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Throw Away Slides from a Bloated PowerPoint Deck

Quantity doesn’t mean quality when it comes to a presentation.

You might think having a lot of slides in your deck is a sign of hard work.

Having too many slides could be seen as a delaying tactic and reflects poorly on your credibility as a speaker.

You have better things to do than spending a lot of time making hundreds of slides when less than half the amount will do.

Focus on the quality of your content and be free from a bloated PowerPoint presentation.

When Is Enough Enough?

Letting slides pile up is a lazy attempt at looking prepared. It also comes off as a delaying tactic that places too much attention on background information.

After all, no one will question the amount of time and effort spent at making all those slides.

It’s impressive to look at now, but audiences are going to fall asleep from your PowerPoint epic.

Don’t challenge their attentiveness and focus.

This isn’t a contest to see who can stay awake the longest.

Important clients won’t be impressed by the length of a presentation. Chances are that they’ve seen this delaying tactic being used by unprepared speakers and will avoid listening to you when you try it on them.

Save everyone’s time by being brief and to the point.

Focus on What Matters

The reason why it’s hard to let go of so much content is uncertainty.

Not knowing which information to keep as your main point and then hanging on to more and more ideas out of fear will only hold you back.

June Saruwatari’s expertise as a productivity and organizing consultant advocates organizing your physical space around the goals you want to achieve.

In the context of presentations, this means you should prepare an outline first so your slides will become easier to manage and be more cohesive.

The foundation you create will actually save you more time in the long run, even if it seems counter-intuitive to spend time on it.

A bloated PowerPoint deck will also result in a larger file size.

This will be a problem if you need to share you file with others.

Large files are more difficult to share online since they’re more likely to exceed the limit for file attachments.

Using the Right Moment

There must be a really good reason why an idea needs to be explained by a lot of slides.

It’s not impossible to engage audiences even when you use up a thousand slides in your deck.

You can speed through a lot of slides in under a few minutes as a storytelling technique.

Use only one word or image per slide and rapidly move through slides.

But not all decks can rely on this delivery style to get its message across.

A good outline will give you a more coherent and organized presentation.

Streamline Your Process

The number of slides you have on your deck won’t guarantee success.

It’s detrimental to have too many slides because it creates too much delay.

Don’t just look prepared by relying on an excess of slides, be truly prepared by mastering your content.

Drafting an outline will save you more time to focus on other areas of your presentation.

Fewer slides in your deck also means a smaller file size that will be easier to share, so think twice if you really need to use a lot of slides.

The general consensus is to throw out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in your deck so that your main ideas can shine.

 

References

3 Small Talk Habits That Delay Professional Presentations.SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. September 17, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2015.
Porter, Jane. “The Psychology Behind All That Clutter You Can’t Get Rid Of.Fast Company. May 4, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “cluttered” by linus_art on flickr.com

About SlideGenius

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How Does Fidgeting Affect Your Professional Presentation?

Good posture is essential in public speaking because it allows you to project confidence. Slouching, swaying, and moving restlessly will only make you look nervous and unprepared.

Projecting yourself professionally involves cutting off bad habits like fidgeting. If you aren’t aware of how it can affect your performance, you’ll end up distracting and disappointing your audience.

Fidgeting is a display of constant movements that disturb others. In her book, How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships, internationally acclaimed communications expert and motivational speaker Leil Lowndes advises presenters to avoid committing the behavior: “Whenever your conversation really counts, let your nose itch, your ear tingle, or your foot prickle. Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch.”

Fiddling with your notes, playing with your hands, loosening your collar, and gripping the lectern’s corners are only a few examples of this behavior.

Presenters subconsciously fidget when they’re experiencing performance anxiety or stage fright, which trigger stress hormones. Here are a few tips to cut off the bad habit and ace your professional presentation:

Observe Yourself

Professional presentation tips: Observe your actionAccording to public speaking coach Jacki Rose, body language makes up the biggest part of successful communication. As you rehearse, consider recording yourself to observe how you behave during your pitch. It doesn’t only help you identify what you need to improve on; it also lets you pinpoint what needs to be removed, including unnecessary movements.

Ask your peers to watch you and let them give feedback afterward. Do this several times and review what causes you to commit the same habit. Is it because of technical problems? Did someone from your listeners distract you?

Once you recognize what prompted this act, use your positive habits to counter the negative ones and emphasize your ideas. If tapping your foot on the ground is one of those good habits, start stepping forward when explaining a certain point.

Take Time to Relax

Professional presentation tips: take time to relaxYou might think this is common for presenters, but it’s not.

Reminding yourself to relax releases tension and lets you focus on what you need to accomplish. If speaking in front of a large crowd makes you fidget, develop positive self-talk and feed yourself with encouraging thoughts.

Worrying won’t help. Believing in yourself improves your confidence, allowing you to maintain a positive outlook while speaking in public. Never allow fear to overpower your self-esteem. Calm your nerves by breathing deeply to soothe anxiety. With deliberate practice, you can improve your strengths and slowly overcome your weaknesses.

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Be Well-Prepared

Professional presentation tips: be preparedWhether you’re a skilled veteran or a novice, preparation is still vital for your success. Delivery is more important than well-prepared visuals in achieving an effective presentation.

Preparation involves training yourself. In this case, you’re training to catch yourself fidgeting or projecting unnecessary gestures. Stand in front of a mirror to give you an idea of how you look while presenting.

Once you’re ready, you’ll be more confident to speak and convince your audience to listen.

Stop Fidgeting

Professional presentation tips: stop fidgettingYou won’t be able to overcome negative behavior without figuring out what causes bad mannerisms. Having a positive mindset will help you move toward achieving self-confidence.

