Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Archive for PowerPoint Presentations

Use a Presentation Remote Control or a Helper

As in all public speaking endeavors, it’s crucial when making a business presentation to connect with your audience. That becomes more difficult if you find yourself trapped behind a lectern running PowerPoint slides. A lectern is a piece of furniture that comes between you and your audience and anything that separates you from your audience detracts from your ability to connect with them.

Solution: Get yourself a presentation remote control and a fresh set of batteries. This will allow you to move about the room freely and better interact and connect with your audience.

Before your presentation, test the remote to make sure it will work from the sides and back of the room. Make sure you know what all the buttons do.

What do you do if you don’t have a presentation remote control? Ask a colleague or friend to handle the keyboard and advance slides for you. When doing so, avoid overusing saying “next slide please” and instead cue your helper with a simple head nod or “the look.”

Remember: presentations are always, always, always about connecting with your audience. A presentation remote or a trusted helper will give you a better chance to connect with your audience and deliver a more powerful message.

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7 Presentation Tips from a Workshop Pro

By Jeff Herrington
Guest Blogger

Your industry has asked you to present on your field of expertise. But the thought of presenting makes your palms sweat.

Calm your nerves. Follow these seven tips and you’ll likely get applause from your audience, not rotten tomatoes.

  1. Remind yourself nobody’s going to throw rotten tomatoes at you – Your audience is rooting for you. Still, establishing rapport up front helps. Ask about someone’s lapel pin or laptop case. Don’t glad-hand everyone – that comes across needy. Be friendly but be authentic.
  2. Don’t let a slip break your stride – Correct your malapropism (or excuse your cough) and keep on presenting. People care more about how a presenter reacts to a snafu than the fact they made one. Just smile, say “oops,” and offer your next key point. Your audience will be impressed you withstood a faux pas far better than they would have.
  3. Move around. But don’t make people seasick – When you start, anchor in a location and remain there for several minutes. Once you’re into your presentation, however, feel free to gently roam. Audiences like to know their presenter isn’t some remote-controlled robot. But you’re not a thoroughbred vying for the Triple Crown, either. Glide. Stop. Present for a while. Glide again.
  4. Dialogue more, monologue less – Engagement is the goal. People learn more through conversation (and are less likely to doze off). Pitch questions: ‘Who has encountered this challenge and how did YOU solve it?’ Even let your audience answer one another’s questions. But control the room. This is YOUR presentation, not The Jerry Springer Show.
  5. One point per slide – I’m stunned some presenters still put six bullet points on one slide. Like there’s a dearth of PowerPoint slides out there and we need to conserve them. Deliver your points one at a time, visually as well as orally. You’ll more easily recall what you have to say and your audience will more easily recall what you said.
  6. Expect pushback. Know how to manage it – Challenging authority has replaced baseball as our national pastime. Expect someone to dispute some point you’re making. Here’s where “getting along” must transcend “proving you’re right.” Ask challengers how they derived their view (you may find some truth in their perspective, allowing you to then show how nuanced your topic is). If their view’s incorrect, or outdated, don’t say that. Focus on what the evidence reveals (“We used to think the world was flat, but explorers have disproven that by sailing around the world.”) That moves the dispute from one of opinions to facts.
  7. Conclude by asking for questions. And, for enlightenment – In wrapping up, I ask what surprised the group most about what they heard. What they learned that they hadn’t expected to. What they’ll do differently as a result of my talk or continue to do with greater passion. Their answers should convince your hosts that you got your points across well. And, that they should invite you back to present on another topic.

ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER

Jeff Herrington has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in the U. S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., and Germany. Companies that have been brought Jeff’s workshops on-site include JPMorgan Chase, American Century Investments, Arizona Public Service, IBM, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Jeff also has provided consulting expertise for such companies as Coca-Cola France, Whirlpool, John Deere and Wausau Insurance.

In addition to his consulting, coaching and workshops, Jeff also has composed several crossword puzzles that have been published in The New York Times, and he writes under the name of Jeffrey Eaton as a murder mystery author.

You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or on his Jeff Herrington Communications website.

PowerPoint Tips to Make Your Presentation More Powerful

By Tim Fisher
Graphic Design Expert

It’s hard to believe PowerPoint has been around for more than 30 years. It has become a common tool used by most companies to produce business presentations. Although the program is easily accessible, not all presentations are successful. A well-designed presentation helps make your content more understandable, as well as more memorable. Unfortunately, good design is not a template in PowerPoint.

If you’d like to maximize the impact of your PowerPoint presentation, here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind:

> Consistency: Use master slides to help give the presentation structure, and save you time as you create new slides. These also can be customized if needed.

> Focus: Don’t speak to your slides—talk to your audience. Each slide should support and reinforce your messaging.

> The Opener: Open with something surprising or intriguing that appeals to your audience’s emotions. This will quickly get their attention.

> Slide count: Limit the number of slides. If you are not sure, try to go with one per minute.

>Format: Never use paragraphs. Bulleted items are best—no more than six bullet points per slide. Try to avoid centering the copy. Left-aligned text is best, as it makes for a smoother read.

> Pacing: Animated builds (text that appears with a mouse click) control the pacing of the presentation. This keeps the audience focused on you and not reading ahead.

> Fonts: Stay with a few standard fonts and avoid trendy typefaces that are hard to read. Sans-serif fonts are easiest to read. Some of the oldest typefaces, such as Helvetica or Arial, never go out of style. Use varying weights for emphasis—never use all caps.

> Photos: One of the most common mistakes is using low quality, gimmicky photos. Keep in mind that quality images are a reflection of your brand.

> Special Effects: You’re not trying to make the next Star Wars epic. Avoid overused transitions, fly-ins, inappropriate animations, and sounds. These quickly become annoying and distract from your communication.

Using these tips will help you to have well-designed PowerPoint slides that support your key points and give you a more powerful presentation.


ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER

Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshopsTim Fisher is the founder of Summation, a brand design firm in Scottsdale, Ariz. For 20 years, Tim and his team have worked with a wide range of clients, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups. They provide brand development/brand revitalization, corporate identity, packaging, print, and website design. They especially enjoy working with smaller companies, developing their brands one project at a time.

Connect with Tim: Email | Website

 

 

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