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Switching Slides: Convert PowerPoint to Other File Types

PowerPoint is undoubtedly the most-used visual presentation software. However, it isn’t confined to the board or classroom anymore. It’s moved on to other purposes and media, covering print handouts and online presentations.

This visual tool can now work hand in hand with other software. With that in mind, knowing how to convert PowerPoint to other file types is necessary when catching up to its ever-expanding uses.

We listed three file types that PowerPoint documents are commonly converted to and enumerated the benefits of each:

PowerPoint to Publisher

Sometimes, aside from using visual aids, you’ll also need to provide the audience with physical copies of your presentations. This means having to manually copy, paste, and format your content on another software that lets you create a handout or booklet.

If you’re pressed for time, you can directly open and edit your PowerPoint in Publisher. One of the easier ways to do this is by downloading OfficeOne’s Send to Publisher add-in. Once you’ve done this, select the Send to Publisher option on your home tab after it’s installed and wait for your file to transfer to Publisher. As Chron.com contributor Kevin Lee writes, it’s a better alternative to Word, which isn’t as specific for formatting handouts as Publisher is.

If you have a problem with downloading add-ins for your programs, you can always do it the old-fashioned way. To do this, convert your PowerPoint to PDF, then move it to Publisher from there.

PowerPoint to PDF

Changing your file type to PDF has a number of benefits, one of them being the ability to open the converted file in other programs.

If the previous step of converting directly to Publisher isn’t available on your computer or the version of PowerPoint you have, save your file as a PDF first. You can do this by clicking Save As from the File tab and selecting PDF in the Save as Type dropdown.

This will allow you to open your file in Publisher, although your ability to edit will be limited to resizing slides. The more important aspect of converting to PDF is that it lets you manage your file size. It comes in handy when your computer lags because of a file that’s too large or if you plan to share your files on online sites.

Don’t forget to make the necessary adjustments to maintain the quality of your presentation, even if it switches file types. Remember: converting to PDF means losing any transitions or animations you may have applied to your original slide deck.

PowerPoint to Video

Your visual presentation isn’t a substitute for your presence, but in some cases, you won’t be around to prompt your audience. You might want to share your outline online via social media or other networks, where you’ll be physically absent.

While a video may be used to supplement a presentation, it can also stand on its own. This means you have to format your PowerPoint with the idea of turning it into a video.

After creating your slide deck, click Save and Send from the File menu of your video and choose Create Video. For users of PowerPoint 2013 onward, you can find the Create Video option in Export from your File tab. This will save your PowerPoint into the desired file type.

To Summarize

PowerPoint isn’t reserved to on-the-spot presentations. It can be uploaded online or printed as a handout. To maintain the quality of your original file, be aware of the program you’re transferring your slide deck to. It’ll be helpful in the long run, especially if you want to introduce your content to a wider audience.

It’ll be helpful in the long run, especially if you want to introduce your content to a wider audience.

References:

Lee, Kevin. “Microsoft Publisher Vs. Word.” Chron.com. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/microsoft-publisher-vs-word-79024.html
“OfficeOne: Send To Publisher: Overview.” MVPS. n.d. www.officeone.mvps.org/ppt2pub/ppt2pub.html

 

Featured Image: “Filed Away” by Mark Crossfield on flickr.com

3 Presentation Design Trends of 2015

PowerPoint has been around for over two decades, but that doesn’t mean your deck should look as old as the program.

Presentations are becoming more than just reporting slide after slide of data. That’s because other aspects, such as storytelling, help make content engaging and relatable. Trends represent popular techniques for a reason, and this year’s design trends reflected the need for a simple and uncluttered look.

Let’s take a quick look at 2015’s simple and effective presentation design trends.

Scrolling Effects

You never have to keep the audience waiting with continuous scrolling. Let’s use a New York Times article as an example.

Scroll down and this will trigger an animation. Once it stops, the article can be read by scrolling further down, and if you scroll back up, the animation plays backward until you reach the top again.

A similar scrolling effect can be achieved in PowerPoint using transitions.

Push transitions bring the web scrolling experience into your deck, allowing for highly immersive experiences. Though it has limitations when explaining complicated financial data, it can be a vital tool for communicating your brand identity.”

You’re limited by the space in each slide, so choose as many slides as needed to get the effect across.

Scrolling creates a seamless effect that’s perfect for storytelling. The eyes follow the movement like they would a path, making the audience feel like you’re taking them in for a journey.

