The 3 Power Points of Presentations
Presentations are a lot like blog posts. Good ones should be succinct, engaging and leave your audience with something to take home. We’ve all been to our share of horrible presentations—I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you the things that will put your audience to sleep. Instead, here are the three things I’ve learned to build my presentations around:
Less Text, Better Visuals.
No one likes a Power Point crammed with text. And if you’re reading directly off of your Power Point, I guarantee you your presentation is a snooze fest. Slide decks serve two purposes: to present compelling visuals to highlight what you are saying; and to structure a presentation with key words that will trigger what you say next. Everything you say should NOT be written on a slide behind you, and the more images you have the better.
Engage With, Not Talk At.
This is the big one for me. Yes, a presentation is by its nature me presenting some knowledge I have that my audience doesn’t. But the real reason people are there is to learn from you. People learn by having a conversation—asking questions, hearing what others are thinking, and reacting in real time to the information you are presenting. I always try to save at least half of my allotted time for some combination of group exercises and Q&A.
Always Offer A Freebie.
I like to always give the audience something tangible to leave with. If I’m giving a talk on social media it's a “Guide to Twitter Success.” If I’m talking about strategic media relations I pass out “How To Build a Media List That Actually Works.” People like it when you give them a practical application for whatever you just presented. It’s also a great way to get your contact information and your company’s value proposition into the hands of everyone in the room.
This is the sixth in a series of blog posts focused on the three things Jenny wants you to know on any topic. Check out the first, second, third, fourth and fifth entries here.