I don’t know about you, but for me most of the old school visual presentations out there represent a huge pain in the rear. They’re stuffed with a lot of information nobody will ever remember – they’re the perfect portrayal of the expression: `awkward silence`.
To be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that.
1. KNOW YOUR MISSION
If you think you know your objectives when delivering a visual presentation, think again.
Giving a long, humdrum speech about your company, your vision, your principles, your impeccable services and your awesome team while keeping watch on your sliders won’t impress anybody. People will just try to keep calm, wait for the break and break away as fast as they can. Or they’ll just fly the coop and cut loose during the show.
A visual presentation helps you express yourself when delivering a speech – it must not become the speech itself.
I believe everyone agrees with me when I say that we all hated that kid from our class who used to read an essay in front of us instead of just talking about the things he was well aware of. We all know he used to read instead of just talking because he had no clue about what was that lesson all about. Don’t be that person, just don’t!
As a general objective, you must keep in mind that a visual presentation is more of a support for you. You are the presentation. This is your mission: to make people aware of your services, to raise questions, to answer them. Otherwise, I don’t really understand what’s the whole purpose of you being there.
2. LESS IS MORE
Both reading and listening won’t do – not everyone is multitasking, not everyone can do both things at the same time. Avoid visual jibber-jabber such as long sentences or ill-favored pictures.
That mouth of yours was made for talking. Use it. When dealing with visual content, always remember people are always drawn into keywords, good graphics, funny or shocking images, or short quotes.
In the long run, this types of presentations won’t really help if you want people to remember everything about you.
Better focus on the more important things such as your brand, your voice, your attitude. This way you’ll allure them right on the website of your company – the place where magic happens. The hardest thing to do is to make them access that page.
They say not all those who wander are lost – try not to write an essay while forging your presentations because all those wanderers out there will be forever lost. You don’t want to confuse your public, but to get it back on track.
Here are some useful tips on how to get rid of that humongous amount of text and make it look more friendly.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
PowerPoint is a comfortably numb, mainstream tool. Don’t be like that. Don’t be mainstream. Don’t be afraid of trying something else. Experiment with Prezi, Emaze, Slidedog, SlideShare.
There are plenty of fish in the sea – find your golden one, learn everything about it and clear your thoughts.
Worst case scenario, if nothing’s a fit, adapt PowerPoint to the latest trends. If you have no idea how to spruce up your content, make a research, see how well did other people do. Accept guidance. Take a look at these pieces of advice right here.
Plan your content
Be aware of how much will you talk, how much information will there be written on your slides, and don’t forget about the unpredictable factors: the noise, your audience and its mood, technical problems etc.
4. CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
First, you must get some insights about the kind of public you’ll talk to. Then, create personalized messages. Don’t make Harry Potter jokes if your audience loves The Lord of the Rings.
Start your presentation with a joke, a question, a riddle, a fun fact, an epic image or maybe a Game of Thrones spoiler.
Make eye contact, be relaxed, try not to read from your slides but to, well, present them, ask questions, and focus on your audience’s needs and concerns. Yes, you want them to be aware of you, of your company or your services – come up with something valuable.
Their needs are your needs, too. If you do not find a way to get closer to them, to make them curious about your activities, to make them look for you over the Internet, or just make them come at you at the end of that presentation and ask more questions, well, that presentation of yours had no point at all. You’re just another brick in the wall.
Also, Q&A is an awkward moment. If you want feedback, develop your speech so that people can interfere without feeling all weird. You don’t have to wait until the finale to beg for some questions nobody will pry into.
5. IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Learn charisma or die trying – if you’re not charismatic enough, well, it’s about time to learn how to be more appealing. I’m not referring to your personal style, but to that capacity of captivating a group of people when you open your mouth and start talking.
Hitting the right spots, a plain presentation won’t do.
The 21 century is no country for old school PowerPoint shows.
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. In addition, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. That means that your presentations need to be visually captivating. (via Forbes)