Slidegenius, Inc.

Three Principles for a Minimalist PowerPoint Design

You might have experienced times when you used minimal content in your presentations. Has use of the minimalist concept sometimes led to bare and boring slides?

If so, you may have to reevaluate your PowerPoint design choices, but not by doing away with minimalism. Rather, improve your deck to utilize this technique more.

While users could blame the seemingly poor appearance on PowerPoint, using minimal content and taking a minimalist approach are two different things.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Using minimal content and taking a minimalist approach are two different things.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”design, strategy” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/three-principles-minimalist-powerpoint-design/” template=”light”]

Done correctly, the latter uses the important facts your clients need to know, as opposed to the former, which puts in only a few details.

This allows your deck to make an impact due to three important factors.

1. White Space

In his article citing renowned neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin’s The Organized Mind on The Orange County Register, Mark Landsbaum discusses the effects of taking in too much info at once.

These effects include unproductivity and loss of motivation, and the same effects may apply to information overload on the slide.

Because there’s too much content to process, a PowerPoint with text-heavy content makes people lose interest in your pitch faster.

People can only give their full attention to one thing at a time. If you want them to retain anything from your presentation, focus on showing your most important facts. Minimalists make use of white space in their design. This draws attention to important text and images on the screen.

Eliminating unnecessary elements from your deck reduces the strain on a reader’s eyes. It also lets them process key points faster. The next time you want to fill your slide with blocks of text, ask yourself if you can cut it down to leave space for rest.

2. Content Placement

You won’t be able to call people’s attention to your core message if they’re placed inconspicuously on your PowerPoint. This is where most presenters abuse the minimalist method. They believe that throwing content on a bare space will make it look more appealing.

However, minimalism is all about strategic placement. Spark people’s interest by putting the right element at the right place. Put headlines at the center where they could easily be seen. When using captions with an image, and you want readers to notice them immediately, try putting them near the middle as well.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Minimalism is all about strategic placement.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”design, strategy, graphicdesign” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/three-principles-minimalist-powerpoint-design/” template=”light”]

Less important slide content like sub-headings and minor information should take up less space. So try placing them below or beside the core content.

3. Appropriate Colors

People react to certain colors in different ways. If you want to draw attention and exude positivity, warm colors like red and yellow can suit your needs. On the other hand, cool colors like blue and green relax the eyes.

Like saturating your slide deck with images, adding too many colors can be distracting and uninviting. Knowing the appropriate color scheme for your presentation is already an advantage on your part.

Tom Osborne of Viget.com recommends applying other color principles like contrast, to highlight aspects like talking points. Choose complementary colors, and apply one as a backdrop to the other for emphasizing. This doesn’t just apply to solid colors. Use these color principles on your text and images to achieve a visually-appealing design, and make your deck easier to look at.

The Takeaway

There’s no room for a cluttered slide deck in a professional presentation. Using a minimalist approach to PowerPoint design can make your deck layout easier to look at, and help attract prospects.

To do this, consider using white space to relax people’s eyes, and help them focus on your key points. Then place your content strategically to draw attention to important text or images on screen.

Utilize the appropriate colors to bring out the best parts of your deck. To make the minimalist approach work on your deck, use these design tips to impress your clients.

To keep everything balanced, contact a PowerPoint guru for a free quote!

 

References

“Color Contrast for Better Readability.” Viget Blogs. Accessed November 25, 2015. https://viget.com/inspire/color-contrast
“Perils of Processing Too Much Information.” The Orange County Register. Accessed November 25, 2015. www.ocregister.com/articles/day-659344-climate-time.html

 

Featured Image: “twist” by Thomas Leth-Olsen on Flickr.com

Presentational Time Management: Plan Effective Presentations

Time is a valuable but scarce resource, with the art of time management being one of the hardest to master. However, successfully incorporating time management in one’s work is very rewarding. Learning how to use time management in planning presentations can ensure desired results.

With technological advancement coming in left and right, people are becoming more and more used to the fast transfer of information. Research shows that the average human attention span has been recorded to have fallen from twelve to eight seconds in the past fifteen years. To get the meat of the point across in the simplest and quickest way possible, a presentation must be well-organized. The only way to do that is through intensive planning.

