You’ve got a big presentation coming up.
Naturally, you turn to PowerPoint.
And if you stuff it with lines and lines of text, your audience will turn off.
The world’s best speakers and TED talkers use PowerPoint to their advantage.
It helps them highlight certain aspects of their presentation.
Rather than hide behind it.
So here are three tips to help you increase your impact.
This is what can make the biggest difference from the outset.
How often have you sat through a presentation in which the presenter reads the slides line by line?
But because reading in our heads is quicker than listening to someone talk, the audience finishes the slide long before the speaker gets there.
And while we’re busy reading the text, we’ve failed to listen to what the presenter was saying anyway.
It’s a lose-lose situation for both the presenter and the audience.
So what’s the solution?
Show visual examples.
Because the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.
And we’re far better at recalling information when it’s presented as an image too.
So leave behind the lines of text.
Your audience will absorb far more.
But, if you believe you absolutely have to use some words, here’s our second tip.
Steve Jobs remains one of my favourite presenters.
His keynote presentations continue to rack up millions of views on YouTube.
He had a strong dislike of PowerPoint.
But when he did use slides, he’d put his text in font size 190.
That’s enormous, considering this blog is written in font size 12.
Using larger font in PowerPoint forces you to use fewer words and choose them carefully.
And using only a handful of words means your audience pays attention to you, the speaker.
Rather than deciphering paragraphs on a slide.
You’ve got graphs or charts to show your audience.
You click the next slide, and your x-axis and y-axis appear on the screen.
Two things happen.
The audience has missed the explanation because they were too busy figuring it out in their own heads.
So here’s what to do.
Before you bring up the slide, explain what you’re about to show.
It’ll sound something like this:
“So what I’m about to show you is a graph demonstrating the rise in Covid cases in Glasgow from January to May this year.
“You’ll see it starts at a high peak before slowly coming down through the Spring.
“It then begins to pick up again as we enter May.
“Here it is.”
And then you show the slide.
Leave a few seconds of a pause for your audience to take it in.
And then move on.
At Pink Elephant Communications, our rule for slides is simple.
They should underline your point rather than undermine it.
But PowerPoint is often used as a crutch for the unprepared.
Filled with dozens of lines of text, arrows, confusing graphs, and far too much information to process.
You’ve got to keep it simple.
And that means:
And here’s a bonus tip.
Practice, practice, and then practice some more.
If you’re looking for more PowerPoint presentation tips or advice on presenting, get in touch with us.
We’ve also got a range of e-learning video courses on our Pink Elephant Academy where you can learn at your own pace.
Colin Stone is Communications Lead at Pink Elephant.
You can read more about him here.
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