What are the rules for creating a presentation? How do we utilize the content in order to capture the listeners' attention and not lose it.
There are quite a few tools on the market for creating multimedia presentations that you can learn about here. If we have chosen a program, then we can start preparing the content.
1. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. Simplicity is key
Your slides will probably be displayed on a larger screen than your laptop screen. However, this does not mean that the entire page can contain text written in 40 lines. Slides cannot be overloaded with content, because they are supposed to be a kind of summary, highlighting the most important thoughts or words. The most desirable situation is one in which you are the presentation, and the content displayed on the projectors only strengthens the message and allows you to consolidate the most important issues.
Something that distinguishes a professional presentation from an amateur one is unification. How do we achieve this? All slides should be consistent in terms of layout, font and color. In practice, this means that if you have two header sizes in the text, e.g. 22, 18 and 12 text size, it should look similar on all slides. This also applies to the text color and various graphic elements. Do you set tables or charts as blue? Then apply these colors to all graphics. If your company logo is initially at the bottom of the slide, make sure that it stays there throughout the presentation. What’s more, consistency will allow you to create your own style.
Always provide the source for each photo, video or music. It’s best to do it directly under the photo. It is also good to put all sources at the end (bibliography).
Can we put any photo we like and fit in the presentation? No. There are many websites such as “Pixabay” and “Pexel” where you can buy good-quality stock photos or even download them for free; as for music, you can access free music on “Bensound”. The second option is to ask the content owner’s permission to use his work in our presentation. Some of them willingly give permission for non-commercial use of their photos or music.
5. The essence of content on slides
Exactly what is an essence? Right from the start, identify the most important message that you want to convey in every slide. What should the listener take away from our presentation? What should they remember? What is key point in this topic? Avoid long sentences, which will not be read by the audience. Focus on key words and short phrases and try to incorporate photos or graphics that will highlight what you want to convey.
Layout is a presentation template that includes one style, e.g. a uniform color palette, fonts and graphic layouts. In short – one pattern for all slides. If you create presentations in Power Point, you can use ready-made designs available in the program. However, I encourage you to create your own or search the internet for interesting layouts that will make your presentation stand out. I would treat a white slide with black text as a last resort. It’s a bit like websites – those that look like they were from the 90’s don’t attract as many visitors as the more modern ones. Don’t we prefer to read something if the website is modern, transparent and interesting? 🙂
The presentation should be aesthetically pleasing. You will achieve this effect through minimalism, matching the size and shape of photos, combining the right colours and maintaining uniformity.
8. Substantive accuracy
As much as we may be experts in our field, there will always be someone who has more knowledge than us. Therefore, our authority may come under questioning if factual errors or deficiencies are pointed out by another expert. Be sure to check the data, facts, stylistic correctness and spelling mistakes before presenting the content. The eternal bane of all presenters – typos. It’s a good practice to have someone else check your presentation for typos. After the 30th edition of the slide, we may no longer notice small errors.
Before starting the presentation, it’s a good idea to turn it on and see if everything is visible and legible in the room. Something that looks beautiful on the screen can actually be unreadable. It may happen that the light causes the lack of visibility of some graphics or text. In this situation, plan B is simply to create two versions – one with a light background and the other with a dark one.
10. One slide, one topic
Categorizing and organizing content are something that our listeners will be very grateful for 🙂 If we are talking about sales growth at a given moment, then do not put information on the slide about lunch breaks or team reorganization. Conducting a lecture on different styles of communication, we will devote a separate slide to different styles.
11. Illustrations of content by graphics
It would be prudent to include photos in your presentations and sometimes they can even replace text. This enables us to utilize the benefits of the “double coding” effect. Our audience will remember the content better, especially if the photo evokes some emotional associations, e.g. it can be a humorous picture or one that saddens or annoys the audience.
Hello. Welcome to my blog. I work as a public speaking trainer, mentor and head os speakers for TEDx Warsaw and I am certified coach at PCC level. I also help, among others, lawyers, vocalists, actors, lecturers and business people in preparation for their speeches in front of hundreds of people in the audience, as well as in conducting small meetings or presentations.
My professional path has led me through many years of music education, but also SGH and psychological studies. As the only Polish woman I performed in the Cuban musical “Conoce mi Cuba”. For many years I worked on controlling the stage fright that kept me awake at night. I have always wondered how to manage the internal critic, not to worry about the opinion of others, and how to build a real sense of confidence on stage. Now I know the answer. Recently, I have given countless interviews, which made me aware of the importance of confidence in front of the camera.