WOW Your Audience with These Presentation Tips!

The thought of preparing and presenting a sales pitch to a live audience does, by all accounts, strike the fear of God into most of us at some point in our lives but death by PowerPoint is NOT an option!

We’re all good at something, whether that’s content writing, marketing, lead generation or closing sales calls on the telephone, but in truth, we’re not all presentation designers.

Using a presentation design agency not only saves you time in the presentation design process but also allows you to concentrate fully on winning over that ever-elusive investor you’ve been chasing.  Giving you more time to focus on the stats and information and convincing them why they should you over someone else.

Another significant advantage of hiring a presentation design company is that once your presentation template is created, you can reuse it because it is consistent with your own branding and simple to use and customise.

Whether you are a new start-up, business exec, or marketing mogul this article will give you some top tips on how to bag that investor and WOW your audience in the process.

#Tip 1 Know your audience          

Make sure you have done your research on who your audience will be and then design your presentation appropriately.  If, for example, your audience is going to be a young trendy bunch of web designers, game developers, or even street artists, then make sure that you use visuals and audio that will engage them from the start.

On the other hand, if your audience is going to be made up of FTSE 100 company delegates then change your presentation accordingly and tone it down and make it a little more formal and business-like.

#Tip 2 Keep it Simple

An overly long presentation with hundreds of slides is far more likely to lose the interest of your audience as opposed to a shorter, carefully planned, and executed presentation with, say, 5 slides.  We all lead ridiculously busy lives and people’s attention spans are, as a rule, quite short and you need to captivate and engage with your audience from the start and keep the momentum going until your presentation is finished.

#Tip 3 Get your Facts Straight

If you’re going to be using industry facts and stats in your presentation, then make sure they are on-point.  Check your sources and then check them again.  Facts and figures are a great way of getting information across to your audience, especially if you are selling a business tool or service, but ensuring your facts are right is paramount, because if they are incorrect, someone will know, and you could end up with egg on your face.

#Tip 4 Choose the right Font

You have probably noticed that a good PowerPoint agency will incorporate a font into their presentation design that is consistent throughout and easy to read.

Although it is tempting, sometimes it is better to curb your creative urges to splash multiple fonts across your presentation slides.   The key objective of a presentation is getting a message across, so stick to standard fonts like Calibri or Arial — both of which are easy for your audience to read quickly.

#Tip 5 Keep Text to a Minimum

The basic concept of “less is more” is never more pertinent than in a business presentation. Too many words on a slide or screen not only slows down the pace of a presentation but also forces the audience to read what you’re saying rather than listen to it.

Use a maximum of six bullet points on each slide and a maximum of six words for each bullet point.  Try to avoid using complete sentences unless you are repurposing a quote.

#Tip 6 Choose the Right Images

The right multimedia will always trump the best words in any presentation design.

Utilise the fact that humans prefer visual imagery rather than text and select the most appropriate images for your needs.   Remember that certain images are subject to Copyright so use sites such as Unsplash or if you really want to be creative, you could even design your own.

Also, try and keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Generally, one image per slide is the most effective.
  • Images could also include Graphs (to convey data points) and diagrams (to illustrate how a business process works), but again, with the whole process – choose simplicity.
  • For a clean appearance, balance images with whitespace. If you don’t, your slides will appear unprofessional and may cause confusion.

# Tip 7 Add a little Humour

Even the toughest audiences can be won over if you inject a little humour into your presentation.  Obviously not a full-scale stand-up comedy routine but the odd pun or play on words can lighten the mood and could make your presentation more memorable.

Two things to always consider before you start cracking jokes are your audience and ultimately your own brand image, and how you want your company to be portrayed and remembered.

# Tip 8 Remember the 4 P’s

Plan

Planning is key.  Your presentation needs to be meticulously planned out and researched to make sure it is on-point from start to finish.  Make sure you have given yourself enough time to gather all the relevant information, stats, and data, and that you know what you want to convey in your presentation and what your end goal is.

Prepare

Your own self-image can sometimes be just as important as your presentation.  Make sure that you know what you are going to wear on the day of your presentation, make sure you know where you are going, and always give yourself plenty of time for possible travel disruptions and delays.  Make sure you know how to work your audio and visual equipment and that you are prepared for any questions your audience members might ask you.

Practice

Even the most confident of people are struck down with nerves sometimes.  Public speaking or standing in front of an audience you haven’t met before can be terrifying.  Practice your presentation with friends or colleagues and make sure that you know your script well in advance.

Reading something out loud, even in front of a mirror will let you hear anything that doesn’t sound quite right so practice really does make perfect.

Perform

William Shakespeare once said “’All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” and giving a presentation is very much like an acting role.

Remember to smile, be polite and professional, and don’t panic if you fluff your lines – nobody is perfect!

About the Author: Jose Brewer

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