Simplified Content

Information overload is a common problem in a lot of decks. There are acceptable ways to include long text in a presentation, but these exceptions are rare.

This year proved that showing less is more. 2015’s presentation design trends preferred to achieve visual clarity using flatter, simpler, and less disruptive design.

A well-known company that embraced this trend is none other than Google. This year, they changed the design of their iconic logo. The logo lost its serifs, resulting in a cleaner and more approachable design that reflected their embrace of rapidly developing future technology.

You can take your design further by practicing restraint with your presentation deck. Less distracting elements mean less room for confusion.

If your aim is to achieve a sleek, fresh, and minimalist look, go with flat design.

Big Screens

Computer screens have gotten bigger in size and grown sharper in quality. Some people even have more than one computer screen when they work.

This same philosophy has been creeping its way into presentations, with larger events forgoing the standard projector for a mass of LED screens in the background. Now that screens are bigger than before, space now a big factor in visual design.

Big ideas need an even bigger space to move around in and expand into. Use space efficiently in your deck to best engage a larger audience.

Sometimes you’ve got to be bold and let your idea shine on hi-def but keep in mind how your design will translate into a bigger space.

Take care not to make your fonts and design elements too small to see, nor too big that they overwhelm your physical presence.

Show and Tell

As 2015 comes and goes, we expect 2016 to bring in more exciting presentation and visual design trends.

But with the amazing year we’ve had, there are definitely benefits to sticking to this year’s style – at least until next year’s developments enter full swing. To recap:

Display a beautiful panorama or scroll down with flair using the continuous scrolling effect. The seamless transition can be used to tell a story.

Take your audience to a different space with your deck. Flat designs are popular since organizing information is a great challenge in design.

Big screens are in, but don’t get eaten up by your own creations. Mind the size of your visual elements when translated to giant screens to get the best out of a large audience.

Continuous scrolling, flat design, and bigger screens are trends that will take your slides to a new level.

References

Confessore, Nicholas, Sarah Cohen, and Karen Yourish. “The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election.The New York Times. October 10, 2015. Accessed October 14, 2015.
Google’s Look, Evolved.GoogleBlog. September 1, 2015. Accessed October 14, 2015.
Ninjawards 2015 – Presentation Design Trends – Cubicle Ninjas.Cubicle Ninjas. March 10, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2015.
Noar, Adam. “Impress Your Audience by Following These 5 Presentation Design Trends.” Presentation Panda. Accessed October 13, 2015.
Presentation Design Trends 2015.SlideShare. June 22, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “IMG_2418” by C Bridges on flickr.com

Face the FAQ: 3 Frequently Asked Questions in Presentations

Most presentations include a Q&A portion at the end. Some speakers dread it because they never know what to expect. Questions can be particular to the subject at hand, but broad ones can pop up anytime, anywhere. Knowing the most common ones will help you stay on your toes and be prepared for anything.

Here are three frequently asked questions in presentations:

1. “Can you expound on a specific point you mentioned?”

Being thrown something like this doesn’t automatically mean your delivery was bad. After all, the fact that you’re being asked questions indicates that you’ve gotten your audience’s attention.

It might be because a part of your presentation wasn’t clear enough for your listeners. On the other hand, it could also be an expression of interest in your topic. In both cases, take it as a chance to elaborate and back up your ideas. If you missed some things during your actual speech, you can pick them back up here.

But your answers should still be based on the objectives you set out with during your presentation. Straying too far from the topic will confuse you and the audience. Trust what you know about your topic and stick with it.

2. “What is the relevance of your presentation?”

This is a question you need to address before you even start drafting your pitch. It may not be asked outright, but always consider the possibility of having to answer it during your speech.

Your presentation should always be relevant to the audience. People who are invested in something will dedicate their time and attention on it. Make sure to look up your listeners to get some valuable information about who they are and what they want to get out of your expectation. This way, you can align your vision with their expectations.

Adjust your content accordingly to accommodate their preferences. This will make your presentation’s relevance easier to spot. However, if you’re still faced with this question despite already giving an answer, just emphasize your main points in relation to your audience’s concerns.

Be clear about the connection between your message and the people’s interests. Your listeners will appreciate your presentation more.

3. “According to another source, there’s a different perspective or method available. How will you respond to this?”

Depending on how it’s asked, this question may be the most challenging to answer. Process the query first and see if it really does refute your message. If it doesn’t, point out the specific part of your presentation that’s similar to the point raised.