Manage your time with the following tips:

1. Focus on Developing Your Ideas

How should you angle your presentation? What are the interests of your audience? The bulk of your planning should go to figuring out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. According to leadership coach Jeff Boss, having a set objective helps you track your progress, and also lessens the distraction of side ideas that may be irrelevant to your main point.

Key in on main ideas to avoid rambling towards the middle of your pitch. Stay anchored on the topic with organized key points.

2. Consider Your Visuals

Once you have your content in place, it’s time to figure out the visual aspect of your presentation. The thing is, fitting your material into the appropriate visual tools can be time-consuming. In this aspect, seeking the assistance of specialists saves up time and guarantees harmonious content and design for a more effective pitch.

If you want to try it out on your own, starting out with a basic deck can still be engaging. Just develop your slides with the right color combination and arresting visuals instead of wordy paragraphs to catch the audience’s attention.

3. Prepare Back-Up

Of course, all necessary precautions must be made. Even the most seasoned speakers come across hurdles during the actual presentation, and these are the scenarios you have to be ready for. Spend the remaining time before your presentation practicing your delivery, double-checking content, and drafting backup plans for anything you missed during your initial preparation.

You won’t be able to catch all the blind spots in your pitch, but you’ll be able to weed out most of them through meticulous planning. Also take note of past mistakes that you can work on, or get audience feedback during your Q&A.

It’s Your Time to Shine

Time management in preparation is often a task in itself. Knowing what you want to get across allows you to decide which parts of your presentation you have to focus on developing.

In order to save up time, outline your ideas well, don’t hesitate to ask for help, and be ready for the unexpected.

 

References

Boss, Jeff. “3 Strategies to Maximize Your Time.” Entrepreneur. February 20, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com
Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Featured Image: Time is ticking out” by mao_lini from flickr.com

Psychological Biases: The Bandwagon in Sales Presentations

We’ve already discussed the psychology of decision-making and examined the use of anchoring in sales presentations. In this post, we’ll focus on another psychological bias: the bandwagon effect.

If you have high regard for group thinking and conformity, then this brain quirk can help you sell more. Let’s see what makes this technique suitable for your pitch.

Defining the ‘Bandwagon’ Effect

Coined after the political term “jump on the bandwagon”, this refers to voters’ tendencies of choosing the most successful campaign to support. The bandwagon effect implies hopping onto a trend, joining a movement, or supporting something that everyone else has been doing.

According to Hubspot’s Emma Snider, social proof can be a powerfully persuasive tool. People have this natural tendency of following another’s actions regardless of their own beliefs. The likelihood of this increases when more of them begin adopting the idea or behavior.

Why Use This in Presentations?

All marketers aim to increase a product or service’s popularity, so they create marketing efforts for higher product demand at a faster rate. Using the bandwagon effect in presentations gives you the advantage in persuading your audience. It relates to your prospects’ emotions, which in turn increases the popularity of your product and consumer demand.

The idea of popularity introduces your product into the market, which makes people jump onto the bandwagon. It appeals to the human emotions of wanting what others already have, and of fitting in with the majority. Customers will take the word of their fellow consumers for it because they’re sure they aren’t out to sell them anything. Making it appear that there are more users tuned into your product or service reassures them of your quality.

How to Make The Bandwagon Effect Your Ally

You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment. With a handful of product innovations coming, the consumer society is now yearning for transparency, info-bites, and greater customer experiences with the products they use. Cater to these needs by using the bandwagon as social proof.

[easy-tweet tweet=”You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”sales” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/psychological-biases-the-bandwagon-in-sales-presentations/” template=”light”]

Introduce your product in a way that strengthens your credibility. Include testimonials from your valued clients or present a statistic that shows how many people have been using your offering.

Giving them quantifiable proof of your product standing and market value is the best way to turn them into buying customers.

Are You In or Out?

The bandwagon effect is one useful psychological bias that relates to consumer decision making.

Use the power of this phenomenon in influencing purchases and experience a breakthrough success in your business.

