SlideRocket Blog

How to Make a Presentation – For the Artistically Challenged

By John Rode on September 26, 2011

Have you ever been in the middle of a presentation, looked out over the audience and realize that you’ve completely lost your audience?  It starts with the shifting in their seats and disintegrates to texting, doodling or even nodding off.  You hurry up, skip points, talk faster and faster. Watch this presentation from @EFinkelstein for great tips and examples on how to make a presentation, even if you are artistically challenged.

Perhaps your presentation materials are interesting or maybe they’re not – but any way you look at it, unless you know how to make a presentation interesting, it will be boring.

So how can you avoid being dealt the kiss of presentation death?  Well here are a few hints to keep your presentation interesting:

Avoid Bullet Points

When you create slides with bullet points, the temptation is to read the slide resulting in a stilted speaking style.  You also lose the audience’s interest – after all, they all can read and will probably prefer reading the bullet points you’ve written instead of listening to you reading to them.  Remember, you’re no longer in elementary school – so people can read on their own.

What should you do instead?

Create Talking Points

What’s the difference between talking points and bullet points?  Talking points will help keep you on track, but your speech patterns will come out differently.  You’ll come across as knowledgeable and interesting rather than sounding like an actor reading the prompter at an awards ceremony.

Talking points make a statement, but then you’ll spend one or two minutes explaining it, instead of reading it off the slide.

Use Graphics As Illustrations

As you’re learning how to make a presentation, keep in mind that your listeners need something to keep their interest.  By creating a slide with a single talking point and punctuating it with a graphic that illustrates your point, your listeners will focus their attention on the graphic and will (hopefully) concentrate on your presentation instead of texting or doodling.

Here are three additional things that will show you how to make a presentation more enjoyable:

  • Colors Can Help or Hurt.  Use a dark font on a lighter background.
  • The font should be large enough for the back of the room to read.
  • Don’t cram too much on one page.  Use the KISS method. Keep it simple.

Hopefully these ideas will show you how to make a presentation that’s fun and interesting for you and your audience.

6 Comments »

  1. Ken Williams

    September 27, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    These points are obvious but unfortunately not many people follow them.

  2. Ellen Finkelstein

    October 5, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    Ken,
    Thanks for featuring my presentation! I like the distinction between bullet points and talking points.
    Ellen

  3. Giovanni

    October 11, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    Ellen,

    I shared with some friends from the Community of Practice in Project Management and was a success. Simple and Excellent..!

    Thank you so much..!

  4. Kelvin Chong

    July 30, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    Your presentation is great! Thank you for the tips and I am looking forward to improve my presentation skills.

  5. Aaron

    April 30, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    It fucking was hoe a bolll

  6. samanthathavasa

    October 15, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    時計 レディース ロレックス

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