If you work in business you’ve probably had to present with a slide deck. Whether it’s for a small group of co-workers or peers or a large scale presentation, having a visually appealing slide deck with the right mix of imagery and content, is critical to the success of your getting your message across to others.
Here are 5 easy tips to help make your next presentation a success:
- Start with a Plan/Outline What comes first the slide deck or the content-the content, definitely. Create an outline of your topic and the things you want to cover. The points that you want to make, the story you want to tell, the data you need to present. Then after you know what you’ll be covering, you start to create your slide deck. What information can be told with imagery? Where do you need a table of data? What continuous theme do you want to have go thru the entire presentation?
- Slide layout You want continuity through-out the entire presentation, so you need to choose your fonts, your slide colors and your header and footers. Not every slide layout needs to be the same, with a picture and then comments to the side of it, but you want continuity in the way that the slides look so people understand how the whole story comes together. Also, remember if your deck will be shown on a laptop computer or a screen, the font size and amount of content should be easy for people in each environment to understand and see.
- Headlines not Descriptions The slide deck is there to support you’re presentation and story telling, but not to share all of the info. So focus on engaging headlines/titles on each slide rather than explaining everything you’re going to say. Example: “2017 Sales Goals” is a description “2017 Sales Goals to Grow 25%” is a headline
- Use Pictures to tell the Story Imagery is critical in a slide deck. A powerful picture that evokes emotion will reinforce the story you’re telling. Your photo could be a metaphor or something literal, but it should be clear why the image is being used and how it aligns with your message.
- Be Obsessive about Grammar and Spelling You’ve spent time putting your slides together. You picked an easy to read font, your colors align with your company brand and your animations are flying in perfectly. But if you don’t spend time proof reading your content you’ll lose credibility as soon as someone finds a typo in your slides. Spend the time, read each slide from the bottom up and end to front. Reading out of context helps you spot sentences that don’t flow and helps you spot typo’s since you’re not “assuming” what it says. When you’re familiar with the content, it’s hard to find the errors, because you know what it’s supposed to say.
What other tips do you have for great presentations? Share your ideas here.