Just remember to remain polite and composed when admitting fault. Don’t turn the listener off by disregarding their question. If the concern is valid, acknowledge it first before enumerating your topic’s advantage over the other point.

While you want to frame your own presentation in the best light possible, you should also be a good sport when it comes to tough questions. According to speech communication professor, Stephen Boyd, this especially comes in handy when the inquiries come in the form of a loaded question or a rude comment. Respond to both by rephrasing the question into something easier to answer.

Always be the bigger person in such situations. It only shows that you’re a professional and credible speaker.

Conclusion

The Q&A is an important part of any presentation. It’s one of the simplest forms of audience engagement. You can see how much an audience was affected by your speech by observing what type of questions they ask. Instead of seeing it as a threat, consider it an opportunity to bring up things you forgot. Remain grounded in your objectives and keep your cool in the face of difficult questions.

There’s no one way to a good answer. It’s your ability to provide a logical and clear response that counts. A good speaker needs a good PowerPoint to boot – a clear delivery thanks to a clever mix of text and visuals can surely enhance the quality of the questions you’ll get.

Reference

Boyd, Stephen. “Question and Answer Session after the Presentation.” Succeed in Public Speaking by Ron Kurtus: School for Champions. Accessed October 15, 2015. www.school-for-champions.com/speaking/boyd_q_a_after_pres.htm

 

Featured Image: “Question!” by Stefan Baudy on flickr.com

Leave Your Mark: Apply Personal Branding in Presentations

Attracting audience attention is one of the most difficult tasks in a presentation. It’s likely that they’ve already heard what you have to say from other speakers, and in different media. You might think your pitch is unique, but its general thought may be similar to what others have thought of before.

So how do you apply personal branding in presentations? And how do you make sure you look better than the competition? Setting yourself apart is important in making and leaving a good impression.

Don’t pass by unnoticed. Market yourself and your pitch in three ways:

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Competition Closer

Studying your audience is a necessary prerequisite to effective communication. Aligning your own vision with your target market’s interests guarantees their attention. To do that, you’ll have to do a bit of research on your part and look up your audience’s preferences.

But getting people’s to stay tuned isn’t enough. Reel them further in and assure them that you’re the best by searching for your competitors as well. We don’t mean backbiting and sabotage, though. We’re talking about looking at premises similar to yours and seeing how you can spin it into something novel and unique. One way of achieving that is taking on the idea from a different angle than those already used before.

Influence & Co. CEO and co-founder, John Hall, cites ways on how to take a unique approach to your brand. These include looking at your company strengths, qualifications, and insight. Another is by looking at your competition’s weaknesses and framing it as your strength. These give you and your presentation a distinct image and a memorable characteristic.

Create a Relatable Narrative

Once you’re sure of your strategy, the next step is figuring out how to deliver your message. Among the most successful methods is framing your presentation in a narrative, preferably one your audience can relate to. People can follow the flow of your speech better when it has a beginning, middle, and end. Incorporating familiar tropes and images also keeps them interested.

However, remember that in relating a story, you have to apply the conversational tone. This establishes rapport and eases built up tension before and during a presentation. Avoid using too much jargon or foreign words, and explain each point thoroughly without talking down to your audience.

Talk to your audience as you would an esteemed friend. They’ll return the favor by responding in the same way.

Gain Believers through Quality

The final and best option to distinguish your presentation over everyone else’s is to be on top of your game. This is a foolproof technique to appear credible and relevant before, during, and after your presentation.

Make a good first impression by maintaining your confidence and composure. Come in prepared and ready to present. Acquaint yourself with the venue and the audience so you know how to set the mood. Don’t get lax with your exposition, though.

An audience will be impressed with consistency in how you handle yourself, especially when you encounter unexpected hurdles mid-speech. Keep your energy up until the end of your presentation. It’s also good to reserve some extra energy in case your audience has further clarifications for you.

No one wants to listen to a drained speaker. Project as much of your liveliness as you can to best engage your listeners.

Conclusion

People are always on the lookout for originality. It may seem tough when plenty of people have had the chance to make their mark. However, it’s not entirely impossible, either. You have to strategically organize your content to be different from your competitors’, converse with your audience, and improve the quality of your performance.