 

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Dueling Bandwagons” by Eric Kilby from flickr.com

3 Ways to Make PowerPoint Presentation Notes Your Ally

Notes provide a convenient way to keep track of your speech, but depending on them hinders audience engagement. It keeps you from establishing eye contact, and communicating nonverbally through hand gestures and body movements.

So when are you allowed to use it all throughout your speech?

To Use or Not to Use?

If you’re discussing a complex topic that needs an in-depth approach, then there’s no problem with using it as a script. This is because there are certain subjects that can only be thoroughly explained with notes.

Ideally though, notes should be for recalling only main points and important data. While it’s still possible to keep audiences engaged with a script in hand, master your topic and give yourself more time to maximize your stage presence for a more effective presentation.

If you have no other choice but to use your script, here’s how you can best utilize your PowerPoint presentation notes:

1. Write in a Conversational Tone

According to presentation trainer, Gary Genard, you should write a speech with the intentions of delivering it, not reading it. Before you craft your speech, plan it with a natural delivery in mind. One way to do this is to construct each statement by using contractions. Instead of writing “will not,” you can compose it as “won’t” to sound more conversational.

Remember to use simple words as if you’re just talking to a friend. Simpler language makes it easier for your audience to follow your arguments and understand your points.

2. Know When to Pause

Learning how to pause allows you to emphasize each point, making it easier for listeners to digest what you’re discussing. When you type your script out, make sure to use double-spacing.

You can use these spaces to write notes on where you should be pausing for dramatic effect.

3. Project Your Voice

Strive for a voice that’s loud enough for the audience and venue, but still pleasant to listen to. Speech coach Lenny Laskowski advises that presenters take note of their tone, pitch, and inflection in order to stay aware of how audible they are to an audience.

Record yourself or ask a colleague to listen while you speak with your notes. Then, listen to how you deliver each statement, and pay attention closely to your voice’s inflection.

A measured, dynamic, and powerful voice projection keeps your audience at the edge of their seat and glued to your every word.

One More Thing to Note...

Practice more often to sound natural and conversational. By writing in a conversational tone, knowing when to pause, and projecting your voice, you can successfully engage your audience with your notes on.If you need to use a script, compensate with writing, delivery, and projection.

Do you need a well-designed deck to go with your speech? SlideGenius’ presentation experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

4 Common Ways To Remember Material – Presentation Skills.” LJLSeminars. Accessed August 14, 2015
Genard, Gary. “How to Speak from Notes or a Manuscript in Public Speaking.The Genard Method. February 10, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015

 

Featured Image: Friendship” by Nicola from flickr.com

3 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Images for Your Slide Design

A picture can tell a complete story without a single glyph of text. When making your slide design, push your deck to the next level with smart and appropriate use of stock photos. Use images for PowerPoint the right way to enhance your deck.

It might seem overwhelming at first to fit images into a visually appealing deck, but don’t worry. Nobody is expected to rely on pictures alone to get their message across. What we’ll be talking about is how to find the most suitable ones that best communicate your ideas to achieve your goals.

1. Search for the Good Ones

The first step is to find visually striking images, ones which are clearly for commercial use. Google is likely your first choice when looking for appropriate photos. More often than not, however, you’ll end up with common and visually unappealing results.

A good place to start when looking for images is Flickr, which has a practical search function. Flickr allows you to limit the results to ones you can edit or use for commercial purposes. One thing, though: make sure to give credit to the artists in your own work.

If you’re willing to pay a premium for amazing photos, use Shutterstock, or DepositPhotos for royalty-free images. This gives your PowerPoint an extra dose of uniqueness. With your search term, use specific keywords instead of broad ones. This will discount search results that are too common.

To circumvent problems with some monitors or projectors, avoid photos with intricate details and fine dots or lines.

2. Decide Which Images Fit

Design your slides in a way that best fits your brand. Your image choice is most effective when it conveys or complements your message without straying from your brand persona – all while still maintaining unity with each other.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Your image choice is most effective when it conveys or complements your brand persona.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”design,” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/3-tips-for-choosing-the-perfect-images-for-your-slide-design/” template=”light”]

Try to choose images with a color temperature or palette that fits your own company colors. They should also meld with your brand identity. For example, you don’t want to use images of young people on skateboards when you’re presenting about elderly care. Putting thought into your selection and layout saves you from presenting to a confused audience.

