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5 Effective PowerPoint Delivery Methods for Presentations

Most presenters barely notice what particular presentation technique they’re using whenever they take the stage. This is because they’re not fully aware of how it could influence both their performance and their audience. When you prepare your pitch, decide whether you want to use a fast-paced approach or spend more time discussing your main points.

This provides a guide for organizing your ideas and translating them to your slides. While there are many presentation styles which work best for different speakers, there are also PowerPoint delivery methods that they can use to optimize their slides. Here, we’ll define some techniques introduced and practiced by popular presenters:

The Takahashi Method

Named after Masoyoshi Takahashi, this approach relies heavily on keywords with one main point placed per slide. Instead of using images, bullet points, or other visual elements, words are used as visuals.

This method requires many slides (depending on your content) since each one only has a few words displayed. Applying this method encourages your audience to pay more attention to you as the speaker, since you are the one explaining what’s projected on-screen.

The Kawasaki Method

Named after Guy Kawasaki, and also known as the “10-20-30” method (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size). This approach is commonly used for investor presentations where a short yet impactful approach is needed to stand out among the competition.

This allows you to give brief but understandable messages within a limited time.

The Lessig Method

Used by Lawrence Lessig, this style has a limited use of images, relying more on words, similar to Takahashi’s style. Concise words or statements are used and slides are changed around, depending on the words the presenter delivers.

This focuses more on telling a story and injects a more synchronized approach, generating interest and allowing audiences to be more attentive.

The Godin Method

Seth Godin’s technique is a combination of texts and images, where the speaker uses striking photos to let the pictures speak for themselves. This lets him explain what he’s trying to point out and reiterate his main ideas through images.

This approach differs from Takahashi and Lessig’s, since they’re more focused on conveying their message primarily with text. The advantage? Using this appeals to the audience’s passions and establishes an emotional connection with them.

The Steve Jobs Method

Steve Jobs’ style concentrates on large images and texts, focusing on one statement per slide and combining it with visual elements. This gives the presenter the chance to offer demonstrations and allow a more interactive way of communicating his ideas.

This method enables your performance to be more interesting and powerful, allowing the audience to get the message easily for maximum impact.

In Conclusion

Let your objectives dictate your manner of presenting. Situations requiring brevity and conciseness might require the Kawasaki Method. The Takahashi and Lessig methods favor a confident presenting style to better focus attention on the speaker. The Godin and Jobs methods use strong images that create strong emotional connections.

The key is to understand and identify your objective as a presenter. Once you know this, you can then decide on what presentation style to use. Choose which one of the delivery methods suits you the most. Let SlideGenius experts help you out!

 

References

5 Examples of Great Presentation Design.Advise America. Accessed June 11, 2015.
Finkelstein, Ellen. “Presentation Styles – What Style Should You Use?Support.Office. n.d. Accessed June 11, 2015.

Making Your PowerPoint Accessible for the Visually Impaired

When you’re up on the stage, you may notice that the crowd isn’t paying attention to your PowerPoint.

They might not be satisfied with your delivery style and content. But what if this disengagement is because of its design?

Though you may have used a template that appeals to you, you might unknowingly be making it harder for people look at what you’re trying to present.

To get your message across, it’s imperative to engage the audience in your discussion.

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There’s More of Them Than You Think

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “[In 2015] 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide—39 million are blind and 246 have low vision, which are caused by uncorrected refractive errors.” This means that your audience might be comprised of both people with normal vision and people with visual impairments.

Just because they’re not wearing prescription glasses doesn’t mean they’ve got perfect eyesight. Some people wear contact lenses or don’t even know they have a problem with their eyes.

Regardless of what corrective wear they’re using, an audience member’s visual impairment could be the reason they struggle to understand your presentation.

Common Visual Impairments

Low vision, color blindness, and dyslexia are three of the most common vision impairments.

For people with poor vision, objects appear out of focus whether they are near or far.

