Keys to Crafting and Delivering Quality Presentations
Let’s face it, creating content for a captivating presentation as well as effectively communicating it with a target audience can be daunting. Have you ever stared blankly at the computer screen when it comes time to write a speech? Maybe, nerves come into play about actually giving the speech live which produces even more anxiety than writing it. Or perhaps, it is a combination of both.
As soon as the words come out of your mouth, they’re out there and the moment is gone and there is no way to hit rewind, edit and make changes. When giving a speech, the only thing that matters is the moment when all eyes are on you. A well-designed presentation is a tool to promote your big ideas as well as change and transform the way people think, what they feel, and what they do.
A well-crafted presentation needs to be compelling, easy-to-understand and is fundamental to establishing a strong executive presence. Presenting skills are equally important.
Are you ready to create content that is ready for prime time and steal the show when it’s your moment? Here are several guidelines and tips from Professor Patrick Winston of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presentation “How to Speak” that will support you in crafting and delivering quality presentations.
PHASE 1 - STEPS TO CRAFTING A STELLAR PRESENTATION
- Start your presentation with an “Empowerment” promise. Start off by asking: What will they walk out of your presentation knowing? What will be different or shift for them? Drive this point across on your first slide.
- Also, on your first slide make sure to list collaborators. This lends credibility to your presentation.
- Slides must be simple and use the least possible number of slides to the best of your ability as that will capture the undivided attention of your target audience. Less is more.
- Eliminate unnecessary words, titles, and logos. What is important is what you are saying, not what they are reading. The message to your audience is “pay attention to me”!
- Steer clear of bullet points on your slides – use main ideas instead.
- Use pictures to illustrate your points. Neuroscience states that images stay in our brains longer than words. As the saying goes "a picture is worth a thousand words”.
- 40-50 font size is ideal.
PHASE 2 - HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE PRESENTATION
- The ideal time for a presentation is 11:00 AM. The audience is awake and looking forward to lunch!
- Scope out the room before you speak. Be aware of the configuration – strategize where you will walk – how you will engage the audience, lighting, etc.
- Practice, practice, practice!
In Part 2, we will take you through Delivering the Presentation and Finishing the Presentation!