Your images should only be there to help your presentation. If they hinder, take them out for a simpler layout.

3. Edit Them to Your Needs

The supremacy of Adobe programs is undeniable, as evidenced by Photoshop being an industry standard in photo-manipulation and graphic design. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s only for experts in graphic design.

You can easily use Photoshop to crop your images to the proper size, or even change the brightness levels and color temperature. If you find striking images that have unnecessary elements or don’t have the right color, use Photoshop to correct and adjust them to your needs.

In Conclusion

The right choice of stock images can make your PowerPoint layout an aesthetic advantage. Getting the right ones with the proper copyright permissions will be your first priority. Ensure that you won’t be infringing on anyone’s rights for your own purposes.

Your next priority is making sure your choices are appropriate for your branding and your message individually, while ensuring that your branding and message complement each other. Every design decision should enhance your presentation, not distract from it.

If you must, use Photoshop to make edits such as cropping, brightening, or other forms of tweaking. Need more help with designing your slides? Our Presentation Experts are ready to take your call and provide a free quote!

 

References

Apply the Color Balance Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Images for PowerPoint: 5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 26, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Levels Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.

5 Warm-Up Exercises for Professional Presentations

Utilizing your whole body is a must when presenting in front of a crowd.

Non-verbal communication makes a difference in getting your message across effectively and concisely. What you do physically should match what you’re saying, as any inconsistency between visual and verbal delivery could make your audience doubt the authenticity of your claims.

After all, audiences don’t only have ears – they have eyes, too.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Public speaking isn’t all about using only your mouth. Your body language matters, too.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”business,” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/5-warm-up-exercises-for-professional-presentations/” template=”light”]

To make the most out of your body language skills and look more professional, do some warm-up exercises before you step up and deliver your presentation.

1. Take Deep Breaths

As with any warm-up, you have to do some breathing exercises first. This calms you down and prepares your body for the stretching you’ll be doing.

To get yourself at peak alertness, we recommend the Bellows Method. This entails breathing rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Doing this also invigorates and primes you for that important pitch ahead.

2. Relax Your Neck

While standing up straight, rest your head forward, and slowly rotate your neck around your shoulders. Do this both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Make sure not to overdo it. Rotate as gently and as naturally as possible.

This frees your neck from tension and relaxes you.

3. Wiggle Your Hands

Hand gestures are the easiest tools for conveying your message in a simple and effective manner. Wiggling your hands not only improves blood flow, but also loosens your muscles.

Properly using hand gestures can have a dramatic effect on how your audience listens. Make sure to prepare your hands well to get the best out of them.

4. Stretch Your Legs

Moving around is as important as waving your hands around, especially with a large crowd. Therefore, ensure that your legs are in top shape before you step up. You can achieve this by doing your basic lunges, alternating each leg.

To avoid missteps or trips, stretch your legs before your pitch.

5. Exercise Your Face Muscles

Don’t worry. Your parents were wrong when they said your face would stay that way forever. Your facial expressions are important for emphasizing emotions that you wish to invoke in your audience. Contort your face in every possible way to stretch your facial muscles.

Doing this in front of a mirror also lets you be more comfortable with your appearance, and allows you to pick out the expressions and angles that show you at your best.

Summing It Up

Public speaking isn’t all about using only your mouth. Your body language matters, too. Enhance and complement your pitch by preparing yourself physically and mentally. To avoid cramping up and embarrassing yourself, don’t forget to do preparatory exercises. Make sure to stretch and loosen up your whole body.

Start with some deep breathing to calm yourself down. Breathing exercises prepare you not only for more stretching, but for the coming presentation. Then, work on releasing the tension in every part of your body, starting with your neck. Shake your hands to loosen them up, then do some quick lunges to stretches your legs.

Finally, don’t forget that you face has muscles, too, so make all sorts of expressions to warm them up. Warming up your body helps you warm up your mind, making you more alert and efficient during your presentation.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint deck for more professional presentations? Contact SlideGenius for a free consultation.