Color-defective people have a decreased ability to distinguish colors from others. Red and green are the most common colors that are hard to differentiate, while and blue and yellow are the least common.

People with a reading disability or dyslexia can take longer than others to identify colors, objects, or numbers.

This is what people with clear eyesight see versus what color-deficient people see:

visual impaired
Normal
visual impaired
Protanopia
y3
Tritanopia

If you’re new to making your design accessible to more people, don’t fret. Here are few basic guidelines:

How to Make Your Design More Accessible

Choose a Readable Font

Managing your content’s font and size helps your audience read your slides from a distance. The World Blind Union (WBU) highly suggests using sans serif font types such as Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana. Unlike serif typefaces, these font styles don’t have small finishing strokes, which makes them more legible and readable for people with low vision and dyslexia.

sans serif font
Left: “Sans” in sans serif font, without finishing strokes; Right: “Serif” in serif font, with finishing strokes.

When deciding what font size to use, consider what a comfortable viewing distance would be for a person seated across you—32-point is the ideal text size to use in most room settings. This is so that near-sighted people can understand what you’re pointing to, even from a distance.

Control Brightness and Contrast

Your template may have a vibrant and powerful look, but is it readable for your viewers?

Even if you painstakingly selected appealing colors for your PowerPoint, it’ll work against you if they’re virtually identical to each other. Using appropriate brightness and contrast is a great way to improve the readability of your slides.

Try employing a light background with dark text and graphics for your slides. This combination provides enough contrast that boosts the readability of your work for anybody who might have trouble distinguishing one color from another. When deciding on your color palette, always go for clarity instead of only visually appealing colors.

2015-14-06-SGBlog-FC-IMG04-PowerPoint_Presentations_for_the_Visually_Impair
A good and bad example of color brightness and contrast. Here, white text pops out more on a dark blue background and is much more readable compared to a slightly lighter text of the same color. Image Credit: Effective vs. Ineffective

Limit Animations and Effects

Animations and effects might not sit well with visually impaired people, so keep them at a minimum.

Partially-sighted audiences wait for the text to stop moving before they can start reading it. Steer clear from moving text effects such as “Fly In,” “Bounce,” “Spiral,” or “Zoom.”

2015-14-06-SGBlog-FC-IMG01-PowerPoint_Presentations_for_the_Visually_Impaired
An example of text that has been unnecessarily distorted, making it harder to read without adding meaningful impact.

When it comes to choosing the appropriate effect, “Appear” suits most presentations because it’s the simplest and quickest animation.

Any effects that show one bullet point at a time are also good effects to consider. These help your viewers focus on specific points without getting overwhelmed by too much text on the screen all at once.

Preparing an effective PowerPoint is already a challenge. Preparing one for a visually impaired audience is even tougher.

Match your delivery technique with these design tips to provide a fully accessible presentation while leaving a great impact on your viewers.

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References:

How To Make Visual Presentations Accessible To Audience Members With Print Impairments.” World Blind Union, 2012. Accessed March 24, 2015.
Comfortable Viewing Distance for Text on Presentation Visuals.” Think Outside the Slide. n.d. Accessed March 24, 2015.
Choosing the Right Colors for Your PowerPoint Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 3, 2014. Accessed March 24, 2015
Design 101: Basic Principles for Your PowerPoint Designs.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 31, 2014. Accessed March 24, 2015
“Visual Impairment And Blindness.” World Health Organization. August 2014. Accessed March 24, 2015.

Update: There are now 1.3 billion people living with some form of visual impairment worldwide. Thirty-six million are blind while 217 million people have mild to severe vision impairment. (2018)

Featured Image: Pixabay

5 Tips to Help You Finish Your PowerPoint Deck on Time

Your presentations aren’t the only tasks you have to accomplish at work.

As much as you want to prepare a well-planned deck, your busy schedule might not permit you to do so.

You need to balance content and design to deliver a winning pitch.

