Have you ever been asked to pull together a compelling presentation (with a short deadline, of course) that will keep an audience engaged? Well, that should really always be the goal, but it is sometimes tricky to turn what some people would consider boring information into something that will keep the attention of many for more than 5 minutes.
If you haven’t done so already, check out the TED article, “10 tips on how to make slides that really communicate your idea.”
In this article, you will find some really helpful tips on how to spice up your presentations. Simple things like compelling photos and simple graphs can be the difference between presentation success and presentation failure.
The first point mentioned in the article is one of the best points: Think about your slides last. It is easy to develop slides as they come to you, but it also opens you up to very long presentations and scattered thoughts. Much like how a cartoonist would prepare plot lines for a show before going to the drawing board, presenters have to develop a storyboard of all the information they would like to present first. Write it down on a piece of paper, or better yet, notecards. This will allow you to organize your thoughts and move things around to ensure the order of the presentation makes sense.
It is also important to remember that the slides are only supposed to support points discussed in your presentation. If you want to deliver a successful presentation, reading notes off a slide just won’t do. Figure out what you are going to say, and THEN figure out how slides can help.
Another major point, is that less is more when it comes to text. The cleaner you can leave the slide, the more engaged people will become. You don’t want people reading off the slide, you want them listening to you. This can be achieved by only providing words that will prompt you and remind you of what you wanted to talk about with each slide. This technique will help your presentation run much smoother, and will give the audience the chance to look at something other than the back of your head!
There are many other wonderful presentation tips available, so please check out the TED blog to learn more. Happy presenting!