advance knowledge of PowerPoint transitions, graphics, and so much content they would be dazzled. During the presentation I rushed big time. I just wanted it to be over and I knew my fabulously supportive co-workers felt the same. It was a disaster and if my colleagues remembered even one fact I presented I would be shocked.

Since those newbie years I have sat through many great presentations, attended a couple of classes and have picked up a couple of tips that have helped me to have more confidence and present information in a clear way. Here’s what I’ve got to share…

Visuals

1. Images − selecting which images you use is a fun task. Ask yourself if your point could be more clearly illustrated using an image? Remember that charts are hard to read so if you are going to use one make sure it is simple and lastly no one wants to see fancy transitions, and WordArt. It would be better to show a white slide with black font. We all attended PowerPoint 101 at least 10 years ago and none of us are impressed.

2. Storytelling instead − instead of a slide could you replace it with a story instead? Storytelling can be a great way to make a personal connection and are often the only thing that people walk away from presentations remembering. Perhaps include a funny story as a great opener, use one in the middle to help illustrate a point and at the end.

3. Bullet Points  − try and aim for four bullet points and 10 words per bullet. Key words can be in bold and throw in a capital where applicable.

Content

4. Create a logical outline  − presentations need structure. The order of your slides is very important and should have a logical flow.

5. Know your audience  − I know it sounds like a simple question, but who are you talking too? Remember that the content you present should be at the same level as your audience. They should also be considered when selecting which images to use or which stories to tell.

6. Tell me something that I don’t already know  − put time in effort into the content that you are going to present. Tell your audience something new, exciting and interesting.

Communication

7. The devil is in the details − keep your points concise and don’t ramble. We know you are an expert on the subject but while you are getting too detailed in your explanations your audience has packed their bags and is headed to Lala Land.

8. Another media − try including another media in your presentation. Whether it is a short YouTube clip or playing a tune, it will add variety and keep your audience interested.

9. Handouts − your audience will definitely be distracted and lose interest in what you are saying if you give them a handout too early on (Ooh paper!). It is better to include more detailed information, key points, and references for them to learn more, in a document that you handout at the end of the presentation, otherwise known as the “take-a-way”.

Lastly

10. Be enthusiastic (you are not a robot), don’t fidget, speak clearly and make sure your zipper is up!

Leanne Steer | fp. Training Consultant

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