Before you start:
- Gather the necessary material and arrange it in a logical sequence.
- For best results, maintain a content theme and format by using common borders page layouts and colors.
- Ensure the correct placement and usage of the company logo, if applicable.
- Most people only absorb about three key points from a speech.
- What about those key points and how are they best communicated visually?
- Remember that the visuals are used to emphasize important points, not to reproduce the speaker's notes.
- Illustrate one topic per slide.
- Determine your objective, are you instructing, informing or selling a product or idea?
Choose a font that is easily comprehended and large enough to be seen:
- Do not use capitals. Upper and lower case is more easily comprehended.
- Limit copy to 6 lines maximum per slide and 6-7 words per line.
- Use the titles to make a statement, but keep them short.
- Use a larger font font for the slide title, 36-point is the minimum.
- Use color to highlight important points and add interest.
- Use complimentary colors.
Consider the impact of different colours:
- Blue portrays calm and quiet, gives a positive feeling and is ideal for the background.
- Red is related to danger, alertness and problems, use it sparingly.
- Green is seen as restful, cool and assured.
- Yellow is warm and vibrant, it gives a feeling of energy.
- Use tinted backgrounds to reduce glare and aid concentration.
- Use light colors for text and for emphasis.
- The best text colors are white, light green, light blue etc.
- The eye is naturally drawn to yellow.
- More than 4 feature colors, including the background, can reduce comprehension.
- Use illustrations and diagrams that are relevant.
- Use symbols to draw attention to important points.
- Use dark colors for background and avoid gaudiness.
- Use color, rather than underlines, to make important points stand out.
- Avoid overuse of italics, dropped shadows, bold and colour emphasis.
- Remember when using color, that 4 percent of men and 1 percent of women are colour blind.
Other important areas:
- Charts are an ideal way of conveying information and they should be used to emphasize a point..
- Line graphs show relationships over a long period of time.
- Bar charts show relationships over short periods of time.
- Pie charts show percentages.
- Organizational charts show structural relationships.
- Flow charts demonstrate the flow of data and processes.
- Gannt charts show time flows and interdependencies in projects.
Preparing the presentation:
- Become familiar with the room and its layout.
- Check seating and lighting and the data projector position for optimal viewing.
- Before starting check the equipment and learn the controls.
- Try and keep a spare data projector lamp (these are expensive though).
- Focus the data projector and adjust to obtain clear images.
- Go to a black screen when you are talking for a long period or using a white board.
- Ensure that the audience have an uninterrupted view of the proceedings.
Verbal presentation tips:
Speak clearly and use simple language, avoid complex sentences.
- Involve your audience, challenge their preconceptions.
- Ensure that the image matches the spoken text.
- Use rhetorical techniques to maintain interest, change voice intonation and vary tone and volume.
- Use pauses for effect.
- Rehearse your presentation to get it right!