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To avoid a presentation snafu, work on your PowerPoint while maximizing your time.

Here are five tips to finish your PowerPoint deck before the deadline:

Review your schedule and move things around

Preparing for a presentation is a long process.

It’s better to finish tasks gradually than try to do everything in one go. That way, you have the leeway to aim for quality and focus on one thing as you go along.

Check your schedule and see if there are things you can move around to make space for your tasks. Work around your free time and split up what you have to do.

Even if you’re days away from the big presentation, organize a to-do list to maximize the time you have left.

Prioritize tasks accordingly

If you’re finishing your deck on a tight deadline, you need to learn how to prioritize. Accomplish your PowerPoint deck following a particular order.

Start with a structure for your presentation before drafting the content and finally working on your slide design. This hierarchy will determine which direction you should take your PowerPoint deck, so make sure you have a solid foundation before you move on to the next task.

Look around the web for inspiration 

Coming up with your own design concept isn’t that hard. For one, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found by browsing around the Internet.

You can check out these links to see what type of aesthetic you’d like to go for in your presentation:

Re-purpose old presentations 

Save yourself time by working with something you already have. In his article for Content Marketing Institute, Vertical Measures CEO Arnie Kuenn suggests repurposing previous content for marketing strategies to save time and money.

Similarly, this principle can apply to your overall presentation as well. Review your old files and find some PowerPoint files that you can easily edit and turn into a different presentation. Change up the color scheme or replace images you used with new ones you found online. Be as resourceful as you can.

Perfection is the last step

While you need to make sure that each task is accomplished properly, don’t try to chase perfection just yet.

Due to your limited time frame, you can’t spend too much time ironing out details.

The most important thing is to finish your PowerPoint deck. Once you’ve done that, review your presentation one last time and tweak the areas that may need improvement.

If you run out of time , it’s better to present a complete PowerPoint deck than something that looks hurried and incomplete.

Preparing an effective PowerPoint deck will take some effort. Make sure you maximize the time you have by taking note of these easy tips.

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References:

Kuenn, Arnie. “Repurposing Benefits.” Content Marketing Institute. October 28, 2013. Accessed March 12, 2015.
The Pyramid Principle: Tips for Presentation Structure.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 21, 2014. Accessed March 12, 2015.

 

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A Short Presentation Guide for Introverts

Presentations can pose more than the usual challenge for introverts. After all the preparation, an introvert presenter also has to worry about facing a large group of people.

It’s commonly believed that most introverts aren’t particularly inclined to group situations. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that introverts can’t handle pitching to a crowd. Best-selling author Susan Cain is a perfect example.

Unlike their counterparts, introverts are better with intrapersonal or “inward-turning” activities.

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An introvert will have little difficulty preparing the basic aspects of his presentation, like content and design. The real challenge is learning to be comfortable in front of a crowd and making sure all ideas are properly shared with the audience.

If you’re among the millions of people who identify as introverts, here’s a presentation guide that will help you command your presence in front of an audience:

Learn what you can about the audience

You might be better prepared to face a large crowd if you have enough information about them beforehand.

Because introverts are said to be better attuned to the needs of others, knowing that your presentation is exactly what the audience is expecting may put you at ease.

Of course, to get to that point, do some research first.

Learn what you can about the audience so you can tailor your presentation closer towards their expectations. In particular, answer these questions to identify the approach you need to take.

Don’t skimp on practice 

There’s no other way to feel comfortable about presenting than by practicing your skills.

It will take a little bit more time, but it can go a long way in making sure that your presentation is properly delivered and executed.

Even with a tight schedule, you can still set aside some time to practice your presentation bit by bit.

Practice how you want to say each part of your presentation, as well as how you plan to use your body language to emphasize your points.

Continue practicing after everything so that you’re ready when the next presentation opportunity heads your way.

Embrace your anxiety 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, feeling nervous about a big presentation is completely normal.

