Presentation guidelines

Presentation guidelines

A good presentation helps to understand the speaker, while thebad one only catches up with boredom. You know this if youdefended a diploma at a university or listened to a colleague’sspeech at a meeting. Unfortunately, there are more badpresentations than good ones.

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

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

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

First steps

A good presentation starts with questions to yourself. The mostimportant part you can do using a notepad even without acomputer. 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 forpictures for presentation.

It’s a big mistake to start with the image search. This is howbad presentations with a loose structure and without a purposeappear.

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

Formulate the theme

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

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

  • A bad theme for the presentation is public speaking (what ispublic speaking, when we speak publicly, how to prepare forpublic 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 youare speaking in public for the first time, etc.).

Defining the goal

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

A good goal of the presentation begins with the question – whatdo 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% lessgasoline
  • I want to prove that sales are falling, but this is normal
  • I want to convince pet owners to give their animals forannual vaccination

Presentation guidelines: thinking about the scenario

Presentation guidelines

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

Imagine that you are composing a story. The listener should beintrigued. You need to come up with an interesting hero and leadhim through the difficulties to a successful final. This is thebasic structure of any text and presentation. This structure isthe basis for fairy tales, film scripts, and advertising ofproducts.

  • Introduce the main point. From the first slide, the viewermust understand what exactly he will learn about or find out. Itis better to directly indicate on the first slide what willhappen next.
  • Intrigue. Create a motivation for the person not to stoplistening to the presentation. Explain the benefits of thepresentation or create tension.
  • Thesis. This is the main motive for the presentation, whatyou want to teach people.
  • Antithesis. Show the other side of the coin. This causestrust and warns against problems that a person may encounter inpractice.
  • The conclusion. A bad presentation ends with the words “thisis it.” At the end, give a brief summary or conclusion. Afteryour speech, a person should understand what he can do right now.

Showing examples

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

Alternate the slides

Presentation is like a text. If the text consists of sentences ofthe same length and one kind, it will be boring to read. There isno rhythm. Therefore, alternate text slides and slides withimages, add graphics. Sometimes you can joke.

Tell the listeners what to do next

The bad presentation ends like this: “That’s all, now I cananswer your questions.” This way, you leave the listener alonewith 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 canonce again go over the conclusions, emphasize the main thesis, orsay where to get additional information. Finish with theinstruction or conclusion.

Presentation guidelines on the most frequent mistakes of speakers

Presentation guidelines

Most often speakers make the following mistakes:

  • Talk about yourself. It may seem that the more advantages youshow about yourself, the weightier your presentation will be. Butthis is not so – the solid regalia and achievements only tire.Tell about yourself as much that people understand why you can betrusted.
  • Importunity. To attract attention, some people use vulgarpictures 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 oncebrought the envelope on the stage, which contained Macbook Air.
  • Entertaining. Some people usually tell a funny story or ajoke. But this is stupid and does not work for the topic. Betterpromise the audience something weighty, tell them what newknowledge and skills they will get by the end of your speech.After such a promise, people will become more attentive becausethey really want to get what they were promised.

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