3 key ideas to get high impact presentations

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One of the most delicate situations that a professional has to face is the realization of an. From my personal experience, here are some suggestions for your presentation to have high impact and effectiveness.

1.- Preparing the presentation. This is a crucial step, which is not always given enough importance. You must create unique content for each audience, demonstrating that you know the sector to which the majority of listeners belong. This way you’ll get their attention and will put across the feeling that their content has been specially designed for them.

  • Set out the key idea. This has to be explained concisely, between 30 and 60 seconds. From there, you should be able to conceptualize the secondary ideas.
  • Structure the presentation with intro, middle and conclusion. The intro should serve to make the objectives clear. The middle is the body and the conclusion is the summary. Don’t forget that many presentations fail because they start out with the middle (the audience hasn’t no clear objectives and have to find them out in the course of the presentation) or forget the conclusion (and the story has no ending).
  • Look for an attractive tittle. It is very important, especially if you need to get the attention of the audience. It must be direct and able to express the content in up to ten words. If it is not possible to do it, it’s best to accompany it with a subtitle.

2.- Designing the presentation. When preparing the graphic support for our presentation we must take into account that it must be simple and visual. Attendees either read or listen, but it is very difficult to do both at the same time.

  • First write down what you want to convey. Choose an idea per slide, staying away from bullet points or multiple ideas.
  • There is life beyond PowerPoint. And Ignacio Santiago shows us in his post “15 Online Tools to Create Professional Presentations”.
  • Choose visual metaphors. Look for pictures that represent the message that you want to convey with each idea. Be careful not to infringe intellectual property with the chosen images.
  • Use neutral backgrounds, sans sarif fonts (arial or verdana, preferably) and do not mix fonts. Highlight key ideas with bold or different size or color (avoid underlining). Do not use animations.

3.- Delivering presentation. The moment of truth has come, when your work has its moment.

  • Try to entertain the audience. The success of the presentation depends largely on awaking their emotions, making them feel and getting them excited about the topic.
  • Rehearse, but do not allow your presentation to lose its spontaneity. In my experience it is important to practice two key points: the first and the last sentence. The first is important to capture the attention of the audience and must convey security, energy and commitment to what you are going to talk about. With the last the audience can draw conclusions from the presentation.
  • Ask for feedback several times during the presentation. Consider that one of the most important elements in capturing the attention of the audience is to ask them several times if they have understood the message expressed
  • Study your body language. Experts agree that personal communication influences both what is said and what is transmitted without words. It is very important to use gestures and postures that strengthen the message, avoiding those that may be considered aggressive. If you want to learn anything about this aspect you can read Flora Davis’s book “Non-Verbal Communication”.

Finally, remember that the presentation doesn’t end with the last sentence. Ask for feedback from the attendees (direct or through surveys) or to point out feelings and aspects that you could correct. This will help you generate areas for improvement on which to work for the next presentation.