As we enter the new year of 2014 and new resolutions have been made and goals have been set I wonder how many have decided to create or re-create presentations that engage and inspire an audience. I was sitting down with my wife who is doing just that now for her First Aid Training business and she showed me her new slide deck.
I was blown away!
She had been used to to a typical presentation style that we still see way too much. You know the slides I am talking about. The ones filled with bullet points, text and poor quality images (if there is any). The ones that contain as many points on one slide as possible. The ones that totally dis-engage the audience.
Her new deck had none of that. Her new deck contained gorgeous high quality images, big type and no bullet points (yes thats true, no bullet points). Simple and engaging.
I know now that you are thinking that she had lots of help from yours truly. The fact is that she did it mostly on her own after I shared with her 3 simple principles which I will share with you.
1. Keep it simple
One thing that is tempting for a lot of presenters is to want to give as much value as they can to their audience. In doing so they
give as much information as they can both verbally and visually racing through the presentation like a bullet train. The slides are filled with information detailing the information they are sharing. Like an overfull belly the audience is now exhausted from trying to digest too much.
What can I remove?
This is the question that you should be asking yourself when taking a look at your presentation. Any words that are not easily recognised should be removed from your talk in fact it is often said that if a child cannot understand it then it is t
Your slides should only contain elements that compliment your talk not repeat it. Your audience wants to listen to you, not read along with you. Remove everything that is not quickly and easily recognisable. Who knows, by the time you do this you may only be left with a great image and a couple of key words.
2. High Quality (no exceptions)
A common problem amongst presentations is the inclusion of low quality images on the slides. These include clip art, small or pixelated images or worse images that are just taken freely from websites (this is called stealing).
Choose high quality images from stock photo sites such as istockphoto (try to choose natural, not cheesy images) or images that can be used under creative commons license (make sure your give required attribution). Of course taking your own high quality is a great viable option.
Branding is something that seems to be implemented by companies and individuals across the board but sadly presentations are often left out (except for the logo included on the slide). There is no reason that your presentation slides should not represent your brand or product, in fact they should be.
Create a colour scheme and use fonts on your slides that represents your company or product brand. Who knows you may be able to remove an element from your slide (such as the logo) when you do this and still maintain brand recognition.
I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below on how to create better presentations in 2015. Don’t hold back.