||Smile! When audience members see a genuine
and sincere smile, it makes them want to smile too.
What could be better than looking out on an audience
of happy, smiling people?
||Move. Dont hide behind your podium.
Presentations can be scary, but the audience wont
eat you alive. This doesnt mean you should pace
furiously from one end of the stage to the other,
but a little movement will help keep your audience
||Test your setup before the presentation.
Can you see your visual aids, slides or overheads
clearly from the back of the room? Is everything working
as you had expected?
||Present to the crowd. Consider your audience
before your presentation. If your audience is a group
of university students, leave your suit at home and
make your presentation less formal. If your audience
requires more formality, perhaps its best if
you forget the animation. Its unlikely that
swirling text and funny noises will impress this crowd.
||Dont try to impress with jargon.
Never speak above the crowd in hopes of impressing
people. When youre speaking in a language that
doesnt compute, theyll tune out. The audience
may also see you trying too hard to impress and you
may come across as false or insincere.
||Use a computer and multimedia projector.
Professional presenters use a computer and projector,
so why shouldnt you? Overheads projectors are
a little old-fashioned and printing those overhead
slides is a nuisance. Get out of the comfort zone
and try using new technology. If youre worried
about its reliability, bring your overheads as back-up.
||Be yourself! Be honest, open and sincere.
Youre best at being yourself, so let your true
self show. People relate to honesty and expressiveness.
||Update your slides for each presentation.
Dont use the same slides again and again. In
the world of visual aids, fresh is good.
||Place your company logo in the bottom right-hand
corner of your slides. The eye looks naturally
to the bottom right corner, so if you want your companys
name reinforced, place it there. While youre
at it, why not use corporate colors for your slides?
Not only is it a double-whammy but its also
a way to stay consistent with the use of color throughout
||Use light colors on a dark background and vice-versa.
This seems obvious but its important to keep
in mind. The easiest combinations to read are white
or yellow bold text on a dark background.
Show a visual every one to three minutes. Using this guideline can help
you stay on schedule during your presentation. In the planning stage,
if you allocate a maximum of three minutes for each slide, it will help
you stay on time during your actual presentation.
||Forgetting to turn off your screen saver.
Your presentation is going smoothly, and youre
taking a little extra time to explain each of your
PowerPoint slides. You turn to look at the projection
screen and, in horror, realize that the audience has
been watching cute little tropical fish swim for the
past five minutes. If youre using a laptop for
your presentation, be sure to turn off your screen
saver before you begin.
||Beeping laptop. If you usually present
using a laptop, youve probably experienced the
low-battery warning. It screams for attention and
successfully irritates any well-intentioned audience.
Bring an extension cord if youre using a laptop
and plug it in. This way you wont have to worry
about low batteries interrupting the flow of your
||Speaking too quickly. Its natural
to speed up when feeling nervous. But when you speak
at record speeds, not only is it difficult for the
audience to understand what youre saying, but
its a dead giveaway that youre sweating
||Overusing animation. Animation is great
for capturing the audiences attention and adding
interest to any presentation, if used in moderation.
However, when things are whirling, whizzing and zooming
across the screen, they direct the peoples attention
away from your message. Theyll be too busy trying
to figure out how you got your visuals to do those
||Unexpected animation. Be sure to rehearse
your animated presentation before you give it. This
ensures the animation youve used is working
properly and is appropriate for the audience. Dont
let any unexpected sights or sounds catch you off
||Using too many bullets and fonts. Keep
it simple by using only a few bullets and a maximum
of two fonts per slide. If you get too many fonts
and bullets, the design becomes cluttered and the
information more difficult to read.
||Forgetting to delete all guidelines.
If youre using PowerPoint, theres nothing
worse than a slide that appears as "Click to
add title." Of course the audience will forgive
you, but it certainly wont help you look like
||Using a font thats too small. The
smaller the font, the more difficult it will be for
the audience members at the back of the room to read
||Placing too many words on a slide. Keep
the information in your presentation concise. The
words that appear on the slide should spark the larger
thought, not explain it. Follow the 7 x 7 rule, which
limits the words on a visual to no more than seven
words per line and a maximum of seven lines, for a
total of 49 words or less per visual. Headings or
titles should be kept to four words or less.
||Using red lettering on your slides. Typically,
red has negative connotations. Its almost always
interpreted as a warning sign or danger, and in business
it symbolizes failure or financial loss.
|Bonus Tip! Spelling
is important. Probably one of the most embarrassing blunders
is overlooking spelling errors on your slides. Dont solely trust
your spell-checker either. Your best bet is to review your slides and
then ask someone else to look at them next.