Presentations can make or break an event. If you have been invited to speak at an event, or indeed if you are presenting at your own event, then it’s important for you to make an impact and for your content to really resonate with your audience.
There is plenty of technology that you may be able to make use of in your presentations. Some presentations have seen speakers engage with gesture control technology or motion sensor technology, which allow people to interact with their tech and devices without making physical contact. This can enable the speaker to sync their movements with their content on screen; so, for example in a health and beauty presentation, you could wave a hairbrush at the screen and a ‘how to’ video would play, or it might reveal a before and after shot of hair being cut and styled.
The personal touch
As brilliant as technology is, remember that a great presentation is down to the person presenting! The key to success is in the content and delivery; this will make sure you get your message across and not lose people’s attention. How many presentations have you sat through where at least half the room have scrolled through their phones at some point?
Five presentation pointers
Here are some pointers to keep you on track and your audience wide awake and wanting more…
Yes, content is King and it’s the main reason we present in the first place because we have lots of great ideas or findings to get across to our audience! These need to be conveyed in a clear, logical and entertaining way by you, the speaker. So when it comes to putting together your presentation slides (if you feel you need them – a lot of the famous TED talks don’t feature any slides and these are some of the most inspirational speakers of all), keep them short and sweet. You want your audience to focus on you, not what’s on the screen. Use each relevant slide to back up, rather than repeat, what you have said and try and make them memorable using a variety of media – how about a funny meme?
Choose your presentation software wisely. Powerpoint and Keynote have lots of great features, but do take the time to check out other, perhaps lesser known, versions. One called SlideDog is great for enabling you to create a ‘playlist’ of all your different media and bring it into one presentation, from PDFs to video. Another called Prezi is backed by scientific research into how the brain works to help you produce beautiful presentations that will engage your audience.
Imagery is so important in a presentation that there has been research conducted into what works and what doesn’t. It’s probably no surprise that your typical stock images are simply a no go area. Things like egg timers, people shaking hands, a cup of steamy coffee on a stone wall and someone typing a credit card number into a laptop are boring, cliche and often meaningless. Yes, you can get some really nice and engaging stock images, but wherever possible, do try and use your own images, or shake it up with other media. If you can’t find the right image, don’t use one!
Be the storyteller
People love a story and it’s important to engage them in one and not just bombard them with stats ‘flying in’ from the left of the screen in Comic Sans (please, no!). Aim to communicate with your audience in a technology free way at least once or twice during your presentation. This could be throwing a question out to them, proposing a quick poll where they have to vote by moving to a particular side of the room, or making use of a relevant prop that you can hand around the room to engage their senses.
Think about your audience
Your audience is a key part of your presentation – you wouldn’t be there without them! Think about their seating arrangements – can they all see you and also be able to discuss things in groups if the opportunity arises? Think about whether you will give them any handouts – at the start or end of your presentation. And think about the Q&A session – don’t let it all fall flat once your hard work is done; a throwable mic will keep the energy flowing!
These are just some things to think about to help get your message across – remember to get as creative as you like with your presentations, or as much as the event will allow! Our creative teams can work with you to deliver your messages in the most engaging way possible, so get in touch if you’d like some more help.