Distinguishing yourself from other presenters isn’t so hard when you know where to start. Strong personal branding also needs to be backed up by a professional PowerPoint presentation. Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“4 Ad Agency Secrets for Better Brand Building.” Women on Business. October 11, 2015. Accessed October 14, 2015. www.womenonbusiness.com/4-ad-agency-secrets-for-better-brand-building
Hall, John. “Setting Yourself Apart in a Competitive Industry.” Forbes. October 18, 2012. Accessed October 14, 2015. www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2012/10/18/setting-yourself-apart-in-a-competitive-industry

 

Featured Image: “Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47540 / SML” by See-ming Lee on flickr.com

3 Reminders When Facing a Presentation Audience

Connecting with the audience and getting your message across is the goal of any presentation. The impact you make varies on the preferences of the people you’re facing. Nothing’s wrong with tailor-fitting your presentation for the specific group you’re presenting to.

Most of the time, it’s even encouraged. But if you’re looking for a general framework, there are some rules that apply to any type of presentation audience. Remember the following guidelines the next time you face a crowd:

Your Listeners Aren’t Children

No one wants to be talked down to. Although you have to explain your points clearly, don’t treat your audience like they don’t know anything. Be careful not to offend them by sounding like you’re belittling them. Doing so will make you sound obnoxious and would only deter them from listening.

Get to know your listeners either by interacting with them prior to the event or looking them up. This gives you a better grasp of how to handle them. In most cases, using the conversational tone is good enough to establish rapport without sounding condescending.

Consider how you would want to be addressed by another person and apply this when communicating with your audience.

Don’t Make Fun of Anyone

Engaging listeners is important in keeping their attention. One way to keep people interested is by involving them in your speech. Let your audience participate by prompting them with questions or incorporating humor. But don’t overdo it.

Don’t crack a joke just to get their attention. Make sure what you’re saying is still connected to your main idea. Straying from your point only makes things confusing.

Another important reminder when using humor is to never make fun of an audience member. In her book, Public Speaking is Not For Wimps, leadership speaker Kimberly Alyn dedicates a section to discussing the correct use of humor in public speech.

Although humor engages, it can sometimes do the opposite and further discourages the listener. This isolates and embarrasses the object of ridicule. The last thing you’d want in your presentation is to have someone feel discomfort because of something you did.

Be Professional

This may sound common, but professionalism is a must in any presentation. Don’t sacrifice your credibility in an attempt to appear familiar with your audience. Relating a few personal experiences is fine in creating a narrative where people can associate with.

On the other hand, steer away from being overly comfortable. Telling stories that are too personal can make the audience feel as uncomfortable as a stiff presenter. In a way, distancing yourself from your listeners also shows a form of respect.

People will appreciate your effort as you connect with them, but will also feel awkward if it goes overboard.

Conclusion

Dealing with your audience can be tricky. You need to know the right thing to say, at the right time. But once you find out how to win over your listeners, there’s very little else you need to be worried about. In case you don’t, you can apply common courtesy.

Don’t belittle your audience by over explaining facts or questioning their culture, unless it’s intrinsically a part of your presentation. Apply some fun to your speech, but never at the expense of another person’s feelings. Being considerate and empathic maintains a professional atmosphere during your speech.

Converse with people to ease tension, while keeping your own dignity intact. It’s a way of sounding like a familiar friend without overstepping your bounds.

Need a good PowerPoint to match with your well-planned speech? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!

References

Alyn, Kimberley. Public Speaking is Not for Wimps!. Florida: Llumina Press, 2003.

Featured Image: “Audience” by Jesper Ronn-Jensen on flickr.com

Pressing Pause: Using Speech Pauses in Presentations

A common misconception is that a speaker must never allow any gaps or pauses in their speech. However, letting silence into your performance can foster a healthy connection between yourself and the audience.

Pausing every now and then projects confidence and a willingness to listen. Depending on how you use them, pauses can improve or hold back your presentation.

Use pauses to your advantage in three ways:

Establishing Your Presence

Starting your presentation as soon as you get onstage can leave you breathless by the time you’re halfway through. Still, taking your time before beginning doesn’t mean you’re just going to stand there silently.

Use the moment to establish a positive atmosphere before you present. Smile and make eye contact to connect to your listeners. This lets them know that you intend on communicating and conversing with them, not solely to drop a few points in a stiff presentation.

You can also take deep breaths to calm you nerves and organize your thoughts. Having time to think about your speech results in more articulate delivery.

