“Public speaking isn’t a talent, it’s a skill.”
Ask anyone and they will tell you something different. Some tips are dead on and others… well they only lead to disaster.
We have achieved Independent Prezi Expert status from experience. From the hundreds of clients we have assisted to the award winning designs, we are experts. Digging, experience, and determination was necessary to bring you the most comprehensive list of presentation tips ever published. Each encounter and speaking engagement differs, but these tips hold strong. After putting our collective knowledge together and researching the best tips around, we have assembled the ultimate list.
Before you get ahead of yourself, slow down. Look at your calendar and start setting time aside to work on your presentation. The worse thing you can do is start slamming together a presentation without considering several factors:
- You don’t need POWERPOINT. Prezi meets all your needs.
- Preparing takes longer than you think. Respect the time.
- Set aside time to brainstorm.
- Starting to prepare too late will cause a poor presentation plagued with issues.
- Know who your audience is.
- Understand your audience’s fears, hopes, and dreams.
- “What’s in it for the audience?” This should be the guiding light of your presentation.
- Use Lucid Charts to layout your ideas in a map.
- Organize as you plan.
- Outlines are the framework. Always have one.
- Post-it notes are your friend.
- Answer all possible “whys”.
- They don’t want to know everything you know.
- Watch TED Talks.
- Plan your outfit.
- Know your materials, forward and backwards.
- Write everything down before you make it digital.
- Handouts shouldn’t contain your visual aid material.
- Get more specific, not broader.
- We live to be told stories. Start with one.
- Disconnect from distractions. Go off line.
- More practice.
- Practice in front of a full length mirror.
- Practice in front of a live audience. Your peers are honest.
- Give your audience an experience, not just a presentation or even worse, a lecture.
- Be animated, not ignored.
- Once you think you’re ready to design the visuals, look at your structure again.
- Decide in words what visuals you should use.
- Avoid jargon, buzzwords and cliches.
- Embrace the metaphor.
- Find relevant examples and sprinkle them in.
- Understand the story archetype.
- Relate to the audience using analogies they would be familiar with.
Putting your thoughts together in a structured manner is huge. You can look at the big picture and see just how concise the project is. Then you can really start searching for the visuals that make your idea sing:
- Know the demographic and background of the audience.
- Keep consistent with the theme.
- Read about Human Spatial Cognition
- Understand cognitive load theory.
- Less is so much more
- 7-10 words on screen. More than this and the audience is distracted. Use words wisely.
- Don’t read from the screen
- Be concise by breaking bigger ideas into smaller pieces
- 30-45 seconds a frame. Keep the ideas short and impactful.
- Summarize in less than 15 words. The 1st amendment is 45 words and 5 rights.
- Keep consistent to the style and tone.
- Use full screen images when possible.
- Use creative commons images. Make sure you’re not stealing someone else’s work.
- Create your own images with Canva.
- Limit fonts to 3: Title, subtitle, and context.
- Avoid templates.
- If you use a template, tailor it so it no longer resembles a template.
- Your logo doesn’t need to be on every slide.
- Contrasting colors stimulate the audience.
- You are the presenter, not your visual aid.
- Quality is what matters, not quantity.
- Once complete, edit down as close to ⅓ of the presentation as possible. Stay concise.
- Design with the big picture in mind.
- You don’t need to be a designer to create an impressive visual aid.
- Limit rotations on Prezi to 30 degrees. Vertigo will lose your audience.
- Create vivid graphs or charts for data points.
- Eliminate bullet points. Find visual icons to represent the text instead.
- Light and exciting designed frames will intrigue your audience.
- Never design a visual that cannot run without internet.
- Design with the medium it will be used on in mind. Format matters.
- Respect the time it takes to design. This is not just a few hours task.
- Use visuals to stimulate multiple senses.
- Your visuals should be all the script you need. Use key points to elaborate on.
Delivering Presentation Tips
Planning and design are not your only concerns. The ultimate goal is to deliver this presentation. All the prepping and practicing comes down to this moment: the stage. The 2nd most common fear is public speaking. You don’t have to include yourself into this hat. Follow these tips and chase fear away:
- Rest properly the night before.
- Making sure you eat a complete protein for lasting energy.
- Be hydrated. The previous day’s nutrition and water consumption matters to your performance.
- Know where the location is. Find it a day in advance.
- Arrive early.
- Put your phone on silent. Don’t argue with this one.
- Don’t eat in the cloths you will present in.
- Test all the equipment and your visual aid.
- Have a contingency plan.
- You need to have your own equipment when possible.
- Don’t depend on internet connection.
- If you can have a monitor, place it low between you and the audience.
- Have set up and testing done before the audience arrives.
- Engage in conversation before the event starts. This creates “friends”.
- Give a humble introduction of yourself. They don’t need to hear about ego.
- Remember you are here for the audience, not you.
- Get the audience involved. Talk to them, not at them.
- Ask questions and insist on an answer.
- Call on someone that makes strong eye contact.
- Slow down and relax.
- Breath in, not out. Breathing out will cause “ums” and “ahs”.
