Presentations are the businessperson’s gateway to new opportunities, improvements in business, and communication between different levels. Presentations are an essential part of the business world. Creating a Power Point presentation like a PowerPoint specialist has become essential in a world full of “been there, done that” individuals. The presentation must catch attention and drive its point home.
Time and again, presentations that seem consistent across all slides miss the mark. Two of the biggest mistakes made are opposing fonts and colors, effectively ruining slide consistency.
- Opposing Fonts – keep the fonts consistent for titles across all slides. The size and the face must match. Forcing a viewer to devote attention to changing letter shapes and sizes breaks concentration, and pulls the viewer away from the most important part of the presentation – the message.
- Colors – Make sure the colors match over every slide. As with the fonts, changing colors breaks concentration and takes away from the message.
It helps to have speech cards to match the Power Point presentation, because a presenter should never read from the presentation slides. This presentation method loses viewers quickly, because most individuals will skim through the slide, then stop listening. Never read from the slide directly, and never use full sentences on the slides. Use keywords only; these will prompt the speech and enhance it. The presenter must have additional information to give to the audience if the presentation is to catch attention and be remembered.
3. Remember the Audience
Keeping the audience in mind is the number one rule to presentations, but it is the rule most forgotten during Power Point speeches. Many presenters look at the slides instead of the audience, while eye contact with the audience is essential to communicate the message. Additionally, while there is an important message to portray, it still must formulate to the audience. A Power Point built for a group of day care teachers is much different from one built for car dealership owners. Make sure the presentation caters to the audience, and be sure to remember they’re there during the speech. Keep them focused, understand what they need, and give it to them.
4. Spare the Media
Use media and animations sparingly. While they may seem to grab attention, they should only be used to emphasize a point in the presentation. For example, an animated pie chart works wonderfully to emphasize fourth quarter earnings over the first quarter. However, too many animations and media draws away from the content, and therefore, the message.
Surprisingly, many presenters simply aren’t ready for their audience. The presenter must know the slides inside and out for the most memorable presentation. The speech must look practiced and the presenter must look confident. A presenter without practice only leaves the audience remembering a floundering speech instead of the important message they need.