Presentation guidelines

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A good presentation helps to understand the speaker, while the bad one only catches up with boredom. You know this if you defended a diploma at a university or listened to a colleague’s speech at a meeting. Unfortunately, there are more bad presentations than good ones.

It is very easy to spot a good presentation – it helps to keep the attention of listeners. A bad presentation has everything in a heap – the eyes run across bright slides, the brain tries to process the text, and at this time the speaker mumbles something about himself.

To make a good presentation, you do not need to be able to draw, know a Photoshop, or spend hours creating slides. A good presentation is a clear presentation and a good introduction first of all. It works equally in public presentations and presentations on websites.

These presentation guidelines will be useful to managers, speakers, teachers, students, and anyone who wants to be understood and heard. You will learn how to choose a presentation tool, where to start, how to avoid frequent mistakes, and create a beautiful presentation, even if you do it for the first time.

First steps

A good presentation starts with questions to yourself. The most important part you can do using a notepad even without a computer. You need to do the following:

  • First you select a topic
  • Define a goal
  • Distribute the arguments in the right order
  • Only after all of that, you can open the program and look for pictures for presentation.

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It’s a big mistake to start with the image search. This is how bad presentations with a loose structure and without a purpose appear.

If you do not have enough time, there is no need to search for pictures at all. Black text on a white background looks quite dignified, if it’s meaningful and helps convey the message.

Formulate the theme

It is difficult to listen to the interlocutor, who jumps from one to another, so the presentation should have only one topic. Otherwise, you will get a long story about nothing. The topic should be narrow enough to offer a solution to the problem at the end. Narrow the subject until the presentation can be summarized in ten short paragraphs.

It is easy to determine a good topic – it suggests the structure of the speech. For example:

  • A bad theme for the presentation is public speaking (what is public speaking, when we speak publicly, how to prepare for public speaking, etc.).
  • A good theme is how to cope with the fear of public speaking (why we are afraid, how to stop being afraid, what to do if you are speaking in public for the first time, etc.).

Defining the goal

A good presentation changes the current picture of the world. For example, people are beginning to care for the environment or are running after a new smartphone. The goal does not need to be ambitious, most importantly, it should be concrete.

A good goal of the presentation begins with the question – what do I want to change in the behavior of listeners?

An abstract goal:

  • I want to do good at the meeting
  • I want to sell a product
  • I want to show that a product is good

A concrete goal:

  • I want to convince that the new model consumes 20% less gasoline
  • I want to prove that sales are falling, but this is normal
  • I want to convince pet owners to give their animals for annual vaccination

Presentation guidelines: thinking about the scenario

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The purpose of the presentation is what you want to change in the listener, and the scenario is how you will come to these changes.

Imagine that you are composing a story. The listener should be intrigued. You need to come up with an interesting hero and lead him through the difficulties to a successful final. This is the basic structure of any text and presentation. This structure is the basis for fairy tales, film scripts, and advertising of products.

  • Introduce the main point. From the first slide, the viewer must understand what exactly he will learn about or find out. It is better to directly indicate on the first slide what will happen next.
  • Intrigue. Create a motivation for the person not to stop listening to the presentation. Explain the benefits of the presentation or create tension.
  • Thesis. This is the main motive for the presentation, what you want to teach people.
  • Antithesis. Show the other side of the coin. This causes trust and warns against problems that a person may encounter in practice.
  • The conclusion. A bad presentation ends with the words “this is it.” At the end, give a brief summary or conclusion. After your speech, a person should understand what he can do right now.
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Showing examples

Offer less theory and be livelier. Show how your product works and how people use it. Real stories of people. The screenshots of programs and real photos of the product look more convincing than dry text and photos from photoshoots.

Alternate the slides

Presentation is like a text. If the text consists of sentences of the same length and one kind, it will be boring to read. There is no rhythm. Therefore, alternate text slides and slides with images, add graphics. Sometimes you can joke.

Tell the listeners what to do next

The bad presentation ends like this: “That’s all, now I can answer your questions.” This way, you leave the listener alone with their thoughts.

A good presentation gives clear instructions on what to do next. This is not necessarily a call to action. In the end, you can once again go over the conclusions, emphasize the main thesis, or say where to get additional information. Finish with the instruction or conclusion.

Presentation guidelines on the most frequent mistakes of speakers

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Most often speakers make the following mistakes:

  • Talk about yourself. It may seem that the more advantages you show about yourself, the weightier your presentation will be. But this is not so – the solid regalia and achievements only tire. Tell about yourself as much that people understand why you can be trusted.
  • Importunity. To attract attention, some people use vulgar pictures and memes. Better be specific – the figures, graphics, and images of the product attract no less attention and, moreover, more accurately reveal the topic. If you work on stage, take something interesting with you. For example, Steve Jobs once brought the envelope on the stage, which contained Macbook Air.
  • Entertaining. Some people usually tell a funny story or a joke. But this is stupid and does not work for the topic. Better promise the audience something weighty, tell them what new knowledge and skills they will get by the end of your speech. After such a promise, people will become more attentive because they really want to get what they were promised.

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