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A Quick Guide to Presentation Handouts

If you’re dealing with a topic that involves a dense amount of information, it’s ridiculous to assume that the audience will try to memorize every detail. As the presenter, it’s your job to do most of the heavy lifting. You need to craft your presentation carefully, taking time to simplify and illustrate complex details. It’s your job to give them an experience that stands out and is easy to remember.

This isn’t always an easy task, especially if you’re expected to share a lot of facts, data, and complicated concepts. Still, there’s one way you can make sure everyone can easily review the key points of your presentation. You can turn your core message into a concrete takeaway by creating presentation handouts.

Why are presentation handouts important?

Presentation handouts aren’t always ideal for every scenario. However, if yours is similar to what we’ve just described, handouts can be beneficial for both you and your audience.

For starters, you can make use of handouts to include additional details about the points in your presentation. Since presentations are meant to be simple and concise, you would have to cut a lot of the data out from your slides. Your handouts can then serve a similar function to end notes or an appendix page.

With presentation handouts, your audience is also more likely to listen to what you’re saying. Most of the time, a lot of people worry about taking down notes and missing out on something important. If you give them something they can review in the future, they will be more likely to sit back and just absorb your entire delivery.

After the presentation, your handouts can also serve as a great reference material for your audience. If the data or facts you provide are particularly important and informative, they can refer to you in their own reports and presentations.

One of the challenges to delivering presentations is making sure your audience remembers all the key details. By creating presentation handouts, you can provide them with something they can easily access and look over.

Useful tips for creating presentation handouts

All that said, there are a few things you should keep in mind when making handouts for your presentation. It’s not enough that you distribute a printed version of your slides. As we constantly point out in this blog, your PowerPoint deck is a visuals aid, specifically created to make your presentation more engaging and dynamic. Your presentation handouts need to be more detailed and exhaustive than that.

Here are our quick tips for the best presentation handouts:

Keep it structured and well-organized

Aside from containing all the helpful information you had to cut out of your presentation, your handouts should also be properly structured and organized. Like you would with a presentation, organize everything into the main sections of your discussion. From there, you can expound on the details you had to condense. You can also add graphs and other illustrations you used to represent data.

Handle extra information with care

While you should provide the audience with additional info, keep in mind that too much can be overwhelming. Your job is to discuss a topic in an accessible way. Loading everyone with every piece of data you have will hurt this objective. Knowing your subject matter well, you can easily strike the balance between ‘too little’ and ‘too much’. Your presentation handouts should delve a bit deeper, but it shouldn’t feel like a cornucopia of information.

Don’t forget to cite references

It’s important to cite the references you used in your presentation. This shows the audience that you used credible and reliable sources. They can also check them out easily should they want more information. It will also be helpful if you can provide them with additional resources that might be helpful. Leave them with a list of websites, blogs, articles, and books that can provide them with additional insight on your discussion.

It might take an extra step, but creating presentation handouts can bring plenty of benefits. Give your audience something they can read and review long after your presentation. For a presentation that’s heavy with data and complex concepts, handouts can increase the impact you leave.

 

Featured Image: Joel Penner via Flickr

3 Steps to Simplify Your Complex Technology PowerPoint

Delivering a presentation about technology-related topics can be quite challenging. For one, you will have to simplify various concepts for the benefit of your audience and to maximize your allotted presentation time. You’ll also need to organize your ideas into concise and easy-to-understand PowerPoint slides.

You need to keep your technology PowerPoint deck from being looking too complex. On top of it all, you have to make a connection with the audience. It becomes even more challenging when you’re presenting to people who are not familiar with the topic or technology you’re discussing.

If you’re in a similar situation, here are three key pointers to keep in mind when working on a technology PowerPoint presentation:

1. Focus on the core message

Avoid over-explaining the concepts in your slides by zeroing in on the key points you want to share. Before you open PowerPoint, start by creating an outline. What is the main takeaway of your presentation? Is it really necessary to explain particular concepts? If it is, which part of your explanation is the most crucial? Keep editing and trimming down your points until you arrive at the main ideas you want to share.

