“Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance”; these are the words of Stephen Keague, author of the famous “Little Red Handbook of Public Speaking and Presenting”. Congratulations on getting that awe-striking business idea, your next step is to give shape and details to your sensational discovery. Building an attractive presentation by selecting colourful slide designs and a Monotype Corsiva font approach won’t impress anybody in the conference room; after all it’s a blueprint of your “DREAM” and not some fancy Educomp Kindergarten class.
1. Use 30PT Font-Size
Bigger font sized texts such as 30PT are easier to read and you definitely don’t want people in the meeting to point out “Hey what’s that word you’ve written in the sidebar?” Clarity plays an important role; your text should be visible to all the conference members so that they can relate to your speech easily. Remember that your slide compliments your speech, and it’s not the other way round so be aware of this vital point because a mere carelessness can lead to a big loss.
2. Create Not More Than 10-12 Slides
It’s important to note that you should keep it short when the numbers of slides are concerned because nobody wants you to go on and on blabbering for 30 minutes on something that they stopped listening to about 10 minutes ago. In order to grab people’s attention you need to explain and provide details during your speech to every slide so in order to keep the whole duration short; not compromising with the explanations for every slide, you need to chop off the number of slides to 10 or 12 at the maximum. The time you save can be spent in a Q&A session later for a better interaction.
3. Prepare a Great Compelling Story
This will give you a great edge because people feel more connected to stories relating to practicality rather than some theoretical stats. Prepare a story for the beginning of your presentation that’s compelling and connects with the audience so well that they understand in the first 10-20 seconds what’s your idea all about.
4. Simple and Catchy
Practice simple yet catchy phrases both in your slides and in your speech to create a bit of a wave of interest amongst the people because a monotonous tone is bound to make the audience go on the beautiful journey of day-dreaming. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, the simpler and catchier your words, the more eyeballs and ears it’s going to grab. The tagline of your start up should be so catchy that after the presentation, it keeps on echoing inside the viewers’ heads.
5. Less Text and More Graphs & Images
A simple example is the “Terms & Conditions” page; until and unless you’re penalised by the company for not following certain conditions, you won’t even read the first line. High Quality images speak volumes and can grab the viewers’ attention just by how attractive they look. Graphs explain vital statistics in a clearer fashion than any set of words will. Also, graphs help people connect to big numbers just by a simple look at the pie charts.
6. Practice Until Perfection
Rehearse your slide timings along with your speech and adjust accordingly. Keep in mind that you provide every minute detail for the crucial slides and an outline of what’s not really important. Practice by giving the presentation to a friend and be open to suggestions because every opinion matters and a step by step improvement process leads to amazing results and exquisite success.
1. Use of Stock Fonts
Stock Fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman and Comic Sans are a big NO! Why? Because they clearly state that you’ve used defaults and you lack in creativity. Font styles such as Courier New describe structure and organization effectively and using fonts like Quicksand, Fertigo, Nevis, etc. give the slides a better look demonstrating the creativity involved. Following the same font style is also not wise, keep varying your styles in order to maintain the interest of the audience.
2. Use Of Low Quality Images
People struggling to look into that low resolution picture is something you don’t want to happen at a time when you’re so close to bringing your idea to life. Use of HD images with high resolutions proves to be great eye catching assets to your presentations. Our mind works on images then why not display good quality images in order to put quality information in the mind of the viewers.
3. Beating Around The Bush
Practicing with a positive frame of mind and a good compelling story doesn’t mean you forget the basis of all the fancy elements you’ve put in. Come straight to the point and don’t keep beating around the bush. People shouldn’t be kept in suspense for a long time because that will result in disinterest and day dreaming.
4. Making a Document rather than a Slide
A slide should not be filled with a lot of text altogether; this will lead to information overloading and people won’t be able to connect with you nor will they understand whether to keep looking at the text or at you when you’re speaking. This can also result in losing the eye contact with the audience which is a huge setback and can affect your confidence.
5. Preparing in a Monotonous tone
The conference room is filled with people who’ve taken out their precious time in order to see what uniqueness that you can offer, is in store for them. Make sure you make it a notable experience by NOT being monotonous in your tone. People lose interest as soon as they realize the speaker himself is uninterested in giving the presentation and a speech that goes like a dead ECG signal definitely signifies the same point.
6. No Speech Preparation
This is not a mistake or a blunder in the corporate world; this is a “SIN”. Presenters reading from the slide clearly portray their lack of confidence, negligent and incautious behavior towards something that is so important to them. Nobody likes to do business with careless people who cannot even frame sentences on their own. You need to strongly explain each and every essential detail on your slide so do not skip your practice sessions and efforts in maintaining a proper pitch.
Exceed the audience’s expectations by surprising them with variations, high quality designs and energetic body language and make people go “Whoa! What an excellent piece of work” and “Could you please repeat that again”. The moment you start believing in your own work only then will the people be able to start believing in you. Be a magnet in the room, enjoy all the attention and prove your mettle and potential to the world.
Image Courtesy: shutterstock.com
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