 

References

Breathing: Three Exercises.Weil. Accessed September 10, 2015.
How to Use Body Language Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 02, 2015. Accessed September 10, 2015.
Presentation Warm-up Exercises.” Syntaxis. Accessed September 10, 2015.

An Inside Look at How Clients Invest in Your Sales Pitch

Effective presenters take time to know their client’s expectations. This lets them select the best tactic for delivering their sales pitch so they can solve both their client’s problems and their own. Presenters have this advantage because they know how clients connect with their sales pitch proposals, giving them better PowerPoint presentation ideas.

It’s the same process that advertising agencies consider when making customers connect with the brands they advertise. This connection between brands and customers happens on three levels, the most powerful of which according to a study conducted by advertising giant McCann-Erickson, is Emotional Bonding.

1. Product Benefits

Business gurus George and Michael Belch suggest that on this level, clients connect with your brand based on the benefits it can offer.

At this stage, clients have the least amount of loyalty. They are most likely to switch to the competition if they offer something you don’t have.

2. Brand Personality

The next stage is when your clients assign a personality to your brand. This personality is based on the principles and beliefs your brand will stand for.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, presents a few examples: it can be the cozy hangout Starbucks is known as, the tough off-roaders of Jeep, or even the classic refreshing drink that Coke is touted as. This is when clients start to associate traits or values they share with your brand.

3. Emotional Benefits

At this stage, consumers and clients alike develop emotional attachments to your brand. This is the highest level, where clients constantly seek you out after you’ve done business with them repeatedly.

At this stage, your previous clients will have no problem looking forward to your future pitches, much like how Apple users always looked forward to the late Steve Jobs showing off his new gadget. This level of trust leads to a positive psychological movement towards your company.

It’s arguably the hardest to achieve, but you get the benefit of clients paying their undivided attention to you whenever you present.

The Main Connection: Develop Trust

Connecting with your audience with a business PowerPoint presentation doesn’t happen overnight. After all, repeat customers are what keep companies alive.

Offer a product with the benefits your clients need, define a relatable personality for your brand, and deliver consistently to help you gain your client’s trust in your company. That’s when the long-term emotional connections happen.

To help you get the most out of this advantage, get in touch with SlideGenius.com today!

 

References

Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Proprietary Research Technique Called Emotional Bonding.” ZABANGA Marketing. Accessed September 8, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed September 8, 2015.

3 Exercises for Staying Calm During Investment Presentations

A professional setting calls for a professional approach. During vital investment presentations, you don’t want to seem nervous and fidgety, nor do you want to appear hyper and overbearing. Anxiety ruins your integrity as a presenter, as an uncontrolled wave of emotion could end up expressing the wrong message. What you need is a cool and calm approach that doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

Are You Looking for a Pitch Deck?
View Our Amazing Pitch Deck Examples!

Here are three tips to get you up to the task:

1. Empty Your Mind

You don’t want to be overtaken by your fears and anxieties. You also don’t want to be distracted by your overenthusiasm and excitement. To find a calm middle ground, empty your mind of present thoughts. Imagine an image from nature. Think of the quietly rushing water of a babbling brook or the wind blowing through a field. Imagine a loved one voicing encouragement.

It doesn’t matter which image you use to relax yourself, whether it’s specific or general. What’s important is that you do this well before your presentation. Practice clearing your mind and imagining relaxing thoughts repeatedly so that you’re ready to use these techniques when you need them.

2. Inhale, Exhale

Don’t forget to breathe. Sounds easy, right? Without even thinking about it, our body already does the breathing for us. However, steady breathing is harder to do when your body is stressing out.

Fortunately, some oxygen can help calm you down, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions or by a bout of the presentation jitters. Similar to when you’re in life-threatening danger, your body releases stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, which increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

They may have helped our more primitive ancestors in outrunning predators, but they inadvertently make modern public speaking harder, increasing your chances of committing mistakes. Controlled breathing, among many things, optimizes your oxygen intake, making it easier for you to focus and think clearly. When you’re feeling nervous or anxious, just take one long breath, stomach out, and you’ll be fine.