Not everyone will feel fully confident about any task if there’s a lot of pressure to perform properly. The harder you try to ignore your anxiety, the more your discomfort will be evident to the audience. All you can do is accept how you feel and work to make sure it doesn’t get in your way.

Start by performing relaxation and movement exercises right before the presentation.You can also try to pump yourself up with some powerful music.

Try to get yourself excited so that you can start at a positive note.

Presentations are hard work, especially for introverts who have to work outside their comfort zone. Use this guide to make sure you’re well prepared to face the audience and create a sustained connection with them.

 

References:

4 Different Ways to Practice Your Presentation Skills.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 15, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2015.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc.. August 28, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Cain, Susan. “The Power of Introverts.” The Huffington Post. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Introversion.” Psychology Today. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Presentation Set Up: 5 Things to Do Before You Start Speaking.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 2, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
The Power of Introverts. Susan Cain. TED, 2012.

 

Featured Image: Paintings by Robert via flickr

A Guide to Making a PowerPoint Style Guide

Corporations and organizations often use a style guide to ensure that all their visual materials maintain a consistent and cohesive look.

Because it’s impossible to keep track of every PowerPoint deck created in such an environment, a style guide guarantees that every presentation will correspond to your organization’s brand identity.

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Before starting on your style guide, familiarize yourself with PowerPoint’s Slide Master function to create and customize templates first. This makes it easier to accomplish once you begin distributing it throughout the organization.

Here are areas you need to focus on:

Leverage branding

Every design rule or suggestion that you put down should contribute to your branding efforts. As we’ve discussed in the past, an easy way to integrate branding into PowerPoint design is through the clever use of colors.

Set down some rules on the color scheme that everyone should use for presentations. Keep your brand’s logo and overall aesthetic in mind, making sure your rules for the color scheme goes well with both. Let your colors stand out so that the audience can see that your slides are part of a larger, unified whole.

Another way to leverage branding is by using visual metaphors that correspond to your brand identity. Include suggestions for images and illustrations people should use in their PowerPoint designs.

Establish rules following best PowerPoint practices

Aside from branding, a PowerPoint style guide also helps you maintain the quality of all the slide decks presented in your organization’s name.

As such, it’s important that you establish key rules that follow the best PowerPoint practices. Be strict about the use of bullet points and the amount of text included in a single slide. Establish pointers on how data should be presented. There are different ways to do it, but all in all, you should make sure that charts and graphs don’t get too overwhelming by inputting only the content that matters to your pitch.

Something else you can consider is making suggestions that can help manage the length of your company’s presentations.

In this PowerPoint style guide from the American Marketing Association, there’s a suggestion that a PowerPoint deck should match its length in number of slides. For example, 10-minute presentations should have no more than 10 slides.

Add reminders for presentation delivery

It might seem unnecessary, but you can also include a few reminders on how presentations should be delivered.

While a PowerPoint style guide may be focused on design, its overall objective should touch on improving presentations delivered throughout your organization. Also remind others to be more careful with the way they present their slides. After all, the point of creating PowerPoint slides is to enhance the message people are delivering with their presentations.

At the end of the day, what matters is what audiences are left with. If the delivery is improved, you can expect outcomes to improve as well.

A PowerPoint style guide is a way you can make sure presentations are organized and consistent with the company’s overall message. Have a clear vision on how you want these presentations to look like, and what kind of impact you want them to leave on audiences.

These are the things you need to have defined and clarified in your PowerPoint style guide:

  • Use of logo
  • Color scheme
  • Font type and size
  • Use of bullet points
  • Use of images, icons, and illustrations
  • Presenting data in charts and graphs
  • Editing and cutting back on slides
  • Pointers on presenting slides to make the most of the visual aids

Keep these in mind and start establishing some rules and pointers to maximize your use of effective visuals.

