Recently, a few friends have asked for help in creating their presentations and then in creating another one for myself recently, I realized, there is a real science to creating these so I thought I would share with you on this topic.
Most presentations are 30 to 40 minutes in length so it keeps the entire commitment within 60 minutes and provides time for Q&A.
You were asked to do the presentation because of your knowledge on a particular subject so congratulations! I am almost positive that you have thousands and thousands of hours involved with this particular topic and more than likely, this topic has about 50 side conversations that flow into it as well, right? When you get to be our age (51 years old), we have a great deal of knowledge piled up in our brains and sometimes it all feels like it is all related so we could go on and on and on and on.... However, our audience is there for one reason....to learn about the specific topic that was promised. So here, we go. Stay focused....I am going to try and keep it brief even though each bullet could be paragraphs long!
- Take the title of the presentation, along with the description and put it onto your first slide. This will help to keep YOURSELF on point as well as provide a nice overview for your audience in the beginning. It's best to set expectations in the beginning of what they will learn so it may need editing but plan on leaving it there. Let's say your description states that you are going to teach your audience about 4 main points of information.
- Create 4 or 5 blank slides and put a title onto each slide which breaks out your 4 main points of information - one on each slide. This is going to keep your information narrowed down to the most important information. I put 2 or 3 bullets onto each of these slides and then type all of my thoughts below into the notes section. The next day, I will go back and edit those notes. Narrowing down the words to pinpointed information and always making sure it is relevant and on point with the main objective of the slide.
- Do the same for each slide. Always making sure that you are only talking about what was promised.
- Do not use acronyms or jargon for your industry unless it is obvious.
- Make sure this information is broken down into bite-sized pieces and in a logical hierarchy of relevance so the audience will be able to digest the information while you talk. Our goal is for them to be able to implement this information into their own work or thoughts after they leave.
- Each slide should include an interesting image with few words so it creates impact and stirs emotion. Keeping a few words on the slide will ensure the audience is listening to you instead of reading your slide.
- Your design should be on point with your brand. I have been using the same PowerPoint branded slides for the past 9 years because that is my brand. It is what people are expecting to see. Font needs to be easy to read, great color contrast, not cluttered, vibrant colors and images with impact are always best.
- Since I want the audience listening to me instead of writing notes AND I want their contact information, I will let them know the notes can be emailed to them tomorrow if they give me their business card afterward. Works like a charm and helps me to build a relationship with each person who is interested enough in the presentation to ask for the notes! Of course, always, first thing in the morning after the presentation, be sure to send the PowerPoint (in pdf form) with the notes to the contact. Do not miss this very important step...ok, this leads us into a "Turning Your Presentation into a Sale" blog!
- On your last slide, type "Thank You" and/or "Q&A" with your contact information and your logo. While answering questions, leave this slide up for people who want to write down your contact information.
I just love this work and am excited to be able to share this information with you!
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!