You can be presenting in as fancy a Phuket conference venue as you care to name, with all of the modern facilities you can imagine, but the core of any presentation is still the PowerPoint presentation. And yet, as important a place as it holds in the whole process, just the name is synonymous with boredom. The reason is simple – it takes a surprising amount of skill and experience to make a presentation that actually engages and entertains its audience. To help you avoid putting people to sleep next time you’re on stage, here are a few tips for preparing better PowerPoint presentations.
Start with a script
What you have to say is a lot more important than what you have to display. Instead of focussing on your slides first and then trying to talk people through the mess of data, start by figuring out what you want to say and how you want to say it. What is your core message? How can you explain it in a clear and memorable way? Got that sorted? Right – now you can start thinking about how you might be able to illustrate it using slides.
Your slide isn’t your script
To be blunt for a moment, people who claim to be good at multi-tasking are liars. The human mind simply doesn’t work like that. So, people who are busy reading your slide aren’t listening to what you’re saying. Ideally, your slides should be as light on text as possible. One of the more common errors people make before stepping up on stage at their Phuket conference venue of choice is putting every word they mean to say on the slide. If you do that, you might just as well hand your audience a pamphlet and save yourself the public speaking.
One slide, one point
If you try to put too much onto one slide, one of two things will happen. Either it’ll be such a mess that it’ll be impossible to tell what’s the takeaway message is or the details will be so small that only the people in the front rows of your Phuket conference venue will learn anything from them. It’s better to have a deck of 100 slides that people can actually take something away from than three slides that leave people more confused.
Don’t get carried away
Once you start exploring the features available on PowerPoint, you might be tempted to start playing around with the flashy transitions and effects. While these can certainly be used effectively, they can also be an unnecessary distraction. The fancy effects should never take away from the clarity of the message. Instead, focus on the design of each slide. Keep it simple, uncluttered and easy to read.
Before you get up on stage at your Phuket conference venue, have a couple of practise runs through what you’re going to say. Firstly, it’ll give you a chance to spot any glaring problems and errors with the slides and gives you a chance to reorder or redesign any slides that aren’t properly illustrating your point. More importantly, it’ll give you a bit of confidence in what you’re saying and will reduce the umm-ing and ahh-ing.