Event management companies these days foray into every possible social gathering and are called upon for their expertise in setting up the perfect event. When it comes to corporate events, there are a variety of initiatives like conferences, employee dinners, product launches, press releases, etc. Most of these events usually involve a presentation of some sort, be it through images, videos, or text. As such, arranging the perfect setup for a smooth and uninterrupted presentation is yet another important task. Stage, sound, microphone testing and setup, projector and screen arrangements, printing out pamphlets or flyers if any, putting up relevant banners, and organizing the speakers, are some of the crucial tasks event planners need to focus on.
But while the event organizing team has your technical needs sorted, you are the one who is going to have to give the presentation. As such, it is extremely important that you pull up your socks and start preparing well in advance so that you deliver a smashing presentation. While almost every one of us knows how to create a presentation on PowerPoint, most of us also make the same common mistakes that could actually ruin the presentation. To avoid such catastrophes, here are a few tips that will come in handy when you decide to work on your next presentation.
- Tell a story – It is always beneficial to constructively engage your audience with a strong narrative. This not just helps you make your point but also makes for a riveting conference. No one wants to sit and listen to statistics and figures and look at graphs all day. The human attention span is not built to absorb all that information in one go. Thus, if you keep droning on and on, no matter how accurate your data or how amazing your findings, no one is going to be able to appreciate it. Thus, always tell a story. Use your personal experiences, state real-life examples that tie into your concepts, and sketch a narrative that holds the attention of your audience. Before you begin creating the presentation, it pays to start with a basic outline, jot down the points and subpoints, formulate the beginning and ending, and go from there.
- Keep it short and succinct – As discussed above, the content of your presentation needs to be concise and precise. Short, simple, easy-to-assimilate data sticks in the minds of your audience. Thus, while designing your PowerPoint presentation, take care that you don’t create some 40 slides packed with information. A maximum of 10 slides should be just fine. Just include the concept title and the key subtitles in the slide. Use your speech to explain the points. This way your presentation will look clean and crisp, and it won’t distract users from what you’re saying. As a rule, stick to 3 sub-points per topic. It is difficult for people to concentrate or retain anything more than 3 points. So, organize your presentation accordingly.
- Stick to simple templates – Any event management company would tell you that sometimes less is more. This certainly holds true when it comes to designing a presentation. You may be tempted to use snazzy graphics, dissolving animations, gradient fonts and more. But please avoid it. It distracts the viewer, takes away from what you’re saying, and overall looks very juvenile and out of place at a corporate or academic event. The same goes for fonts. Use clear, big fonts that make the data easily visible to your audiences. Arial, Arial Bold or Helvetica are preferred font types for presentation slides as they are easy to read and look formal and neat. Also, be careful when it comes to choosing colors for the presentation. Don’t keep changing colors on each slide. Consistency and simplicity are key in such presentations. To avoid having different font styles and different color tones in different slides.
- Know your audience – This point cannot be stressed enough. The only way to get your point across and make a success of the presentation is knowing what works with your audience. Bear in mind that any audience is made of both extroverts and introverts. Giving a little lecture will be loved by the introverts and organizing interactive activities during the presentation will give the extroverts something to do. So trying to maintain a balance between both is essential. Similarly, if your presentation is about a niche research topic and your audience is filled with industry experts, there’s no point dilly-dallying on giving any background information, best get straight to the point. However, if there are a lot of novices in the audience, giving a brief background would help get them interested and give a better understanding of the subject.
- Practice and Prepare – Practice makes perfect. The more you rehearse, the more you practice your speech, the more it increases your confidence. Event agencies make it a point to do last-minute checks and go over everything again before D-Day. That’s what you need to do too. Make sure you have offline backups of the presentation so that in the event of any Wi-Fi or internet malfunctions, you don’t get stuck. It could also help to check out the venue in advance and acclimatize yourself to the place. That way, it could help put you at ease before the day of the presentation.
Other than this, little things like sharing your personal experiences, using relevant quotes before every chapter, and asking questions, would help smoothen the flow of the presentation. You could also organize Q&A sessions post your presentation and have engaging conversations with your audience. Being prepared well in advance with the answers to probable questions would be of great help during this. Other than that, like any event management company would do, go through the process methodically, mark steps off your checklist, and recheck everything before the event. Dress comfortably, relax, and remember less is more. Short, simple, succinct presentations with clear concepts and a well-practiced, confident monologue could work wonders and ensure that you have a sensational presentation.