Remember, your audience doesn’t only rely on your presentation’s content. Nonverbal cues also contribute in interpreting your message clearly. Break bad habits by observing yourself, calming your nerves, and being well-equipped to prevent any distractions that can ruin your performance and delay your success.

Resist the temptation to start fidgeting and notice how it makes you a better presenter.

Back up your skills with a well-designed PowerPoint presentation by letting our team to assist and offer you a free quote!

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References

Lowndes, Leil. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 2003.
Rose, Jacki. “Body Language – stop your nervous fidgeting!” Public Speaking Can Be Fun, January 8, 2007. www.publicspeakingcanbefun.blogspot.com/2007/01/body-language-stop-your-nervous.html

Nightmare Fuel: How to Save Sales Presentations Gone Bad

Sometimes you lose prospective clients due to clunky sales presentations. You may have exerted all your effort on calling them and following up, but you may have already committed mistakes that cost you their trust. Don’t worry.

Once identified, it’ll be easy to wake up from these presentation nightmares:

Avoid the Information Quicksand

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Rapid technological advancement and increased connectivity leads us to believe that oversharing is a good thing. In sales, it’s an entirely different story. While working with a narrative builds rapport and puts the audience at ease, overdoing it could trap you in a chatty, irrelevant loop that diverts your flow.

Stop boring your audience to death. List down at least three value propositions that are relevant to you and your target market. Make sure your visuals are simple and understandable, enough for anyone to immediately get your main message.

Find Your Core Identity

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There’s plenty of competition out there. If you can’t make an impact on your leads, you’ll end up losing them. To avoid getting sucked into anonymity, highlight your brand’s best features and show how they’re unique from other offers. Supplement these with an engaging PowerPoint that both catches the eye and shows off your content.

You can add testimonials from past trusted customers who give positive feedback on your services. These will help draw your listeners’ attention to the benefits of investing in you.

Vanquish the Personal Bias Phantom

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Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that your audience’s perspective automatically aligns with yours. Remember that these are people you have yet to win over. Since they aren’t invested yet in your services, they won’t appreciate a lengthy discussion of your history or anything that moves away from finding out your relevance to them.

Assume that you’re starting with a blank slate and you have to explain some things that would otherwise seem clear to you because of your knowledge of the company. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. Do thorough research on their background, needs, and interests as early as your planning stage.

Let them know that you understand where they’re coming from, and that that’s where you’re headed, too.

Turn on the Night Light

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Making a sales presentation can be very challenging. Plenty of presenters end up digging their own graves. But with enough practice and awareness, you’ll be able to map out feasible solutions. Stave off the nightmares with just a glimmer of light. Reel in prospects with the right amount of information that can showcase the best parts of your offer.

Don’t offend them by injecting too many personal assumptions in your presentation. Instead, convince people that you’re better than the rest. Make your brand look like the best option, and be the best option available.

 

References

“Conducting Market Research.” Entrepreneur. September 30, 2010. Accessed October 23, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/217388

Stop Procrastinating: Avoiding Deadly Traps in Presentations

Procrastination is one of the biggest presentation traps.

From a distance, you might think it’s safe and easy to pass through that tunnel.

But as you walk through, you’ll slowly notice that things aren’t what they seem.

Then you’ll wake up, realizing how much you’ve been deceived.

Cramming is one of the worst habits speakers should avoid.

It not only keeps you from effectively engaging your audience.

The lack of preparation also weakens your performance.

While there are times when you might stumble because of unexpected events, it’s still your responsibility to prepare.

Preparation brings more confidence, allowing you to handle your speech and engage your audience.

To avoid the pitfalls of procrastination, defend yourself with these tips:

1. Visit the Venue

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You never want a venue’s overall setup to unpleasantly surprise you.

To get on top of unforeseen circumstances, familiarize yourself with a location prior to an event.

This helps you determine how to position yourself without distracting your audience.

It also lets you make necessary adjustments.

These can include last minute adjustments to equipment like the projector, microphone, laptop, and even your PowerPoint slides.

Arrive early to rehearse and plan for the big day.

2. Interact With Your Audience

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Once the participants have confirmed their attendance, it’s a great opportunity to meet with them before your actual performance.

This involves asking them questions related to your topic.

In this case, talking with your audience in advance builds rapport and establishes relationships.

The payoff comes later, when your listeners will be more attentive and pliant to your offers.

Let them notice your interest and detect your sincerity to make a good impression.

3. Attend Other Presentations

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Going to other events gives you a better idea on how you can communicate with a crowd.

Observing their mood and behavior clues you in on how to interact with them.

Listening to other presenters also helps you absorb helpful information that you can use for speaking.

This also allows you to stay updated with recent public speaking trends that best engage crowds.

When it’s time for you to present, match your delivery with your audience’s preferences to catch their attention.

End the Habit Now!

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Cramming is dangerous.

Be wary of this deadly traps that could ruin your performance.

Hollow presentations won’t win people’s hearts.

To avoid disturbing your audience with unwieldy pitches, visit the venue to become comfortable being on stage.

Familiarizing yourself with the stage averts unforeseeable presentation disasters.

Meeting your listeners and participating in other events also gives you an idea on how to pique their interest and build connections.

Remember, the audience is your priority.

Practice and prepare for effective delivery.

Don’t let presentation traps bury you alive.

Our PowerPoint professionals can assist and offer you a free quote to craft decks that stand out!

References

Dlugan, Andrew. “Stop Rehearsing! 3 Critical Things to Do Before Your Speech.” Six Minutes RSS, December 1, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2015. .