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How to Create Effective Presentations

How many times have you wanted to shoot yourself at a boring presentation? The only thing worse than being put through that monotony is being the poor sap that has to give the presentation. Watching y...

How many times have you wanted to shoot yourself at a boring presentation? The only thing worse than being put through that monotony is being the poor sap that has to give the presentation. Watching your audience fall asleep before your eyes is slow torture. You want to do something but short of juggling chainsaws, a badly planned presentation is hard to recover from. Professional speakers often rely on PowerPoint to make their presentations more effective. When used correctly, PowerPoint can be a great tool for engaging the audience. However, used incorrectly, it can also be a sure cure for insomnia.

As tempting as it may be to show everything in your PowerPoint, too much information is never a good thing. Viewers often read frames as soon as they are displayed. Showing everything all at once ruins the surprise and makes the presentation too predictable. Ideally, each frame should captivate the viewer and make them always want to see more. PowerPoint and other presentation software usually provide ways to show notes to the presenter (not projector). Knowing what to show and what not to show sometimes makes all the difference. Anyone can read a prompt but not everyone knows how to tell a good story.

Presentations should also be clear, easy to read and never cluttered. Fancy fonts may look cool but not to the person wondering if he or she needs to visit the optometrist. Fonts like Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica and Century Gothic are easier on the eyes and ideally suited for presentations. Likewise, black text on a white background is easier for most people to see than light text on a dark background. If comments about putting on spectacles come to mind, your audience is not alone missing the point.

Although this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of tips on how to create more effective presentations, one more point that needs to be emphasized is that PowerPoint is only a tool. Your presentation itself must transcend the slides to engage the audience. Relying too much on technology leaves you vulnerable to power outages and an inability to improvise when things go wrong. As the presenter, knowing how to fill in the blanks keeps things interesting and fluid. Without that abilityScience Articles, a presentation is nothing but a non-cohesive collection of still frames without purpose or a clear call to action.

Article Tags: Effective Presentations

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Robert Haskell works for Haskell New York Inc. and contributes articles for their flagship site OfficeSalesUSA.com and blog roberthaskell.blogspot.com.



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