A presentation is something that most people cannot avoid when it comes to their day job, particularly for those working in an office. Whether you enjoy them or not, it’s essential that you do them well, from creating the presentation itself to the delivery of it.
How to Create the Perfect Presentation
Some presentations will be done in-person, whilst others may have to be given over video conference or supplied via email. Whilst the ‘perfect presentation’ might not exist, you can get fairly close to it with the right guidance and of course, practice.
If you’ve recently been tasked with creating your first-ever presentation, or you simply want more tips on improving your presentation skills, then read on!
What Is Your Audience Looking for in a Good Presentation?
A recipe for the perfect presentation will include a number of things. It should consist of a good subject matter, fit the audience engaging with it, and should be well organized.
Timing can often be important too because as humans, we can often have a shorter attention span when it comes to sitting down and listening to a presentation.
Statistically, most people tune out of a Powerpoint presentation after just ten minutes. So with that in mind, it’s good to keep track of how long your presentation will take to deliver.
The delivery of your presentation is important too and that’s something you’ll get tips on towards the end of the article.
But first, let’s look at a step-by-step approach to creating the presentation from scratch.
1. Consider the Objectives or Message of the Presentation.
The first thing to tackle is knowing what you want from the presentation. The type of presentation is important to clarify so that you know its purpose.
There are informative presentations where the objective is to give the listener or reader knowledge of a certain topic or subject matter.
There are persuasive presentations that likely have an objective to persuade the audience to do something, whether it’s a pitch for a client or a call to action of some sort.
You’ve got other types like a tribute presentation or an instructional one. By knowing the type of presentation you’re creating and the message you want to deliver, it can help you get it right.
As you go through the creation of your presentation, make sure to refer back to your objectives or the message you want to get across. That way, you avoid going off on a tangent.
2. Do Your Research and Know What You’re Talking About.
Research is a necessary step in the process of making a presentation. Gather what information, statistics, and relevant data that you have and identify gaps in your knowledge.
Before you go assembling the presentation, it’s good to have everything you need for it, ready and available.
It becomes very apparent when you’re not entirely aware of what you’re talking about. The last thing you want is to have that anxiety or fear of the unknown.
You can never be too prepared when it comes to knowledge or awareness of the subject you’re talking about.
Chances are, your audience has seen many presentations before. So providing them with an insightful presentation that’s full of useful data is key.
There is such a thing as overpacking your presentation with too much information but it’s better than not having enough of it in volume or in quality.
3. Structure the Content So It’s Easily Digestible.
The structure is important because, without it, you’re likely going to enable your audience to tune out a lot quicker. It can also make it challenging for you as a presenter or the persons responsible for presenting.
Ideally, the presenter wants to be looking to the audience, more than constantly looking towards the screen.
With that in mind, consider the structure of your content. Try to space out the written text and include images to break up the text where possible.
You may find it useful to look at some presentation templates, especially if you’ve not done many presentations prior to the one you’re creating now.
Think about how much content you’re putting on each page and whether you could spread this across more pages to make it easier to follow along.
A good tip for structuring your content is to look back over each slide and review the ratio of content to see if any need cutting down.
The aim, after all, is to keep your audience engaged from the beginning to the very end.
4. Use Editing Tools to Better Its Appearance.
Now comes the most important bit – well perhaps second to your content.
The appearance of a presentation is important but you may be asking if it’s possible to make a presentation more exciting to look at. The answer is yes!
Thankfully, we’ve got access to some great editing tools and software the can improve the appearance of your presentation.
Visual elements are important to incorporate as they help capture your audience’s attention and they can draw the eye to various parts of the slideshow where needed.
There are a couple of platforms worth using when designing the presentation. Depending on your design skills, you may find some of these better to use than others.
The fortunate part about having a variety of digital tools is that you don’t need to be an expert in design to create professional visuals.
Canva is a great platform for those who have basic design skills or nothing whatsoever.
There are thousands of different design templates, effects, and features that can help you create stunning infographics for a brand logo.
The tool is easy enough to use and what makes it even more appealing is that it’s free to use. There are premium subscriptions available but for the most part, the free version might be all you need.
For something a little more complex, Adobe Indesign is a good shout. Whilst Canva is used through your online browser or via a mobile app, Adobe Indesign is desktop software.
It can be used to create anything from magazines to newspapers, books, and ebooks. But most importantly, it can create stunning presentations.
5. Check It over and Get It Reviewed by Others.
Last but not least, when you’ve created your presentation and you feel it’s ready to see the light of day, show it to someone you trust.
Preferably, you want someone who has the experience in giving presentations or perhaps has professional knowledge of what you’re presenting.
An extra pair of eyes can be good to have on the presentation so that they can flag up any mistakes or problem areas that need addressing.
This is the point at which you’ll want to make any last-minute adjustments so that it’s near to perfection.
Tips for Giving the Presentation on the Day
On the day of the presentation, you’ll likely have sweaty palms and a dry mouth but preparation is key in order to help get you through it. Here are some useful tips that you might find helpful.
Prepare the Night Before
A good night’s sleep can be good to get the day before a presentation. You also want to prepare the night before.
Check that the presentation works as it should do and that you’ve done a quick run-through of the presentation whether it be in front of someone or just to yourself.
A bit of light preparation the night before is likely to help with the nerves.
Organize Yourself Prior to Presenting
Before your presentation starts, if possible, double-check everything works and that you’ve got yourself set up correctly.
A glass of water will likely be welcomed by your future self when it comes to starting the presentation.
Just like preparing oneself, getting organized before presenting is going to help you keep calm and collected.
Presenters can have a habit of sticking to one monotone voice throughout a presentation.
However, it’s important to try and be as passionate as you can when talking. By adding slight inflections to your voice, it can instantly improve the delivery of what you’re saying.
Try to be more conscious of how you’re speaking and to stop yourself from sounding bored. Listen to yourself speaking when preparing the night before.
Make Time for Questions
A lot of the presentations you give are likely to be you or the presenter in question, talking for the majority of the time.
However, one way to keep your audience engaged is by having question time in the end or even throughout the presentation.
This can encourage conversation and make it a more collaborative experience, particularly when giving the presentation in person.
Remember That the Perfect Presentation Comes with Practice
In order to improve on a skill or talent, it’s always good to practice. Presentations are a common feature in many job roles and so it’s useful to continue practicing with every presentation you create and deliver.
Make note of what works and what doesn’t and in time, your efforts will pay off in more ways than one.
Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)
Email – email@example.com
Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator.
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