17 September 2012
Delivering presentations is as much of an art as it is a science. A great presentation can work wonders for you. A good presenter can any topic into an awesome experience for the audience. This blog post lists some of the tips that will come in handy for your next presentation.
- Time your presentation
Follow Guy Kawasaki’s (one of the earliest Apple employee, tech evangelist) golden rule of 10/20/30 and you will never see people yawning while you deliver your presentation. The rule is simple: 10 slides of 20 minutes in total and 30 point font size. Timing is especially important in business-related presentations and at times there a time limit too. This is something that you’ll have to train yourself for.
- Keep it simple
This tip is specifically for the techies out there who tend to dive too deep into the technical jargon. Avoid doing this, even if your audience is technically-inclined. Keeping it simple is the key to keeping your audience engaged. Let’s take an example: You’re presenting a tool to monitor social media statistics. Now, instead of diving into the details of how your app can handle load, mine massive amounts of data, it would be sufficient to just say that your app can do all of this and not dive into the details. Remember, the Internet generation has a short attention span, so putting too much information into your presentation will not help.
- Add a storyline
People love to hear stories, so become a narrator instead of a presenter! Remember Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford commencement address? He hooked the audience right at the start by saying that his speech would consist solely of three stories, nothing else. Any presentation can be transformed into a story with some background contextual information, the main chunk, climax and finally a conclusion. Try this with your next presentation and you’ll surely see increased interest in your audience.
- Address the audience, not the screen!
This happens when you cannot muster enough confidence to face the audience or haven’t done your homework. We often turn our heads towards the screen and start reading out the slides. Never do this; it can be perceived as rude. Always memorize your slides and while delivering them, add some passion into the words and include sentences not in the presentation because if all you’re saying is written in the presentation, why won’t you save your audience’s time and email them the presentation?
- Use pictures
A picture is surely worth a thousand words! In addition to molding your presentation into an interesting story, add at least 2-3 pictures. This will keep your audience hooked to the screen, looking at the picture while you narrate the ‘story behind it’. Companies do this with their product presentations, splashing a shiny photo of their product while the presenter narrates the story behind it. Nobody does it better than Apple. Watch their product presentations for reference.