In order to ace a presentation you need 3 elements:
• A Well Structured Presentation
• Decent Presentation Skills
• An Awesome Call to Action
This article is about structuring your presentation and how to set it up to make you stand out from all the other presenters. The manner in which you display your big ideas or simply present third quarter earnings requires only an ounce of presentation skills and a ton of preparation.
Creating a presentation doesn’t mean filling out slides with prose. How many times have you sat through a presentation that looked like a Word document? How many times did the presenter literally read the screen in a monotone voice that instantly put your brain into nap mode? Several times? Good – now you know what NOT to do.
Wouldn’t you rather attend a well thought out PowerPoint presentation with slides that engage you and a presenter that can present? If yes, get ready for 10 kick ass tips on how to organize your materials and produce some truly awesome, jaw dropping presentations that will get you that new business, investment, promotion, book deal or whatever your objective.
1. Start brainstorming and generate Ideas
Based on the subject you’re presenting start collecting, researching and recording as many ideas from as many sources as you can.
2. Filter the material
Filter the ideas and pile them into 3 categories (Very Important, Important and not Very Important). Keep only the “Very Important” pile. Don’t forget relevant call to actions in the “Very Important” pile.
3. Categorize your ideas
Structure and organize your ideas around the fact that every presentation must have a beginning, middle and an end.
4. Create a message for each category
Think headlines here and create a quintessential message reflecting that category. The headline should grab attention.
5. Organize the messages
Place the messages in the order that makes the most impact and again lead with a controversial or shocking headline. Think front page news.
6. Start creating slides
Forget about templates, design and color combinations here. A white screen with a title and bullet points is all you need at this point.
7. Add data
For each message add the evidence of data (charts, numbers, statistics, publications and authors, etc.). It’s okay if the number of slides grow. Data helps paint the picture for the story you’re telling.
8. Review each slide
This is another chance where you can add or eliminate information (err on the side of eliminating). Be sure to add a “Turning Point” at the end of the “Beginning” section and at the start of the “Ending” section.
9. Visualize the message
Here’s where you translate words into pictures. Stay away from clichés and kitschy (i.e. for “partnership” eliminate the picture depicting the hand shake over the globe, instead consider Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire or even better – peanut butter and jelly, etc.). If a slide has no picture, keep the number of bullets under 5 and make it big. Big type is better than dense prose.
10. Verify the impact
Review your presentation and check the emotional and logical impact. Your presentation chart should look exactly like the heart monitor of an athlete running the marathon. If it’s not, re-arrange if necessary.
Take away notes:
Analyze the flow and structure of your presentation by looking at it from different angles. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and keep asking yourself “Why is this important to me?” Make sure the presentation is sound and has the most impact upon your audience.
What do you think? Do you follow some of these steps when organizing your presentation? Got some presentation stories you want to share? Let us know and we will publish the best ones on this blog.