3. Move Around

Motion changes your emotion. It’s not just some rhyme – it actually works. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities as a speaker, shift your stance or take a few steps in any direction. Making movements changes your perspective, helping you transition to a different state of mind.

If you’re frequently stiffening up due to nervousness, loosen your body up with some stretching exercises before a pitch, and move around during your pitch. Being mobile also allows you to better convey your message. In addition, effective use of body language communicates to your audience and to your subconscious self that you’re in control.

Conclusion

There are opportunities for you to let your emotions loose and be yourself. However, going overboard will make you look unprofessional and put a dent in your credibility. It can also confuse your audience into remembering your emotion instead of your core message. Freezing with nervousness will make you look even worse.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you find it difficult to present in front of an audience. Some nervousness is normal for important business presentations, but don’t be completely overcome with anxiety.

Instead of panicking even more, relax. Clear your mind of any present thoughts. The less you focus on worrisome possibilities, the more you can focus on actually getting your message across. Don’t forget to take deep breaths to optimize your oxygen intake and calm yourself down.

Lastly, move around, but don’t overdo it. Getting yourself in motion gives you a different perspective on things. Be cool, calm, and collected to ace your pitch and wow your listeners.

 

References

http://www.marionspeaks.com/_blog/Marions_Communication_Tips/post/3_Tips_to_Control_Emotions_When_Presenting/
http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-surprising-ways-a-deep-breath-can-reduce-your-anxiety/
http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2010/04/21/motions-influence-emotions/

 

Featured Image: Relaxing in Maldives” by Nattu on flickr.com

5 Presentation Habits That Skilled Speakers Should Avoid

Professionals sometimes neglect minor factors while presenting, often thinking that they’re trivial.

However, they forget that these seemingly insignificant habits can make or break their presentation.

Though there are guidelines to remember when speaking in public, there are also negative practices that could ruin your performance.

Here are five practices that presenters should avoid:

  1. Oversmiling

Learn when to smile and when not to.

What are the advantages of smiling?

Smiling helps you build rapport and connect with your audience, while also reducing your anxiety and boosting your confidence as a speaker.

When shouldn’t you smile during your pitch?

Though almost a given, remember not to smile while telling unfortunate stories.

You can also use a neutral expression to show professionalism and respect, especially when you’re discussing sensitive issues.

Knowing your content also lets you identify what part of your pitch requires specific kinds of facial expressions.

  1. Depending on Memory

Know when to depend on your script.

For beginners, it’s advisable to use notes to help them remember their cues.

For experienced speakers, it’s better not to depend on scripts to appear more professional and prepared.

However, there are times when you have to return to your notes. You may need to refer to your references if you’re discussing a particularly complicated topic. This is acceptable, as long as you don’t do this too often.

Try recording your speech and listening to it, watching out for any lines that stand out to you. List down anything from your speech that sounds powerful. You can use these as guideposts for the best times to deliver your strongest lines.

  1. Overacting

You can add humor to your speech to lighten your audience’s mood, making them more responsive. You may use stories that require exaggerated body language that’ll definitely make your audience laugh.

However, when delivering a serious topic, be gentle when you dramatize. This’ll convince your audience to feel the deep emotions you’re portraying and emphasizing.

  1. Overusing Authority

Learn when to be enthusiastic and when to be serious.

You can entertain your audience by telling them irrelevant anecdotes and information, but this doesn’t get you anywhere closer to driving your big idea home.

Don’t use your authority to overly engage your audience with stories that have nothing to do with your main message. You might get them into a better mood, but they’ll fail to recall what you want them to learn and understand.

If you want to use stories, tell only those that support your core message.

Always get back to your presentation’s main objective.

  1. Asking Unplanned Questions

People often end up asking unplanned questions when they make a mistake or when an unexpected event arises.

This is most presenters’ last resort in regaining their audience’s attention, but this often causes them to neglect their original plan for their pitch.

Understand that you have different types of audiences; some are expressive, while others are straight-faced.

While asking questions is important, only include relevant queries to save time and avoid boring your audience.

