How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Part 3

May 27, 2010

How To Prepare?

 Prepare your presentation based on self-evaluation questions in part 1.  You need to spend time according to the ‘worth’ of your presentation.  More planning and preparation are required if stakes are high.

  1. Brain-storm: Like any task, you need to brain-storm about the presentation. Write down the idea / topic of your presentation. Use any mind mapping tool.
  2. Weave a story: A story around topic supported by case study or testimonial or any relevant post on the Internet is very engaging to audience. Your objective is to grab and keep the attention while presenting.
  3. Research: Comprehensive study of the subject is needed and also do research over the Internet.  If it is a tool or application you are presenting about, make sure to use it yourself and learn basics.
  4. Question: Come up with your own questions about each slide that attendee may ask; or what question does your slide raise.  Ask questions from subject matter experts (use Internet forums, Twitter, or LinkedIn).
  5. Facts: Find out how would you support the idea or story you are going to tell the audience – find facts/figures/graphs to support your claims.

Putting Slides Together

  1. Flow: Develop a logical flow of your topic so that it becomes seamless from beginning to end.
  2. Less is More: Question yourself why you want this particular slide; can you do without it; if not then how would it benefit the audience.
  3. Simplicity is the Key: Simple slides with white background and big black fonts work in most cases; even when room is well lit.
  4. Make is Readable: Use reasonably big fonts so that person from back of the room can also see. Use different color fonts to emphasize keywords, facts and figures. Use bulleted list where possible; 5 bullets per page should serve the purpose. Spell out acronyms, sources of information on the slide.  If slide contains too much – create another slide.
  5. Peer Review: Review the draft presentation with available group of people, including your Boss, peers, and other concerned people.

How To Improve Your Presentation

  1. FAQ: Compile a Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) slide.  Use feedback comments at strategic places in the presentation. Use photos of the person who provided feedback or commented – it wakes audience up.
  2. Engage: Put some multiple choice questions / options around the topic in the slide deck to keep audience brain engaged.
  3. Bullets: Use numbered bullet points where possible or use laser pointer to point out which bullet point is being discussed.
  4. Paint the Picture: Associate your product, service, or topic with something big or unique.
  5. Present: Do not read the slides to audience rather present to them. Slides are to reference and show key points.
  6. Practice: Rehearse the presentation and check (that it works) the tools and technology you will use during presentation. Record and watch your rehearsal practice for improvement.  If someone will be helping you in changing the slides, involve that person in rehearsal – if possible.

Hope you found some good points to implement in your PowerPoint presentations.  What is your experience?  Lets share.

Thank you for your visit and have a great day.

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How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Part 2

May 22, 2010

Part II – Cause Of Boring PowerPoint Presentations

(This post is also published on pmhut.com as a complete article)

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Dorothy Nevill

  1. Knowledge: One does not know the subject inside-out. All talk is superficial.
  2. Passion: Presenter is not passionate about the topic. If presenter himself is not interested in the presentation, how others can be.
  3. Planning: Not enough planning done about presentation. Person may know a lot about the subject and also very passionate; but fails to plan or weave an interesting story for intended audience.
  4. Expectations: Misalignment between Audience’s understanding level and key message to be delivered. Not conveying what people will get out of the presentation in advance.
  5. Overkill: Giving too much information in one slide or single presentation.
  6. Too Fancy: Stunning images & background, fancy fonts, various special distract audience. Know your audience and know your field.
  7. Preparation: Not enough rehearsal, presentation not flowing smoothly gives indication as person is not prepared.

 Now we know the causes of boring PowerPoint presentation, in next post we will review –

Part III – How To Prepare? Putting Slides Together &  How To Improve Your Presentation


How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Or At Least Not Suck

May 20, 2010

Part I – From PoorPoint to PowerPoint Presentations

Have you attended any boring, too long to stay focused (even awake) presentation and at the end walked out dissatisfied without gaining something or giving out any useful input? Have you ever delivered any lengthy, fact loaded presentations with tons of tables, bullet points, graphs and even slide animation?

PowerPoint is an essential business tool and is used to inform/convince the audience and deliver the key message. It’s to be used as visual aid to help presenter and not to present complete white papers in PowerPoint format.

From sales people to students and from technical gurus to creative mavericks, everyone is using PowerPoint to share concepts, offer solutions, sell products/services and deliver messages. Leveraging the power of PowerPoint is helping people to deliver speeches effectively and easily. By following few steps, you can improve the outcome, make interesting presentations and engage the audience.

As we all know that most precious commodity after the time is the attention of the audience so that real message can be delivered, and desired results can be obtained. Our goal should be to keep audience attentive and receptive of our message by making presentation concise, engaging, on-topic and result focused. Also, preparation around the delivery of PowerPoint is the key success factor; actual problem is with the amount and type of content, style of delivery and type of preparation that goes in – and not with the PowerPoint itself.

Self-Evaluation

First Step is to answer following as first step, use the answers to plan your PowerPoint –

WHY do you need to give PowerPoint presentation?
WHAT do you plan to accomplish from this presentation?
HOW would you make your idea get across and accepted?
WHEN do you think will you be ready for presentation?

Now we know the importance of presenting right ‘stuff’ in ‘right’ format for better results.  In next posts we will review –

Part II – Cause Of Boring PowerPoint Presentations
Part III – How To Prepare? Putting Slides Together &  How To Improve Your Presentation

More reading material –
 http://ltlatnd.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/powerpoint-is-not-the-problem/
http://www.wordsellinc.com/blog/communication-skills/presentation-skills-public-speaking/


7 Quotes for Achievers

May 5, 2010
  1. Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. Many people like to think that they’ll find balance AFTER they find success. But in reality, achieving balance IS success. — Brian Koslow
  3. Success always has a price; success, with integrity, is the real bottom line. — Denis Waitley
  4. The greatest natural resource in the world is the spirit that resides in every unstoppable person. — Cynthia Kersey
  5. Believe you can and you are halfway there. — Theodore Roosevelt
  6. A great attitude is not the result of success; success is the result of a great attitude. — Earl Nightingale
  7. Life is either a grand adventure or it is nothing. — Helen Keller

Here is a collection of 7 quotes for achievers; I collected these from an electronic newsletter called ‘Seeds of Success’ –  by Success magazine.   Quickly reading a quote either from a great philosopher or anyone anonymous is not justice to the wealth hidden in the words.  Take a moment and imagine why would have this person said or wrote these words. 

What do you think? 
Thank you for reading and reflecting on these quotes, and have a great time.


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