5 Steps to a Great Presentation

Previously, we talked about how to be an effective speaker when doing a presentation. Everyone has different learning and listening styles; and with webinars, it sometimes becomes difficult to make sure you're appealing to everyone's sensibilities. While some people are more audible learners, some are going to thrive and really understand when they can see the information in front of them.

When slide presentation software came along, it revolutionized the way that things were done – especially when it came to large rooms and conferences. Gone were the days of thick and boring handouts that never seemed to make it to all the attendees on time. Now there's a way to create slides that are going to be effective without overloading the audience with colors, pictures, videos, and animations.

1.) Slide Cohesiveness

The hardest thing about presentations is making sure that everything looks clean. You want each slide to set the general tone for the presentation. Keeping all the slides uniform is incredibly important. In order to help this process along you should always brainstorm your presentations as well. Select a color scheme that reflects the tone you wish to set with the conference, attach pictures to the slides that make sense, and never try to overload the attendees with too many graphics. If there's ever any question on how much is too much or not enough, always err on the side of caution and do a simple presentation. Be prepared to use your words if you start to lose audience interest.

2.) Color Schemes

Colors affect moods whether it be promoting unity, peace, love, harmony, or creating a passionate environment. Different colors invoke certain types of emotions and help to create a different atmosphere. For example, the color green is considered to soothe, have healing power, and is often worn by doctors. Red is the color most used to get attention. Using colors together and creating color schemes is a good tool to promote emotions that are going to make your presentation more enjoyable. This is especially helpful in sales presentations; by tuning into your audience you can better affect that outcome of your sales pitches and presentations.

3.) Establish Focus

Focus is one of the most important things about any good presentation. The focus of a presentation is the overall message or tone that you are trying to create. If you're trying to let all the attendees know that everything is going to be okay in this unstable financial environment, you should established that theme right away. The rest of your presentation should focus on explaining who, what, where, when, why, and how. Think of establishing focus as writing a thesis statement. The focus should be the central idea, and all the other ideas of the presentation should revolve around it.

4.) Animations should be used sparingly

Just because they look pretty good doesn't mean that every slide needs to fade or roll into another. Use animations at points in the slides that matter the most. If you're showing profit growth from one quarter to another, use an animation to move through your chart. By limiting the amount of animations on a slide, you can ensure their effect is noticed, and people are taking more interest in what you are saying.

5.) Expand your mind

Don't just use the standard everyday clip art that's available on most computers. A quick Google search can show you website after website offering copyright free pictures or pictures with small watermarks on them available for public use. Check with the US Copyright office to see if your organization qualifies for the benefits of public use policies. This mostly applies to schools and teachers - however, you can never be too sure. Better quality and more vibrant pictures make slides pop off the page, and make trying to find the hidden meaning a thing of the past.

Remember, the most important thing about any presentation is that it's targeted for your audience. The difference between a great presentation and a great presenter is that the great presenter will take the time to research his or her audience and get to know them before putting his information together. Your audience will take notice of your dedication and respond to it.

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