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References:

Chapman, Cameron. “Why Your Brand Needs a Style Guide, and How to Create One.” Webdesigner Depot. Accessed March 6, 2015.
Design Ideas: How to Improve PowerPoint Templates.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 9, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Improve Your Presentations with the Power of the Metaphor.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 17, 2014. Accessed January 12, 2015.
PowerPoint Style Guidelines.” American Marketing Association. Accessed March 6, 2015.
The Top 10 Best PowerPoint Design Practices.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 18, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Sound Slides: A PowerPoint Tutorial on Music and Sound Effects

Your presentation audience makes use of their visual and auditory senses the most during your pitch.

Because we often emphasize the importance of visuals in PowerPoint design, it’s time we consider audio, especially if you’re planning to share your presentation online.

Sometimes, it’s not enough to enhance your PowerPoint deck with eye-catching pictures and illustrations. There are moments when you need to add another dimension to your presentation design. A careful mix of visuals and audio can really add life to your slides and take your presentation further.

Add life and sound to your slides in three easy steps:

Step 1: Insert audio file

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010.

Get started by looking for the Media group under the Insert tab.

From there, choose the Audio icon and select what type of audio file you’d like to insert into your PowerPoint presentation. You can choose an audio file that’s saved in your computer, record your own, or use a file from the Clip Art gallery.

powerpoint tutorial audio 01

If you’re going to use something that you already have saved or that you downloaded from the Internet, make sure the file is compatible with PowerPoint. They have to be in any of the following formats:

  • Windows Media Audio (.wma)
  • Windows Audio (.wav)
  • MP3 (.mp3)

Step 2: Preview selected audio file

After successfully inserting your chosen audio file, you will see a sound icon appear on the slide you’re currently working on. When you select it, a toolbar will appear. This is where you can press Play to preview your audio.

powerpoint tutorial audio 02

Always check to see if the music or sound effects you’ve chosen are working properly. If the audio skips or lags, you might want to use a file with a smaller size.

Step 3: Select playback option

Lastly, choose a play back option for your audio file. After selecting the sound icon, go to the Playback tab under Audio Tools. Among the following options, choose the one that’s most applicable to how you envision your PowerPoint deck.

powerpoint tutorial audio 03

  • Automatically – The audio file will start to play as soon as you reach the current slide
  • On Click – Play the audio on demand by clicking the icon
  • Play Across Slides – The audio file will play throughout the entire PowerPoint deck
  • Loop Until Stopped – The file will play loop unless you move on to a new slide

You can also opt to hide the sound icon if you don’t want it cluttering the look of your slide. After you’ve selected the playback option that suits your presentation, tick the box for Hide During Show that’s under Audio Options.

It’s easy to take a simple PowerPoint presentation and turn it into an experience that the audience won’t soon forget. This PowerPoint tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to make sure their presentations are a little bit better than before.

Sprinkle a few sound effects to add impact to your presentation. For online presentations, use these steps to integrate a voice over to your slides. Contact our PowerPoint experts to learn how else you can improve your PowerPoint designs and presentation outcomes.

 

References

Add and Play Sounds in a Presentation.” Office Support. Accessed March 5, 2015.
Visual Simplicity Is Captivating in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 30, 2014.Accessed March 5, 2015.

 

Featured Image: picjumbo

Are Your Online Presentations Working For You?

There are many advantages to reaching out and connecting with your audience online. Consider integrating online content marketing as part of your strategy for optimal audience engagement.

What better way to pique your target audience’s interests than providing them with content that’s both useful and relevant to their interests?

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That said, online presentations can significantly improve your brand’s visibility online.

As you know, a presentation is both a visual and informative medium. Take note of the ways you can cut back lengthy PowerPoint presentations and turn them to more SEO-friendly slides. In the process, don’t forget to check if the end product lines up with your objectives.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure your online presentations are working for you:

How relevant are your online presentations? 

According to NN Group co-founder Jakob Nielsen, majority of online users spend only about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page to find what they’re looking for. If the page doesn’t have that information, they’ll skip over to the next link.