Pausing to Emphasize Ideas

One of the most effective uses of a pause is to stress a key point in your speech. Maximize this function by pausing between major ideas you want your audience to remember.

The types of pauses vary depending on the type and importance of the message you’re trying to convey. A brief pause is enough when trying to differentiate between two clauses. On the other hand, a longer break is required when you’re pausing after an entire statement.

Six Minutes founder and speech evaluator, Andrew Dlugan, enumerates the types of speech pauses on his site. Among these examples, the longest pause, also known as the paragraph pause, is used when you’re transitioning from one main point to the next.

The key to this type of pause is to mentally place punctuation marks in your speech. It also adds tone and variety in your way of speaking, further engaging your audience.

Collecting Your Thoughts

You might come across a roadblock in your presentation. An audience member could interject unexpectedly with an awkward or difficult question, or you lose your train of thought somewhere along the way.

In one of her posts on Quick and Dirty Tips, Lisa B. Marshall, host of The Public Speaker podcast, writes: “Take a moment to pause if you get flustered or blank out. Reiterate your previous point and move on to the next one you remember.”

Instead of saying filler words like “ah” and “um”, Marshall suggests you use silence to your advantage. It may look counterintuitive to pause at such a time, but silence lets the audience know you’re thinking of an answer.

Don’t panic if you can’t say the next thing right away. Panicking will only worsen the situation and prolong your pause. Instead, allow yourself a few seconds of thinking before getting back on track.

Conclusion

Used in the right way, silence can help create a powerful presentation. In front of an audience, resourcefulness means maximizing every resource at hand, even the pauses you make in your speech.

Make use of the first few seconds before your presentation to establish your presence and connect with the audience. Speech pauses can especially be used for emphasizing key points and collecting your thoughts during unexpected situations. Just remember to stay calm and composed so you don’t make the pause too long.

Silence isn’t always a bad thing, so start taking advantage of pauses during your next presentation. Need help with your PowerPoint needs? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!

 

References

Dlugan, Andrew. “Speech Pauses: 12 Techniques to Speak Volumes with Your Silence.” Six Minutes. Accessed October 12, 2015. www.sixminutes.dlugan.com/pause-speech
Marshall, Lisa. “5 Tips for Powerful Pauses.” Quick and Dirty Tips. Accessed October 12, 2015. www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/public-speaking/5-tips-for-powerful-pauses

 

Featured Image: “[Play] Pause” by Martin Kenny on flickr.com

Presentation Tip: Handling Difficult Questions

Poorly fielded questions can make or break an otherwise excellently delivered presentation. When you don’t know how to address concerns, your credibility as a speaker is reduced. Don’t shy away from answering questions. They can help clarify your information to the audience.

Preparation is key to make sure you can answer anything pertaining to your topic. Despite your best efforts, there are still questions that you may not have the answer for. Don’t resort to answering with filler words when you do encounter a difficult question.

Be honest about what you know and answer honestly.

Rogue Questions

A thoroughly planned and researched topic won’t leave any stone unturned. When you cover every possible area, then answering any related question shouldn’t be a problem. Preparation should include the limitations of your topic, and the planned time to answer questions about your presentation. If you do encounter a difficult question, simply focus on how to handle it rather than forcing yourself to come up with an answer.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, gives a few pointers on how to face these tough questions. First, listen to the question carefully. Take into account the acoustics of the room and the noise coming from the audience. Make sure you get the question right by repeating it back to the questioner. Once the question is clear, directly answer for the questions that you’ve prepared for.

Your answers should be brief and concise, keeping in mind your scheduled time. But if it’s beyond your scope, be prepared to how to handle it.

More Questions

According to leadership coach, Andrew Bryant, when you’re at a loss for words, it’s alright to say that you don’t know. This removes the stress of trying to grasp straws. But instead of stopping with this statement, restate the limits of your presentation. These limits were set in place to ensure that discussion of the topic will be organized and delivered within a reasonable timeframe.

Return to certain key points in your presentation to further explain why and how these limitations were set in place.

Trick Questions

Acknowledge every question that comes your way, even if you can’t answer them for different reasons. This includes inappropriate or ill-timed questions. If setting limits won’t stop interruptions, acknowledge the question but delay the answer. There are questions which require such a lengthy response, making your presentation look like a one-on-one discussion.

State politely that you’d like to give others the chance to ask their questions and that there will be another opportunity to contact you for further clarification. After entertaining all questions, make sure to end your Q & A session with your final message.

