10 Steps to making powerful presentations for work and business

Delivering an effective presentation is critical to business as it could be an important factor in closing a deal, delivering a key sales pitch, presenting a new sales initiative or even a startup trying to sell its idea to a potential investor.  An unimaginative PowerPoint presentation can limit the impact of the message being passed across thereby making it hard to understand or distorting the purpose of the presentation which is to communicate, sell your idea, product or service.

Here are 10 steps to keep your audience captivated during your next presentation.

1. Limit yourself to a key point per slide

With so much information to share, this might be a challenging prospect for most people, but it generally helps the presenter to sort out the most important information and can elaborate on them. Keep it simple and concise.

2. Limit the amount of information

The presentation should be about you and not the slide(s), too much information on the slide makes it difficult to read or worse your audience would be reading the text while you speak. Your PowerPoint slides should support your points, not make it.

3. Graphics are of utmost importance

Graphics transmits the information on the slides quickly and reinforces the message the facilitator is trying to pass, an interesting and humorous picture captures the attention of the audience. Graphics are a viable alternative to bullet points, as they could be used to fill the slides with added texts on top or below the photo.

4. Use bold fonts

The text on your slides should be visible for all to see, the audience shouldn’t have to strain their eyes to see the texts or graphics on your slides. A large font of size 30 and above is preferable.

5. Create visually appealing slides

Creating a visually appealing slide is one step of keeping your audience enthralled; this could be achieved by using different fonts, colours and font sizes. A visually appealing slide is more memorable.

6. Avoid templates

Some pre-loaded templates might look great but your audience must have seen It all before. Use a blank slide instead and add your own material. You can scrap the use of your organization’s standard template which in most cases would contain the company’s logo or marketing information. If you are presenting they must know who you are, putting the logo on the front or last page is all you need.

7. Tell a story with your presentation

Your prospect is used to seeing facts, figures and data on slides; storytelling has always been a great way of conveying your message. Your story could be a single scenario-like a teacher from high school, the things she taught you-that you carry through your presentation or separate stories to emphasize specific points. Keep in mind the story isn’t for entertainment, it must be related to the topic of discuss.

8. Limit the use of special effects.

It may seem cool to utilize special effects like sounds or wild transitions but they only serve in detracting attention.

9. Use the build feature

The build feature allows the presenter to reveal one key point at a time as against putting all the information on a slide. This prevents people from reading ahead. Keeping in mind the audience won’t be paying attention if they are already reading the information.

10. Engage and Energize the audience

The presenter should ensure to keep the energy in the room high and participants fully engaged. Show an interest in the attendees, if you don’t, learning won’t stick and attention wanders. Ask attendees to post questions, respect the agenda and key break times.

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