2. Explain with images and illustrations

As we know, research has shown that visual elements can better engage the attention of an audience. Instead of piling paragraphs of text onto your technology PowerPoint, you can make use of images to expound on key points. You can also make use of flowcharts or SmartArt graphics to illustrate concepts that might be harder to understand.

3. Don’t forget the story

Knowing that you’ll be presenting about technology, you might want to simply focus on answering the “how-to’s”. But other than that, you should also remember to tell your story. At the heart of all the tech-speak, what is the narrative behind the topic you’re presenting? A story is a great way to make an emotional connection with your audience. As an example, consider this ad run by Apple for the iPhone 5s.

Conclusion

Creating an engaging technology PowerPoint is challenging, but it isn’t impossible. All you need to do is create a solid plan and focus on making a valuable connection with your audience.

While interesting stories may temporarily engage, don’t forget to link it all back to your core message. Text can be effective in getting straight to the point, but illustrating your point may be even better in catching people’s attention. Make use of diagrams and other images to relate to your pitch.

Giving people hard facts can tire people out. Structure your presentation like a story with a convincing hook, line, and sinker. Don’t forget to tie it all in with a powerful conclusion and call to action.

Need a nudge in the right direction? Here at SlideGenius, we create different types of presentations and technology PowerPoint is one of our specialties. Contact us for a free consultation today.

 

Featured Image: crabchick via Flickr

Get Free PowerPoint Templates to Jump Start Your Presentation Design

In the past, we wrote about several ways you can enhance your technology PowerPoint design. But if you’re still grappling to get started, you can try some of the free PowerPoint templates available at Microsoft.com.

There are experts who will tell you to avoid using free PowerPoint templates at all cost. They say most templates are cliched and overused. While it’s definitely great to have a unique design for your slides, beginners might feel overwhelmed starting out with just a blank slide. Starting with a PowerPoint template can help you visualize where you want to take your design. You have plenty of choices, especially if you take the time to find a template that suits the theme of your presentation.

Here’s a template you can use for technology PowerPoint presentations:

One of the free PowerPoint templates you can download from Microsoft.com
Business Digital Blue Template – Download HERE

Just like this one, all free PowerPoint templates from Microsoft are customizable. Use this template as a starting point, and from there, edit the slides as you wish. You can add your own images, fonts, or backgrounds. You can change color schemes. You can change animation styles and slide transitions.

Still need inspiration? Check out our technology PowerPoint portfolio. It’ll give you some great ideas on how you can enhance your free PowerPoint templates.

Featured Image: Paul Inkles via Flickr

Technology PowerPoint: Developing a Killer Presentation for Your Video Game Pitch

Just like a traditional sales proposal, a video game pitch includes a summary that highlights a game’s selling points to a prospective publisher.

It details how profitable the game would be if ever the publisher agrees to develop or fund it. For an independent game developer pitching a game idea to an established publisher, a technology PowerPoint can help communicate any concept more effectively.

Select the X Meets Y Formula

To grab your prospect’s attention, creating a very short version of your pitch would be a great idea. It gives you a way to set the stage for a longer concept pitch.

The best shortcut for this would be the formula:  X meets Y. For example, Warcraft is Dune II meets The Lord of the Rings. Got it? Another example: Max Payne, which is any John Woo film meets The Matrix. Mash-ups of well-known properties or genres may be a bit unimaginative, but it allows your audience to grasp your idea much faster.

If you can’t explain the concept quickly, your prospect might assume that your game isn’t ready yet for primetime and reject your proposal. A short pitch offers a great way for you to explain what your game is all about.

Level Up with Visuals

Technology PowerPoint presentations work best when they feature graphics and imagery.

When pitching to gaming companies, we can’t stress enough how important visual aids are. Compared to the way it handles textual data, our brain processes graphic information way faster.

Additionally, people in the industry are visual thinkers and communicators. When you use visual aids, you are speaking their language and thus, giving your idea a chance to be assessed in a better light.

It would be great if you can come up with a professionally produced pre-production art to accompany your technology PowerPoint slides. It creates the impression that you put so much thought into your proposal.

technology-powerpoint

 

Structure Your Proposal

While it is great to prepare a short pitch, it also pays to have a more detailed proposal handy. It should include all important details about your game.

