One day, when I was discussing some office matters with my brother, my mother asked me . "Why do you always have to give presentations ? That too in office ? How much do you spend ? Do you always gift wrap it ? "
Both of us did not speak for a few seconds trying to comprehend her words. It took us more than a few seconds to make her understand "presentation" in a business context. The vagaries of English language !!
Love it or hate it, you have got to use presentations because audiences expect it. There are three basic tasks : Managing the content, creating appropriate supplements and delivering the content.
I will elaborate on the first point in this post.
- Content is the meat of your presentation. This is what gives the presentation its weight and importance. But the content has to be organized in a meaningful way so that the audience knows why you are talking , Ask yourself "What do I want my audience to know ? "
- The main point should be divided into sub-points. This provides clarity as well as readability.
- Never ever put too much content on the slide. This will divert the attention of the audience from you towards the written words. So, the content creation should be done very carefully . The main essence should be put on the slide , but the elaboration and the explanation should be done by your delivery.
- Also, the general claims you make in your content has to be supported for credibility. If you just say that " The company has made huge profits this year" , you should display the statistics of growth. Remember that pictorial representations makes greater impact than mere numbers. So, have fun with pie charts, bar graphs and histograms !
- A picture talks a thousand words. Again, be careful that your slides do not look cluttered. Select an appropriate picture and make it the background. This makes the slide look professional. Choose colours that contrast well.
- It goes without saying that the sentences should be grammatically correct , with a consistent capitalization style.
- Use the notes section of the ppt. Since you will put short simple sentences - the best practice is to put not more than 6 bullet points , with each point not having more than 6 words in it, be sure to use the notes. This will help you practice and remember your talking points.
Hope this helps.
I will write about creating appropriate supplements and delivering the content in the next post.
On a lighter note, I had attended a seminar a few years back when a speaker had started her talk without a presentation . She had made a powerful opening sentence , which I still remember .
"If you have a powerful point to make, you do not need a powerpoint " !