- Respect the amount of time you have and the time the audience is giving you.
- Show your passionate.
- Confidence builds credibility.
- Recognize the fear you have and address what is causing it. Make it a strength.
- Don’t be afraid of not knowing an answer. Reply with “what a good question”.
- Gestures need to be natural, not planned.
- Mix up your movements. Don’t let the audience predict your every move.
- Replace personal background images on your desktop. Keep it simple.
- Video tape yourself for future reference.
- Use a remote and a laser pointer if possible. This makes you appear “together”.
- Where your emotions on your sleeve, but don’t be a train wreck.
- Close all other programs on your device.
- Make sure your device is not going to update during your presentation.
- Its okay if they don’t get your humor. Move on and try again when appropriate.
- Never use a pitchy or sales tone. Solve their problem, not sell a solution.
- Your Prezi presentation doesn’t need to be your only aid. Use props if appropriate.
- Make friendly eye contact. Don’t creep out individuals.
- Don’t read from a script or the screen. KNOW THY MATERIAL.
- Make it worth what the audience paid: time, attention, brain cells…
- Be loud enough you are clearly heard.
- Refrain from apologizing.
- If wrong, apologize gracefully!
- Eye contact is important but don’t give awkward glares
- Pause to slow down.
- Pause after power points.
- Be on the offense not the defense.
- Have fun and let the audience feel your excitement.
Sales Presentation Tips
People don’t care to be sold or pitched. They want a connection and for their problem to be solved. Keep these sales presentation techniques in mind if you’re in the sales world:
- Start with getting to know your audience before you deliver the presentation.
- Key on the audience’s challenges.
- Let them know it is okay to interrupt.
- Plan to deliver non-linear.
- Encourage feedback.
- Be personal and offer help, don’t make them feel sold to.
- Identify and exploit one main emotion.
- Mix media between images, graphs/charts, and short videos.
- Use a physical prop if possible.
- Avoid a monologue by stopping and asking for input.
Investor Presentation Tips
Seeking monies to grow and develop your concept is nothing new. During the Renaissance, great artists were funded by investors to create masterful artwork and epic buildings. Their shear passion alone was the defining point of being commissioned. Look over these key investor presentation tips:
- Clearly identify what you seek and at what valuation.
- Your product is not always the key selling point. Express your passion, it may be the true investment.
- Indulge the history of the brand.
- Challenge and teach your audience.
- Bring team members and share the spotlight. Show this is a real team.
- Know your numbers and show your sales.
- Study Shark Tank.
- Address the risks involved and how they are overcome.
- Lead with the benefits and back them up with the features.
Training Presentation Tips
Every person reading this has set through some training session. You know exactly how painful they gain be. Time consuming, boring, and of no value. Change this now that you are the trainer. These presentation tips as short and sweet, but have killer effectiveness:
- Use open questions and invite the audience to share their opinions.
- Find interactive activities that create conversation and connect the members.
- Add questionnaires to your presentation with tools like Sli.do.
- Schedule short breaks to keep the audience engaged.
- Use hand drawn visuals for increased retention.
- Use games for team building activities.
- Deliver the course’s agenda and stick to it.
- Be friendly, concise, and use a follow-up feedback form to know how the audience really feels.
Miscellaneous Presentation Tips
Some presentation techniques just don’t fit in the earlier categories. Finding the balance is the general idea. You need to balance your information both on and off screen, emotional appeal but not begging, solid preparation but not mechanical memorization, and telling your audience just enough to intrigue them, not give them every ounce of your knowledge. Here are our last few presentation tips:
- Seek professional advice. We are here to help!
- The idea of practicing cannot be stressed enough.
- Don’t force it when you’re stuck. Walk away and come back later.
- Be happy during the whole process. It will show.
- No rule is too great to be broken. If it stands out and works, do it.
- Inspiration can come from anywhere.
- Look at examples similar to your concept.
- Be strategic with your use of emotional appeal.
- Light humor is magical.
- If a 5th grader can understand and remember your presentation, then anyone can.
- Remember to breath normally, talk slowly, and know thy material! Above all other tips, this is all you need, and to dress appropriately.
Reader Contributed Presentation Tips:
*Deep Breath* Could There Be More?!?
This took all our combined knowledge and several days of researching to compile this colossal monster. Our sleepless efforts were to bring you every last presentation tip that has value. If by chance we are missing something, please let us know so we can include it. You get the credit for every tip you supply. With so much to keep in mind, why not hire a professional?
Need help designing a presentation? Get in touch with us and we can start the conversation today. We are Independent Prezi Experts here to add the “wOw” factor into your training material. For more Prezi examples go to our Prezi Presentation page.
At wOw Prezi, we rebel against PowerPoint’s status quo and are in a mission to save the world from deadly PPTs, helping sales teams to transform stiff, slide-based presentations into fruitful, revenue-generating conversations.
Get in touch with our team of Prezi Experts to find how we can help your salespeople thrive with Conversational Presenting and the Power of Storytelling in Sales.