PowerPoint Presentation Tips from 24point0
We have all heard of the famous adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But can this saying be applied to all pictures or only those select few that communicate the intended message effectively? Today, visual communication is present in everything from web pages to advertisements and to even roadside signs and displays. More and more companies are relying on visual forms of communication to set themselves apart from their competition.
While there are several forms and tools of visual communication, companies today depend heavily on a combination of verbal, written and visual forms of presentation to communicate. How do they ensure that their communication is dynamic, efficient and effective? Here’s how:
1. Focus on the message: Always identify the purpose behind the message being communicated and stick to it.
2. Know your audience: While the message you are trying to convey might be a powerful one, the way it is conveyed might not suit everyone. Keep in mind the saying “Walk the Walk before You Talk the Talk.” Try to do some background research on the target audience, their knowledge and demographic base and tailor the presentation to suit them.
3. Keep it simple: Make the communication easy and clear by avoiding unnecessary elements.
4. Use plain English: Use simple language in active voice. Avoid lengthy sentences and jargon. Combination of long and short sentences can keep the writing from being monotonous and boring.
(Source: Planning in Plain English, Planning in Plain English: Writing Tips for Urban and Environmental Planners, Natalie Macris. Published by APA Planners Press, 2000)
5. Limit the amount of text used: Use key words to highlight important information. Do not use paragraphs or lengthy sentences as they weaken the message being conveyed and bore the audience.
6. Size matters!!! Position yourself away from the computer screen or if you can the projector by at least 6’0″ to see if you can read the text.
7. Avoid clutter and bling: As seen from the images below, too many graphics or text effects will cause strain to ones’ eyes and will make the presentation confusing.
8. Practice: Invest some time before the presentation to prepare yourself on the subject matter being presented. Never read directly from the screen as this gives an impression of being under prepared.
9. Engage the audience: Use humor or anecdotes to engage the audience. Keep the presentation interactive through a two-way dialogue, by encouraging the audience to ask questions or by asking them questions.
10. Have backup plans: In the world of power back-ups and memory back-ups, there is still the uncertainty of technology failure. Always be prepared by storing a copy of the presentation in a memory card. In the event everything fails, being well prepared for the presentation (See Point 8 ) will help in effective engagement of the audience.
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