Listeners get frustrated when presenters expect too much from their audience. I do my best to show respect to everyone that gets in front of a live audience, big or small, and speaks while sharing a slide deck. However, I feel overwhelmed when trying to follow busy slides and at the same time, maintaining focus on the presenter’s words. If the slide deck is a distraction, the audience tunes out. For this reason, even the best Project Managers should be aware of these straightforward rules to improve slide deck presentations.
Why We Look for Great Presenters
- Every project manager (PM) needs excellent communication skills
- A presentation is an instrument to get things done
- Ability to influence stakeholders in a positive way
- Can accelerate initiatives
Using these presentation tips to Improve your credibility as a professional speaker is one of the best things you can do for your career.
No Bullet Points
Putting ten bullets on a single slide is one way to kill a presentation. Too much text detracts from the presenter’s goal. As the audience is busy scanning the writing on the slide, it will be easy for them to miss the main point you intended making. Not to mention the fact that as soon as the slide disappears, so will the details be immediately forgotten.
Make a Draft
Start preparing for your presentation just like you would a story or a speech. As such, the narrative behind your performance will need the same common elements. So give your presentation an introduction, supporting content, and a conclusion. Essentially you are telling a story. Make it engaging with a hook to get an audience quickly fascinated. Close it by highlighting your most meaningful message.
Experts agree that people are influenced by what they see versus what they hear. Moreover, many in your audience have conditioned themselves to learn by seeing versus reading. This means if you are presenting slides, ditch the text. Show videos, images, or pictorial representations of the idea you want to share. Processing images works faster and lasts longer. Start using this advanced tip to right away.
Correct Font Issues
While we have emphasized using visual aids in your presentation, the text will always be a critical component. Because not everyone in your audience has perfect vision, font size should not go below 24pt. When using colors, make sure text colors have enough contrast with the background and read easily.
Also, stick to the basics for font type choices. Imagine trying to loading your presentation from a thumb drive. You expected this to be simple, but the machine at the event may not have your fancy fonts used in your file. The substitute fonts may skew the look of every slide.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity works better than any gimmick. Reduce each slide to one complete message. Even while the new presentation software (Google Slides & PowerPoint) have animations and other fancy features, they are not worth the effort.
It is much better to spend time generating quality content or practicing your presentation. Do not waste work hours by trying to impress management or clients with your slide transition effects. Additionally, this is not an optimal time to show off complex tables. If a chart needs to be displayed, make sure it supports your main message in simple terms.
Tell your Story
There are many things to consider when you deliver any presentation. Remember to shift your mindset and see your presentations as opportunities. This way, you will be happy to take the time to polish the slide decks and improve your presentation.
Try using some of the performance tips offered here and practice your delivery. If you keep working at this, you will get better. The time spent preparing is an investment in yourself. Improving your personal credibility as a professional speaker is one of the best things you can do for your career.