This appropriately concludes the discussion on your terms.

Pass the Test

Be prepared for what to say even if there isn’t a clear-cut answer. Unlike a real test, we don’t have the answers to everything. Listen to the question carefully and see if the content of your presentation already has the answers. And if not, focus only on what you know and why this works to everyone’s advantage.

Some questions can’t or shouldn’t be answered. But they still warrant your time and attention as the speaker, so treat every concern with respect. Once you’ve finished handling difficult questions, end the presentation with your final message.

With all concerns addressed, your listeners will find you more convincing and credible as a speaker.

 

References

Bryant, Andrew. “Presentation Skills – Dealing with Difficult Questions.” Self Leadership International. April 7, 2009. Accessed October 12, 2015. www.selfleadership.com/blog/training/presentation-skills-dealing-with-difficult-questions
Gallo, Carmine. “How to Handle Tough Questions.” Bloomberg Business Week. January 20, 2009. Accessed October 12, 2015.www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2009/sb20090120_668348.htm

 

Featured Image: “Interviews” by Stephan Roehl on flickr.com

3 Keys to Emphasizing an Important Point

Your audience won’t be paying attention 100% of the time. Some will be more interested, others will be momentarily distracted, or find it completely difficult to pay attention to the topic. Bring audience attention back to you when the time comes to deliver your most important point.

Pay attention to the central message, since this what the audience should remember after listening to your pitch. Use body language, vocal timing, and slide positioning to let the audience know when it’s time to hear the main part of your presentation.

Maximize Audience Attention

Citing Susan Weinschenk’s best-selling book, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, media trainer Brad Phillips estimates a 10-minute cap on people’s attention spans. The brain can only hold attention for about this long before losing focus. Make it a habit to scan the audience for their reactions every 10 minutes or earlier. When the audience starts to look uninterested and listless, establish eye contact with them.

Make sure to look at each and every person in your field of vision while speaking. In a large crowd, scan the first row, the middle, and then the furthest in the back. Doing this shows that you’re paying attention to them, and makes them feel they’re part of the discussion.

This is also a subtle way of getting each person’s attention without making them uncomfortable. The direct and stronger approach would be to point with your finger, but this can be misconstrued as rude and imposing. When you have their attention back, proceed to introduce your main point.

Command with Your Voice

Lowering instead of increasing your voice’s volume invites the audience to listen more closely. This doesn’t mean that you should whisper for your entire presentation. Speak in a hushed tone just before you say something important as if telling them a secret.

Signal the audience that you’re about to deliver a crucial part of your presentation. You can do this with phrases like “what this is all about”, “the main thing to remember”, “this is important,” etc. Then pause every few words, effectively slowing down your speech.

This builds up anticipation and also gives you a chance to take a break. Reveal the information when the audience is already attentive.

The Big Reveal

There should be one slide that encapsulates your entire idea in as few words as possible. A single word filling up the entire slide creates a bigger impact than an entire paragraph. Some remember information better when they see a visual aid, so choose a relevant image with your concept.

Continuously refer back to this slide to repeatedly emphasize your point. But going back to previous slides disrupts the flow of your speech. Instead of going back through slides, repeat the same slide throughout the presentation.

Since repetition helps in memory recall, you can drive your point home using this method.

Orchestrate Events

Know when and how to reel your audience back to you. Start by gauging the attentiveness of your audience through eye contact, then invite them back. Make them feel how important what you’re about to reveal in the next few moments is.

Gently persuade them through carefully timed pauses and vocal tone. Dedicate one slide for your big reveal. This can be a single word, phrase, picture, or any combination of each.Repeat this slide throughout your deck so you don’t have to keep going back. Create the upwards momentum using these methods when emphasizing an important point.

 

References

“10 Ways To Emphasise An Important Point During Your Presentation.” Outspoken.co. May 13, 2013. Accessed October 12, 2015. www.outspoken.co/emphasize-an-important-point/
“How Many Minutes Is The Audience’s Attention Span?” Mr. Media Training. August 23, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2015. www.mrmediatraining.com/2012/08/23/how-many-minutes-is-the-audiences-attention-span/

 

Featured Image: “Canadian Film Centre” by Sarjoun Faou on flickr.com

Crafting Content: How to Conduct Presentation Research

To craft your presentation, you need appealing content backed up by facts and plenty of investigation. But how exactly does a person approach researching slide content? Hoarding random data is obviously detrimental to your presentation research. You have to learn to filter the information you collect.

