At one point or another, we’ve all sat through a presentation that just seemed to drag on and on with no discernable point. And for those of us who have to give presentations as part of our work, the fear that we’ll put the audience to sleep or that we’ll fail to get our message across can be huge.
But while it’s easy to criticize a lackluster presentation, figuring out how to make your own presentations pop is easier said than done.
Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to guide your preparation process that are guaranteed to make your presentations stand out and keep your audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.
1. Research Your Audience
The first thing you should bear in mind when preparing to give a presentation is audience expectations. Different organizations and companies often have quite different ideas about what a successful presentation looks like, and the relaxed, informal style that works well in some contexts might come across as unprofessional in others.
When trying to determine what your audience is looking for, the following questions can be very helpful:
- How much detail do they want?
- Do they place a lot of value on a dialogic approach?
- What points and arguments are likely to move them?
- Is the information you’re providing familiar, or will you need to provide a lot of background?
Of course, subverting audience expectations can be a powerful way of standing out from the crowd and getting your message across. But as the old adage goes, you need to know the rules before you break them.
2. Incorporate Custom Graphics
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a well-placed graph or chart can forcefully drive your point home. But while presentations are a visual medium, simply dropping images or visual aids into your PowerPoint deck doesn’t always communicate things as clearly as you might think.
Investing in custom graphic design that can help bring your ideas to life in an intuitive, engaging, and colorful way won’t just help you keep your audience’s attention, but will also demonstrate how seriously you take the work and outreach you are doing.
3. Work with a Professional PowerPoint Designer
Plenty of knowledgeable, passionate presenters has failed to reach their audience because they simply don’t have the skills to translate their deep understanding of a topic into a PowerPoint slideshow.
The more effortless a presentation seems, the more likely it is that a skilled team of presentation experts has been involved in helping to craft it. A presentation design agency can help with everything from storyboarding and big-picture planning to the technical aspects of slide design.
If you’ve invested weeks or months in preparing for a big pitch meeting, going the extra mile and bringing on PowerPoint experts to help you create a visually stunning and intellectually stimulating presentation is well worth the effort.
Creating a good presentation is a lot harder than it looks. So why not do what most business leaders do when confronted with a challenge that is beyond their capacity and hire a specialist? If you want your next presentation to pop, do your audience research, customize your graphic delivery, and work with professional PowerPoint experts.