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The Secret to Giving an Effective Presentation with PowerPoint

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Most people have a fear of speaking in public, but when tasked to give an effective presentation by power point they feel a little more at ease. The reason is that they now have the information they are going to present at hand. This can be a double edge sword because the presenter in this scenario will end up using the slides as a crutch and may actually fail as a true presenter.

Giving an effective Power Point presentation involves much more than just showing and telling with slides. Most people will have a canned power point with all sorts of information on the slides then merely present the slides in a progressive manner like they would their slide show form last summers’ vacation. First of all to come off with an effective presentation you need to understand that you the speaker is the focal point of the presentation. Your audience should have their attention on you as a speaker and the slides are just supplemental.  Secondly to be successful and have the right impact on the audience Power Point starts with the actual design so that the audience will not be reading the slides instead of looking at the presenter. For example; Slides should have a dark background and light type which is the protocol these days, this makes the slides easy to see and follow.

 Here are some further points and rules to follow for an effective presentation:

  1. There should be no more than six words across with only six lines of copy or words.
  2. You should not have any animation as it will distract the audience especially if the presentation is a little dry.
  3. Pictures or illustrations only if necessary. Logos should be placed at very bottom corner.
  4. Limit your colors to three only! Red for impact, Blue and Green for positive
  5. Use clear concise copy w/ bullets instead of long sentences
  6. Narrow your points to three or a maximum of 5 at the most
  7. Reveal each point one by one as to not have the audience read ahead.

The mission of giving a successful Power Point presentation only to use your slides as an aid NOT as the presentation itself. You should know your material very well before your presentation so that your slides will only serve as a marquee for the audience as to what is coming up next. Your slides can also help you get back on track or remember where you are going in case you lose your thoughts. You come off as authentic and genuine to your audience when you are less dependent on your slides.  If you can understand that giving a Power Point requires a unique blend of discipline whereas you the presenter are the focal point and the slides are merely an appendage you will be able to give an extremely effective presentation.

Why Building Rapport with your Audience is Crucial to Your Presentation

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What Makes a Good Story

How many people like a good story? Stories can be entertaining and give us a little break in the midst of a presentation. effective ppresentation skillsThey are generally woven through speeches, presentations at certain points. Stories are used in any kind of public presentation, and presenters of all types use these stories strategically to engage their audiences in a manner so that they will remember their pitch long after they leave the room. I remember attending a seminar and the speaker kept integrating stories into the presentation, but the magic here was that each story had an element that I either experienced myself or something closely related to an experience that I had and he used them precisely to illustrate his points.

Key Elements to Building Rapport with Clients

Stories have elements in them that build rapport with the audience so that the individuals can relate parts or the entire story to their life or someone that they know. Building rapport can also establish emotional connections with your audience. As I mentioned, a good presenter will use stories at the right point in their presentation to be successful with their presentation. Here are some rapport building techniques for example; if you are trying to convince your neighborhood to form a community watch group during your next neighborhood association meeting you will probably site an instance when you may have been robbed or vandalized, and your audience will be able to relate to your experience being that they may have been a victim of burglary or had damage to their property by vandals or maybe even heard of a case that happened to someone they know. In any event you will capture the audience’s attention as soon as their memory is triggered by related information. Another good example in a corporate situation would be presenting a new idea to upper management that you have come up with a new process or solution that will save them time and money but will require them to scrap the old system that has been working to their satisfaction for years. In this instance you will use an example of how you used and tested the new system and what the results were. What you are doing here is presenting compelling evidence in a story form to upper management so that they can relate the old process vs. the new process and what the positive outcome will be.

Adding stories to build rapport with your audience will ensure that they will take your message with them long after your presentation is over.