Slideshow Tips 101: How To Create The Perfect Presentation

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There are just so many things that could go wrong when giving a presentation online. Your slides could be too small; the audio connection could malfunction, the internet connection could go down, and so on. 

Nevertheless, there is nothing like the feeling of hitting it out of the park and delivering a fantastic presentation that stays in your audience's mind. To that end, this post will provide you with some helpful tricks you can use to create a brilliant report and make your life easier in the process!

What makes an excellent presentation?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of giving a fantastic presentation from your home, it is wise to understand what goes into making one that resonates with your audience. Presentations come in many forms. 

They can be informative, persuasive, motivational, or inspirational, and there are many different opinions on what makes an excellent presentation. Some say a great presentation has a good speaker and makes the audience think about the topic as they leave the room. Others say the speaker must know their material and be able to captivate an audience with their personality and anecdotes

Nonetheless, an excellent presentation is the one that gets your audience's attention, engages them, and leaves them with a memorable experience. A great presentation will inspire individuals to take action on specific ideas presented in this talk and make their lives better in different ways. The main aspects that they all share include: 

  • They are well-planned.
  • Have good visuals and sound production.
  • Are delivered by a confident presenter.
  • They are memorable.
  • It has an impact on the audience.
  • The information is easily digestible.

Top tips to make your presentations memorable

It is easy for you to underestimate the importance of our presentation skills and appear unprofessional in front of your audience. But it is important to remember that you are judged on your presentation skills more than anything else when you go into networking or professional situations. 

Techniques for improving presentation effectiveness

Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions, most businesses have to be conducted from home, making it even more challenging to create a presentation that will stick in the minds of those you are presenting to. 

Luckily, there are a few handy tips that you can utilize to make your presentation more effective no matter where you are delivering it from.

Use the right software

Presentation software is an excellent tool for creating and delivering presentations. With PowerPoint, for instance, you can start building your presentation from anywhere with a laptop or even your phone. Presentation software allows you to organize your content in a way that's easy to follow and gives you the chance to create more engaging slides.

While most people will run to Microsoft PowerPoint software for this task due to its ubiquity, other options are available to create captivating presentations. These can range from programs you download to your device to creating them directly from your browser.

Whether it's your first time presenting or you're just trying to improve your skills, the right software can provide infinite options and make the process much simpler. They usually provide you with lots of options to help you develop the structure, add charts, and generally refine its look.

You need a strong hook to get your audience's attention

The introduction of a presentation can be the most crucial part as it is the first thing that will make your audience pay attention to your talk and make it memorable. In the introduction to a presentation, it's essential to use a strong hook that gets their attention and makes them eager to learn more.

Audience analysis and presentation style selection

Sharing a personal experience that you have had that will benefit your audience is a great way to get the audience's attention. For instance, in a presentation on financial planning, mention how someone close to you or your first job taught you valuable lessons about life growing up that helped you develop your views on finances, etc. Just remember to keep it light!

Create a methodical structure and keep it simple

A key element of an excellent presentation is being able to structure it so that it is easy to follow. A good presenter knows how to keep their audience engaged with exciting narratives that connect with each other throughout the talk. 

Your structure will be dictated by the number of slides you create, and as such, you will want to keep the number to a minimum. Calculate how many slides you need to convey your message effectively.

You have to consider your audience and put yourself in their shoes. In other words, keep it brief and only present the key points. The more concise you can be with your explanation, the easier it will be to understand.

Follow the rule of three

Three is the magic number in religion, mathematics…and presentations, so it seems! By following the rule of three, you will dramatically improve your presentation skills and enable your audience to understand your points more clearly. But what is the rule of three?

Essentially, this rule states that most people can process and remember three things most effectively. While this doesn't mean you have to limit your entire presentation down to just three points, it is a good idea to limit each slide to a maximum of three.

Therefore, it is prudent to plan carefully what you will include in each slide. If it goes over three talking points, you should try to eliminate the extra points or move them to additional slides. Nevertheless, it is always preferable to minimize when possible to reduce the chance of listener fatigue.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Rehearsing before your presentation is the best way to ensure that you give a polished, rehearsed, and compelling performance. It is the best way to stay on track and avoid the urge to talk too much. It also helps you with confidence and self-esteem. Rehearse whenever it feels natural for you, whether it's in your head for a few days before your big presentation or just sitting in front of a mirror at home. 

It is up to you how to rehearse it; however, it is integral to delivering a powerful and memorable presentation that gets your message across. You will increase your chances of delivering a poor speech and making mistakes by failing to practice.

With that said, you should still feel comfortable improvising where possible, especially if you provide options for your audience to ask questions. In this case, the best thing to do is rehearse how you will initially respond to a question while keeping your composure. 

Get your audience involved

Because you will deliver your presentation online, most of your audience will listen from their own computers. As anyone who spends long periods at their desk behind a screen can tell you, it gets tiring after a while. 

Computer fatigue is a real thing, and as your presentation progresses, you will find the participants beginning to wane. So what can you do to keep them involved and alert?

The best option is to involve them in the presentation itself. Some ways of engaging your audience include getting them involved in the discussion, asking for feedback, or doing a quick survey before your presentation. The more involved your audience is with what you are presenting, the more likely they will learn something from you.

You can even prepare a question and answer section after each significant section, which will help your listeners retain as much information as possible.

Use a virtual backdrop and keep your head in the frame

These days, most conference calling software allows you to add in a virtual backdrop to mask out your actual surroundings. This is a good idea to reduce the distractions that your home might provide. Nonetheless, ensure that you use a tasteful one and something in keeping with your presentation.

Additionally to a backdrop, it is a good idea to keep a small image of your face in the corner of the screen so that participants can see you. It will make the presentation more personable and allow others to gauge your reaction to certain points. Humans are visual creatures and need to see another person to comprehend what is being said fully.

Place your webcam at eye level

To follow on from the previous point, you should remember to position your webcam at eye level to avoid the chances of an unflattering view. This will also help you sit upright and remain confident throughout the process.

Prepare notes

It is essential to prepare some notes for each slide that you can keep in front of you as you are giving your speech.

Developing a presentation structure

They should be easy to read so that you can understand them at a glance and brief enough, so you don't trip over yourself. 

Summarize your points with a wrap-up slide

Wrapping things up is an integral part of a presentation because it adds a sense of closure. It also makes the audience feel that they understood the content correctly and there is a connection between what you are saying and what they are hearing.

Your conclusion can include a brief summary of the main points and leave the floor open for questions. The main point is to make it clear to your audience that the presentation is coming to a close. 

Final words: how to give an amazing online presentation from home

Home presentations present a unique set of challenges that have not been encountered in the past. You have to hone your presentation skills to the point that you are concise enough to keep them engaged but provide enough information to keep them interested.

Hopefully, the tips in this post have given you an insight into what it takes to deliver a pitch-perfect presentation regardless of your situation.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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