Don’t let the same thing happen to your online presentations. If the audience skips past the thumbnail of your online presentation, they might never scroll back to have a second look.

Make sure you’re relevant to what they might be searching for.

Create a presentation offering to give them tips or advice, but don’t make it too generic.

Business consultant, Mark Evans, stresses the importance of fitting the needs and interests of your target audience by learning as much as you can about them.

From that knowledge, create a headline and title slide that will surely catch people’s attention.

Can your content sustain interest? 

Now that you’ve caught your audience’s attention, the next step is figuring out how to engage and keep them interested.

Keep them on your page by highlighting your core message and key takeaways.

Don’t present your online pitch in a roundabout way. Define your presentation’s premise from the get go and put your main points forward.

This lets your target audience tell that your ideas are in line with what they’re looking for.

They’ll keep clicking to see what’s on the next slide.

Do you have a clear Call-to-Action?

After making a compelling argument, leave your audience with one last powerful statement. Before they move on to find something else to read, don’t forget to make your pitch.

That’s what a Call-to-Action is for. Should they contact you for inquiries? Should they follow you on social media?

End with a clear-cut statement that lets the audience know what you want them to do next.

We can’t emphasize enough how much online presentations can help your brand in the long run. Engage your target audience and gain the leads you need by keeping these 3 things in mind. If you want help with designing an online presentation audiences will never forget, contact us to schedule a conversation with our PowerPoint experts.

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References:

5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Evans, Mark. “The Importance of Really Knowing Your Target Audiences.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. Accessed February 27, 2015.
How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?Nielsen Norman Group. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 16, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Why Your Presentations Need Better Slide Headlines.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 3, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.

Be a Presentation Virtuoso with Deliberate Practice

Delivering an effective presentation requires skills that you need to work on and develop. While some might seem to have a natural knack for it, no one is immediately born a great presenter. Your colleague might be more inclined to it than yourself, but excellent presentation skills still come from constantly exerting effort to improve. Just like musicians playing in concert halls and orchestras, you can’t skip steps if you really want to improve presentation skills.

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There are no shortcuts to becoming a better presenter, but there’s a way you can hone your skills and become an expert. Andrew Ng, a professor from Stanford University, wrote about this in LinkedIn Pulse. He borrowed a term called “deliberate practice,” from the field of music and sports, and elaborated how you can do the same to improve your presentation techniques.

What is deliberate practice? 

Have you seen a pianist or gymnast in practice to improve their skills? When preparing for a big rehearsal, a pianist would focus on perfecting challenging passages from his score. He will play these parts repeatedly until he can play the entire piece perfectly. A gymnast will practice her routine the same way. She will repeat specific parts of her routine until she can do the whole thing flawlessly. This is deliberate practice. You focus on the most difficult and challenging parts.

As Ng had put it in his brief article, “[deliberate practice is] hard work—you focus in every attempt, try to figure out what you’re doing wrong, and tweak your performance to make it better.”

For professionals looking to improve their public speaking, deliberate practice means setting aside time to rehearse presentations and focusing on areas that they need to improve. It could be your body language or your ability to project your voice and speak clearly. Whatever these pain points might be, you should spend at least 30 minutes in rehearsal to iron out the kinks. Do it even if you’re not preparing for a big presentation. After all, these skills play a vital role in the professional world. Whether you’re in sales, marketing, or looking for investors, improving your ability to communicate and share a message will help you go a long way. All you have to do is dedicate a few minutes of your day.

Improve your presentation skills with deliberate practice

Now that you’re familiar with deliberate practice, it’s time to put it into action. Take note of the following steps to make sure your next presentation comes out flawlessly. Repeat this process over a course of several days until you see results and are satisfied with your improvement.

Step One: Select a portion in a presentation you had difficulty with

Go over the presentation you just finished preparing or review an old you made recently. Select a short, 60-second portion that you’re having trouble with. It can be a part where you just can’t pronounce the words right, or hold yourself right on stage. It can also be a part where you’re having a hard time expounding some points eloquently.

Step Two: Record your practice

After you’ve decided, record yourself rehearsing the particular portion you chose. You can use the webcam on your laptop or the camera on your phone. Just make sure the set-up is arranged in a way that you can see and hear much of yourself in the recording.

Step Three: Take down notes

After you finish rehearsing the 60-second portion, watch your recording and take note of the parts you’d like to change. List down comments about how you would want to change how you say certain words or move in a certain way. If you think you look awkward in the recording, try to figure out why that’s so and think of ways you can improve.

Step Four: Adjust your performance

Review the notes you made and adjust your performance accordingly. Repeat your performance with the feedback you gave yourself and record the whole thing again.

Step Five: Repeat steps until you see results

Keep rehearsing the 60-second portion of your presentation until you’ve improved on all the points you took note of. Once you’re satisfied with the results, move on to a different 60-second portion that you think also needs work. Stick to this routine until you’ve covered the entire length of your presentation. If it’s possible, you can enlist the help of a friend or family member so you can receive feedback from them. This will make the whole process go a lot faster.

You can be a virtuoso in the field of presentations with some deliberate practice. Just set aside a few minutes in a day to fix the pain points you encounter when facing an audience. Follow this routine and see a marked improvement in your delivery and performance. All it takes is some hard work and determination.

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Reference:

Ng, Andrew. “Learn to Speak or Teach Better in 30 Minutes.” LinkedIn Pulse. March 20, 2014.

 

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3 Ways to Cut Back Your Text-Heavy PowerPoint Slides

The most effective PowerPoint slides are often simple and concise. As branding experts TRAY Creative put it: cluttered slides will only put your audience to sleep.

Effective decks help the presenter discuss a topic with memorable and arresting visuals. In other words, a PowerPoint presentation isn’t there to act as your script or teleprompter.

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If your presentations are always burdened by text-heavy PowerPoint slides, it’s time to dial back and strip your deck bare.

Try the following suggestions to make sure you don’t have walls of text blocking the audience’s interest in your discussion:

Strip your content down to its essentials 

Cutting back on text-heavy PowerPoint slides rely on your ability to edit your own content.

Before you start making your PowerPoint deck, review the draft you’ve prepared and see how you can simplify your points even more. Your goal is to strip down your content to the bare minimum.

You don’t have to waste space on your slides to elaborate particulars. Your slides are there to highlight the main points and takeaways.

Everything else that needs to be discussed or described is for the presenter to do on his own.

Use multiple slides to split up bullet points

Bullet points are often maligned in PowerPoint design because of constant misuse. A lot of presenters insist on presenting text through a bullet point list, even if the text requires a lengthy paragraph description.

Bullet points are meant to simplify content and list down key information. If you’re going to use it to cram several paragraphs on a single slide, you’re not utilizing bullet points properly.

Split up your content across multiple PowerPoint slides. Even if you end up with 10 more slides than you originally planned, your deck won’t look poorly designed.

Spreading out your PowerPoint to tackle one point at time will help you make sure your slides aren’t dragged down by too much text.

Represent content visually

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember to keep it in mind when making PowerPoint slides, because it’s extremely crucial to presentation design.

Sometimes, it can be hard to cut back on content because there are things that require several sentences to describe.

Luckily, PowerPoint is a visual tool. Instead of using up slide space on lengthy descriptions, you can represent certain parts of your content through pictures or graphics instead.

Turn a discussion on a particular process into a flowchart. Find pictures that represent your brand values. Think visually and use images to relay what might need several sentences to say.

In general, try to keep your PowerPoint slides visual. Use text to enhance the meaning of particular images or graphs, and do it by using the simplest sentences or phrases. Remember, a PowerPoint deck is a visual aid. It shouldn’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. As the presenter, it’s your job to take the stage and discuss your presentation accordingly.