Start by asking the right questions, that is, those that clarify important points so that your listeners can better understand you.

Conclusion

Great presenters often overlook some practices that disrupt their presentation’s success.

However, understanding these negative presentation habits lets you avoid them and develop a more effective presentation. 

Know when it’s appropriate to smile during your presentation. It’s usually fine if you’re talking about something lighthearted, but it’s better to put on a neutral expression when discussing controversial topics.

Though reciting your pitch from memory makes you look like a professional in your field, there’s no harm in referring to your notes in case you forget what to say next. It’s better to have a back-up plan than to fumble and be unable to recover at all.

Using different facial expressions can add an emotional punch to your points, but don’t overdo it or you’ll only look like you’re forcing it.

You may be tempted to tell your audiences all the interesting stories you have in your head, but only share those that actually have something to do with and support your core idea.

Finally, don’t ask unplanned questions or you’ll drive your discussion off-track. Always be prepared to ask the right questions to regain your audience’s attention.

Removing all these unproductive habits are guaranteed to make better, more engaging pitches that convert into sales.

To help you with your presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

References

Genard, Gary. “For Public Speaking Success, Ask the Right Questions!” The Genard Method, February 24, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2015. http://www.genardmethod.com/blog-detail/view/69/for-public-speaking-success-ask-the-right-questions#.VXcdKs9Viko
Mitchell, Olivia. “The 5 Bad Habits of Experienced Speakers.” Speaking about Presenting, June 2, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2015.  http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/presentation-skills/bad-habits-experienced-speakers/
 

Featured Image: “Break” by Got Credit

3 Reasons Why Introverts Can Become Presentation Experts

Presentations aren’t only for extroverts who relish in collaboration and social encounters with the outside world. According to CRM specialist Russel Cooke, introverts are just as suitable for delivering a winning pitch. They have more processing time before they act, which can make for powerful presentations.

If you think you possess these traits, nourish them so that your business pitches produce positive results.

1. They Have Quiet Time

Introverts possess a different level of personal energy. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t all antisocial hermits. Being an introvert simply means that you prefer to withdraw and recharge after a long day of interacting with others. This healthy amount of quiet time lets them reflect on events and opportunities, so they can more confidently execute tasks.

Challenge yourself to find alone time, like introverts do. Enjoy a little peace and quiet so you are in the right space to carefully plan your business pitch. This helps you prepare how to best convey your presentation idea to your intended audience.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

get a free quote

2. They Challenge Themselves

Since introverts are contemplative, they often recognize and accept their own weaknesses and limitations. They’re more likely to work on self-improvement because of their insightful nature. Follow the introvert way and achieve your biggest breakthroughs by challenging yourself to overcome adversity.

A speaker who faces challenges and improves his presentation skills has a big advantage over those who don’t. Presentation experts didn’t reach their full potential overnight. It requires great effort and deliberate practice. The good news is that anybody can do it, with enough determination.

3. They Listen Closely

This inherent trait is closely connected with having quiet time and challenging themselves. Introverts have a calm and meditative attitude, making them good listeners. They keep the balance of quiet time and self-improvement through attentive listening.

While quiet time works well when listening to an audience’s response, the desire for growth also happens after receiving clever insights or negative feedback that drive you to push your limits.

Conclusion

Just because extroverts are more outgoing and comfortable in a group doesn’t mean they’re superior presenters. Introverts are able to focus more because they’re comfortable with planning in silence. They’re also more introspective, ready to admit areas they can improve in, and willing to challenge themselves into becoming better people.

Finally, they can more fully engage audiences because, being naturally quieter, they’re able to attentively listen to what the crowd has to say. People with introverted traits can also make a name in the presentation industry.

Got a presentation requirement you need to work on? SlideGenius will be pleased to help you. Email us at info@slidegenius.com and we’ll contact you ASAP.

 

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Get hundreds of PowerPoint slides for free.

Sign up for your free account today.

Sign Up now

References

Cooke, Russel. “Quiet Confidence: Why Introverts Make Great Leaders.” Small Business Heroes, October 13, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2015.
No ‘I’ in Team: 5 Tips for Successful Team Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 24, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2015.