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Plan Ahead to Avoid PowerPointless Presentations

Forgetting to prepare can lead to unforeseen consequences during your actual pitch.

Planning is the most crucial part of presentations.

It requires careful topic-analysis, in-depth research and proper selection of visuals and content to successfully meet your audience’s expectations.

How Important is Planning Before Your Presentation?

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” – Harvey MacKay

People who carefully plan avoid failure, but it requires plenty of discipline. This same principle applies to presentations.

Before crafting your pitch, you need a roadmap to guide you to your destination.

What’s Your Topic?

Whether it’s related to business, sales, or otherwise, this is the most important part of the preparation process.

Without this, you don’t have a solid idea to work from, and you can’t continue with the rest of your deck.

Determine the Purpose of Your Presentation

If it’s difficult to choose ideas to focus on, write down what you want to achieve first. Do you want to persuade your audience? Do you want to teach them something?

This helps you move forward and gather more information to support your statement.

Do Your Research

Planning starts and ends with research. It’s how you generate ideas: by getting information and building on that existing data with your personal take on things.

You need ample time to find appropriate research materials such as books, newspapers, and reliable websites.

In relation to the  previous two points, knowing your specific subject and purpose keeps your research focused. This prevents you from wasting time figuring out what information to look for.

Find the Big Idea

Having too many ideas can be overwhelming, but focus on determining your core message.

This way, it’ll be easy to drive home your key points.

Make it easy to understand so that your listeners understand everything you say. Highlight the important points by making sure you mention them repeatedly.

Draft Your Presentation Ahead of Time

An unwieldy PowerPoint is your greatest enemy. Prevent this by controlling it from the start.

Draft outlines on paper to construct your ideas’ flow.

Condense each slide’s content and incorporate appropriate visual design so you don’t mislead your audience on what your main idea is.

Know What to Place in Each Slide

Don’t let your deck distract the audience from your message. Heavily written statements and cluttered decks can divert people’s attentions.

They’ll just read what’s written on each slide and won’t bother to listen to you.

Instead, keep a few brief cue cards or notes for yourself that differ from the text on your slides. Remember: your slides are only a guide, not your speech itself.

Practice Your Pitch

The secret to excellence is that no one starts out perfect. Consistent practice and perseverance are what make up a good presenter

You don’t have to memorize your entire pitch. Just be prepared and knowledgeable enough to accommodate all possible questions that may arise after you’re done speaking.

This will make you more comfortable when delivering your message.


Avoid confusing your audience by applying each of these steps when preparing for a pitch. In case you skip any of these tips, you can still go back and accomplish each stage more completely.

Begin with careful planning to achieve better results. Put the point in your PowerPoint.



3 Ways to Make PowerPoint Presentation Notes Your Ally.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed May 27, 2015.
Crafting Content: How to Conduct Presentation Research.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed May 27, 2015.
PowerPoint or PowerPointless: Designing Presentations That Engage.” Informa Insights. July 22, 2013. Accessed May 27, 2015.

About Rick Enrico

Rick Enrico is the CEO & Founder of SlideGenius, Inc., a graphic design agency servicing over 1,000 global customers. Rick currently oversees an experienced team of talented graphic designers, software engineers and support staff that specialize in creating high-end custom presentations and marketing collateral for business executives and corporations.Mr. Enrico and our team of PowerPoint design experts contribute to this blog frequently. If you have any questions or just want to drop us a line please forward them to admin (@)

About SlideGenius is your PowerPoint specialist for business. SlideGenius services customers all over the globe and has helped enhance the presentations of more than 1000+ clients including J.P. Morgan, Comcast, Mastercard, Facebook, and Reebok, among others. Let us help you with your presentation design needs!

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