Turning on your internal data filter is a tough choice in itself, though. Here are a few tips on narrowing research to your advantage:

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Ask Questions

First, figure out what you want your speech to focus on and narrow down your material. This is different from having a general idea for your presentation. But it’s good to base your questions on this rough draft. Thinking up questions you want your research to answer will define the structure your work will take on.

Start with the basic questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. If affected by mental block, use audience’s characteristics as a springboard for research. This lets you engage people during your speech with relevant information.

Asking questions about your intended listeners’ preferences clues you on how to approach your presentation.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

The increasing rate of modern technological advancement and social media connectivity should free you of traditional research methods. You can extract statistics from outlets other than published surveys and journals. According to brand manager Anny Smarty, browsing social media trends through hashtags and online keywords can help gauge the current popularity of a subject.

You can cite these sources if you’re in need of fresh material. The audience will appreciate the effort to put in sources that are relevant to their immediate lives. Looking up content connected to yours also widens your scope.

Online material relevant to the subject makes you sound timely. But at the same time, this could keep you grounded on your topic. If you plan on going off tangent in your speech, related issues are always safe territory to touch on.

Check Your References

And last but not the least, don’t forget to double-check your sources. Search for more references that can support your primary research material. Just make sure they all remain directly relevant to your presentation’s overall flow. Don’t forget to check if they’re just as credible as the initial source.

Otherwise, you’ll lose a bit of your own credibility as well. These secondary sources don’t have to be directly included in your slide deck, or even in your speech. You only need them to assure you that your research is supported by other qualified opinions.

While overloading with too much material is bad, thorough research is necessary for creating quality content.

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Ask questions, use social media to your advantage, and verify your sources through others’ research. If you need help deciding which data to include and keep outside your visual presentation, you can consult with our PowerPoint experts today!

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How to Maximize Eye Contact for Presentations

A study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that 70% of non-verbal communication is based on body language.

Among other forms of body language, eye contact plays a significant role in building a deeper connection with acquaintances, friends, and strangers. This proves that eye contact is an important part of interacting with other people.

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Eye Contact in Non-Verbal Communication

We often forget how much our eyes contribute to our daily interactions. In most cases, we’re unaware of how our gaze can make communication more powerful and effective.

The eyes are the most expressive parts of the human body. We can determine someone’s inner thoughts or feelings by just looking at their eyes.

Conveying positive emotions and confidence is essential for any effective presenter. This works the same way for your audience. Eckhard Hess, an American psychologist and ethnologist, discovered that the our pupils dilate when we are interested in a conversation. If the pupils contract, it shows disinterest. These, in a way, gauge how effectively you can establish rapport and persuade the audience.

Here are further reasons why eye contact is necessary:

It catches attention

People lose interest if they sense a lack of passion from the presenter. Once you’ve successfully established eye contact, show them that you’re confident to stand and talk in front of them. They’ll become more attentive and interested in your pitch.

It engages the audience

Speech coach Patricia Fripp writes about the positive effects of eye contact. According to Fripp, not only is it effective in convincing people, it also boosts self-esteem, another crucial factor in delivering a winning pitch.

If you conduct business presentations, establishing stable eye contact makes the audience feel that you’re interested in them, allowing you to build trust and rapport. Make them feel that they are involved in their presentation.

It makes a good impression

Great presenters avoid looking at their notes while speaking, letting their audience read and understand the message by making eye contact.

Your audience’s first impression of your performance can either increase or decrease your credibility. Doing well makes them understand that you are knowledgeable and confident.

How long should you maintain eye contact?

Leadership trainer Dan Rockwell advises presenters to keep eye contact for at least three to four seconds per person in each group.

If you’re discussing something that’s related to your subject, know when to pause so they can catch up to the ideas you’re highlighting.

It takes practice to master eye contact.

Learn and practice this technique to achieve your audience’s expectations.

Since the eyes convey your emotions, you need to give off a friendly yet confident impression for your audience during presentations.

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References

“Build Emotional Connection Through Good Eye Contact.” Patricia Fripp. 2009. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Hess, Eckhard H. “The Role of Pupil Size in Communication.” Sci Am Scientific American 233, no. 5 (1975): 110-19.
Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 04, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Rockwell, Dan. “Secrets to Great Presentations.” Leadership Freak. June 18, 2014. Accessed June 21, 2015.