The following are some of the information that you shouldn’t forget:

The High Concept – Pretty much like an elevator pitch, the high concept explains your idea as accurate as possible in a short sentence. Take note of the following gaming high concepts and learn:

  • Minecraft: Construct a 3D world with other players.
  • Unreal world: Survival game set in the Iron Age.
  • Super Mario: A platform game with a surreal world setting.
  • Sonic: A fast-paced platform game that features a fast hedgehog
  • Pacman: Navigate a maze while grabbing all the dots and avoiding bad guys.
  • Angry Birds: Slingshot birds at enemy pigs in this physics-based game.

Genre – The concept of genre in the gaming industry often has more to do with a game’s position in the shelves than its design or story. In general, a game’s genre is classified based on their type of gameplay.

Some of the most common video game genres are the following:

  • Adventure – Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider
  • Strategy – Warcraft, Age of Empires
  • Role Playing Game (RPG) – Diablo, Final Fantasy
  • Shooter – Doom, Half-Life
  • Platformer – Super Mario Bros. Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Fighting – Street Fighter, Tekken

Other elements that you should include in your game technology PowerPoint are the in-game story, setting, target audience, hardware platforms, marketing, and risk analysis. You should also tackle the gameplay description and features. If there’s still time, focus on the mechanics to show how players will interact with the game. You can start by describing the story to capture attention.

Then, shift your focus on what makes your gameplay different from other games of its kind.

Pitching a video game idea is not all fun and games. So be sure that you practice. A lot. For the win.

Adding Visuals to Your Technology PowerPoint

Visuals are crucial to technology PowerPoint presentations. Whether you’re an engineer or a software developer, your content will have concepts most people are unfamiliar with. Despite its specific nature, which does cater to a specific type of audience, not everyone might appreciate long walls of text in your tech presentation.

Using diagrams and content inspired images will definitely help an audience overwhelmed with technical talk. Aside from this, your pitch will benefit from catering to people’s responsiveness to visual stimulus. Short attention spans may be alleviated with visual representations of data that present your key points statistics neatly.

Here’s what you should know about creating visually-engaging technology PowerPoint presentations:

Use images that illustrate content

According to presentation expert Dave Paradi, visuals in PowerPoint presentations fall into two categories. The images you use are either ‘design’ visuals’ or ‘content visuals’. The first one serves a purely aesthetic purpose. The latter refers to pictures that illustrate key points.

Your technology PowerPoint should make use of content visuals. Choose images that perfectly illustrate the concepts you’re trying to impart.

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Don’t get us wrong—your PowerPoint shouldn’t be without design. The pictures you use serve a double purpose: 1) helping your audience understand a difficult concept; and 2) engaging their aesthetic sensibilities.

Here’s an example from our extensive technology PowerPoint portfolio:

Technology PowerPoint slide with content-driven images by SlideGenius

You’ll see how a complex concept has been cut down to the gist. With minimal text and expressive graphics, the objects on the slide portray its core message. This shows that you don’t need an entire excerpt from your reference and research. You can cut this down while still being substantial with images.

Where does the rest of the information go? Showing instead of telling on the slide actually leaves more room for you to verbally expound on your points. This helps you establish an emotional connection with your audience, and further engage them with your body language and tone of voice.

Simplify complicated concepts through diagrams

Some concepts are more complicated than others, requiring detailed explanations. In your technology PowerPoint, use diagrams to break down concepts into their most essential parts.

PowerPoint makes this easy with the SmartArt function. Just look for it in the Insert tab and you’ll find a gallery of diagram templates. All you have to do is choose the one that’s most appropriate for your content.

Use SmartArt to make diagrams in your technology PowerPoint

Although these options are available in PowerPoint, there are specific sites online that specialize in just diagram creation. If you’d like to design your own diagram, you can head to Gliffy.com. Gliffy is one such site that lets users experiment with diagrams until they find one that’s fit for their purposes.

technology powerpoint 04
*Note: You’ll need to register to save your creations
Get as creative as you’d like. Just remember to keep your diagram as simple as possible. Having too many arrows branching out to too many shapes might end up baffling your audience even more.

 

Reference

Design Visuals vs. Content Visuals.” Think Outside The Slide. February 05, 2013. Accessed June 18, 2015.

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Featured Image: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr