The thought of giving a presentation may seem intimidating; however, it is a necessary part of the world of business and marketing.
The good news? Giving a presentation is not as intimidating as it may seem. In fact, there are a lot of different guidelines that you can use that take pretty much all of the guesswork out formatting a presentation.
In this article, we are going to lay out some guidelines for you. You can follow these simple tips and tricks in order to create a presentation that you’ll be excited to give!
Follow the Famous 10/20/30 Rule
The 10/20/30 rule is pretty well known in the world of Microsoft PowerPoint. Created by Guy Kawasaki, the 10/20/30 rule states that the optimal number of slides in a presentation is 10 slides, no presentation should exceed 20 minutes in length, and that 30-point font is the smallest you should go in order to ensure readability.
You don’t want to have more than 10 slides in a presentation because it is believed that most people cannot learn more than 10 new concepts within one meeting. According to Guy Kawasaki, if it takes more than 10 slides to explain your business, then you probably do not have a business. You can answer these 9 questions to help format your 10 slides.
A quick summary
Say you have one hour to give your presentation. Even though you have an entire hour to give your presentation, chances are people are going to arrive late or need to leave early. You may also experience technical difficulties, which is always a possibility when working with laptops and projectors. Plan on a 20-minute presentation that way you have plenty of time for discussion.
Use no smaller than 30-point font. A lot of people resort to using a 10-point font so that they can fit more text onto a slide. However, this results in just reading from the slide. And, since people can read faster than you can speak, your audience ends up reading ahead and leaving you in the dust. Know your material well and limit bullet points to as close to five words long as you can.
You want to show your audience that you are more than just a marketing idea. You are a person too. People are more likely to trust someone when they know more about them outside of the realm of business. It makes you appear more relatable and easygoing.
So, start off by introducing yourself by telling a quick anecdote or telling a short, fun story that says something about yourself. This will engage people right off the bat and convince them that they should listen to your presentation.
Start with the Main Point
Don’t leave people hanging out waiting to see why everything you are talking about matters. Your presentation should flow like poetry, and all good poems introduce the main point within the first few lines.
This allows the rest of the words to carry the most possible meaning and importance. Think about this when you are creating your presentation. If the audience does not know what your main point is, then they may not view all the details you are fleshing out as important.
Don’t Try to Cover Everything in the Pitch Deck
If this is just a quick presentation that you are giving to introduce an idea, don’t worry about squeezing every little detail in. This is what your Q&A time is for. Like we previously stated when we discussed the 10/20/30 rule, you are only going to want to speak for 20 minutes at the most.
Don’t try to cram everything in or you’ll just end up with way too many speaking points that weren’t discussed thoroughly.
Use Simple Language
When you are giving a presentation, you should always assume that your audience has absolutely no background knowledge on your topic. This means that you should use simple language. Right now is not the time to try and blow your audience away with impressive word choice.
In fact, going overboard on the big words may even lead to your audience viewing you as pretentious. Use simple words that are easy to digest that still get the meaning across. Just make sure to avoid dumbing it down too much.
Speak with Visuals
While the text is able to deliver meaning efficiently, visuals are able to deliver meaning in a way that is memorable. Presenting an image that your audience will be able to link to something that was said is going to stick better and achieve more than just line after line of text.
Use graphs and charts to support your point (and don’t forget to mention data sources for credibility). Provide some photos to illustrate what you’re talking about. Don’t forget to add screenshots if you’re presenting your software, app or site.
But keep in mind that quality is important here. Don’t use stocky-looking photos just for the sake of adding some pictures. Include your own unique pictures. Use photo editing programs or photo filters to create unique images, or you could even use the automatic photo enhancer, to create images that pack a punch. Make sure that all the charts and stats look clear – non-readable graphs or screenshots will only raise additional questions and spoil your presentation. If you include schemes, don’t make them too complicated. And of course, pay attention to the fonts you choose – make sure they are proportional, not too fancy and suit your presentation sty
Don’t Fear Emotion
It is okay to get emotional when you are giving your presentation. You don’t want to go overboard with the emotion, but you want to show your audience that you are passionate. You want to prove that you believe in your idea. This will show that you see the importance in what you are talking about, which will lead to other people listening and digesting your information.
Just remember that, when you are giving your presentation, you don’t have to strictly stick to your script. Try to keep what you are saying relevant to your PowerPoint slides, but if things move a little differently than you originally laid out, that’s okay. If you confine yourself too much, then you risk appearing flat and unnatural.
Just use these tips as a guide, not law, and you’ll be on your way to being a pro presenter.