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References:

Visual Storytelling: How Stories Are Told in Pictures.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 27, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
PowerPoint Insight: Reconsidering the No Bullet Points Rule.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 21, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
7 PowerPoint Mistakes That Put Audiences to Sleep.” TRAY Creative Seattle Marketing Branding Web Design. Accessed February 24, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Hernán Piñera via Flickr

4 Easy Tips to Manage Your PowerPoint File Size

Following all the best PowerPoint practices, you were able to incorporate interesting visuals and make use of minimal but creative animation.

You’re confident that it looks great, and you’re sure that your slides will definitely enhance the message you want to deliver. After some final adjustments, you’re ready to share your PowerPoint file online, transfer it to another device, or run a test drive.

And then your laptop starts to lag. The program starts to crash.

If you’re sharing the presentation online, you’re met with an upload that’s expected to run for hours. The culprit? A PowerPoint file that is too large.

For a seamless presentation experience, shrink your PowerPoint file to a manageable size.

Lucky for you, there are 4 simple ways to fix PowerPoint 2010 file size issues. Take note of the following tips and find the most applicable solution to your dilemma:

Convert PowerPoint file to PDF

You can convert your PowerPoint file to a PDF if you’re planning to share your slides via SlideShare or email when the actual presentation is over.

This will strip your presentation of any animation and transition effects, so make necessary tweaks to your PowerPoint first.

After that, all you have to do is head to the File tab and click Save As. From there, choose PDF under Save as type.

 

powerpoint file pdf

Skip ‘Compatibility Mode’

If you’re planning to simply hook up your laptop to the projector in the venue, you don’t need to save your PowerPoint file in compatibility mode.

Keep your file saved in the latest version of PowerPoint by making sure the file extension is .pptx. Head to the folder where your PowerPoint file is stored, right click, then choose Properties.

powerpoint file pptx

Compress high-resolution pictures 

Using pictures with incredibly high resolutions will definitely have an effect on the size of your PowerPoint file. You may want to use clear and crisp images, but you don’t have to opt for anything that’s too large.

Renowned presentation trainer, Ellen Finklestein, writes about reducing image sizes on her blog. Finklestein explains the necessity to do this because images can sometimes make your files bulkier.

Edit and re-size the pictures that have resolutions that might be way too large.

If you don’t want to sacrifice your PowerPoint design, compress all the images in your deck. Simply select any image in your PowerPoint file and head to the Pictures Tools Format tab.

Click on Compress Pictures under the Adjust group. When the dialogue box appears, choose from the different target output options.

powerpoint file compress pics

Avoid embedding fonts if you can

As we’ve discussed before, customized and unique fonts can help enhance your PowerPoint designs. However, they can also be a contributing factor to why your PowerPoint file size is too large. Try to minimize your use of unique fonts as much as you can.

To avoid embedding too much data into your PowerPoint file, you can limit your use of unique fonts for headers or section breaks. Head to the File tab and click on Options. Go to Save and check to see the options enabled under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation. When you embed fonts to your PowerPoint file, make sure you always choose the first option.

powerpoint file embed fonts
You don’t have to sacrifice great presentation design to make sure your PowerPoint file is kept at a manageable size. Ease the presentation process and use these methods to make sure your PowerPoint file isn’t unnecessarily too large. For more PowerPoint design insights, click here and browse through our blog!

References

Finkelstein, Ellen. “Reduce the Size of Your Presentation Files.PowerPoint Tips Blog. November 22, 2000. Accessed February 20, 2015.
PowerPoint Quick Tips: Designing for SlideShare.SlideGenius, Inc. January 20, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015.
The Top 10 Best PowerPoint Design Practices.SlideGenius, Inc. November 18, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2015.
Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design.SlideGenius Inc. December 18, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Andrew Malone via Flickr