A Comprehensive Guide to Plan an Effective Presentation

Laptop presentation monitor
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When we talk about presentation planning, it’s more like a necessary as well as a useful skill to make an impact in today’s professional world. From getting grades to pitching an idea to sell some product, you’re required to plan your presentation by putting time and dedication. One might definitely want to figure out the concise way to construct the material, one might also consider the type of audience and the message you want to convey. Stressing-upon these factors, you should start building the blueprint of your presentation and thus work on making slides as well as associated material. As a matter of fact, there is a myth surrounding the world of presentations, people often think that good speakers are naturals.

In order to achieve your presentation goals and make it as effective as possible, it’s of utmost importance to practice, practice and practice the material. Sounding spontaneous and comfortable while you’re on the stage with your slides at the back can help you deliver a clear, organized as well as a stimulating message. Before you even get your hands on PowerPoint and start making a presentation, it’s advised to sit down and imagine the day of the presentation, how the flow goes, what’s the real purpose of the talk and what your audience might expect. Transfer of raw information is not the purpose of a presentation, your audience could read that from handout anyway. In this article, we will talk about the ways which can help you plan your presentations in an effective manner.

1. Start Collecting the Material

One might follow a reverse approach, you can start with the end in mind. You should try to think about what is the message that you’re trying to convey and what can be the best medium to do so in the allotted time. It’s often practiced to writing down all the important points and then analyze if any key point is emerging. Think in a fashion that if your audience is to take away one thing/point from this presentation, what would that be? When you bombard your audience with a ton of facts, think about how these facts affect them.

Knowing the background of your audience is also helpful. You can think about and organize the structure of your presentation in such a fashion that everybody can benefit from it. Are you looking forward to selling them a product? Is the crowd tough? Does your audience contain enthusiastic people who are excited about what you have to say? You should try to think about all kinds of people that will be present in front of you.

2. Picking The Focus Points

Illustrating the theme of your presentation is of utmost importance, for instance, if your presentation is no more than 10 minutes long, you should limit the focus points to three or four. You should try to ask yourself what are the best possible facts, statements, and points that describe the theme of your presentation in an engaging manner. It is also possible to have a discussion based on those points, so be prepared to relate them with each other in a cohesive as well as in relevant fashion.

When you stress-upon picking the focus points of your presentation, your emphasis should be on your audience’s interest, motivation, prior information as well as their persuasion level. Presentation making is far different than writing a report, your audience can’t just jump back to what you said 5 minutes ago. Great speakers often try to repeat themselves throughout the presentations. Ask them a question, relate the topic with any recent development, read a quote or you can even consider including a personal story, preferably a humorous one.

3. Support Your Facts

A presentation in order to be effective is required to inspire the audience or bring a change. In other words, a call to action can only be achieved when you have the most solid supporting information. When you support your facts with relevant information you can make your audience think about the desired topic. Authority can be added in the presentation when you link the speech with studies, research, and relevant facts.

For instance, if the presentation falls in the science or technology domain, you can cite references from a scientific consensus. You can further add color to your existing presentation with the help of visuals such as vlogs and pictures. If you’re looking forward to projecting some analytical data to your audience, you can consider making use of a chart or diagram so that you have to speak less and graphics can do the trick for you. But ultimately, what qualifies as a scientific authority these days? This article helps to clarify the concern.

4. Presentation Trajectory Is Important

Next step is to find the relevant trajectory for your presentation, you can consider starting with a robust introduction to the topic. The intro should be in such a fashion that it surely should attract the attention of your audience. Starting the presentation with a question or a fact is highly advised. It’s not necessary that a presentation has to follow some chronological order if you have found the focus points, the introduction can come at last.

Further, when you’re making a presentation don’t forget to find some linking statements that can help you deliver the points in a clear fashion. From linking statements, we can say that these are transitional statements that help the audience connect with the ideas you’re proposing. This informally informs your audience that the sub-topic would be switching soon by you. In simpler terms, when it comes to highlighting the next focus point in your argument, linking statements can be leveraged.

5. Making Use Of Graphics & Visuals

When you’re on that stage, you are not supposed to lecture people. One of the best ways to make people associate with your presentation and avoid boring them is to utilize the potential of visuals and graphics. It’s a great practice to add graphics to the slides, even a short video can also do the trick. This doesn’t need to be hard to achieve, you can use an infographic template to make your job easier. If you have any graph, chart or image in your inventory, it can be used to illustrate your point in a concise manner. Physical information always has more attention. Each slide can have a picture which is closely related to the text being displayed.

Also, you can consider making use of 10-20-30 rule for your slides. A presentation should not contain more than 10 slides, further it should not last more than 20 minutes and in the end, the font size should not be less than 30. This whole approach can help you avoid Death by PowerPoint. Not only you’d be putting less information in the slides, but you’ll also be making your presentation simple and understandable.

6. Work On Conclusion

A great conclusion is more like mandatory when it comes to initiating a call to action for your audience. A conclusion should link back to the presentation’s introduction and further, it should summarize all of your focus points. You should try to keep the conclusion brief and it should only contain 5-10% of your entire presentation. Recap what your points were, you just need a single slide for your conclusion. Visuals can be used here as well, they can be great when it’s required to sum-up the points.

7. Using Voice & Body

The uttered word is incapacitated to make real communication with your audience, as only a single sense is involved from the side of the audience. In lieu of this fact, visuals are used to make a greater impact. Now, apart from visuals, a word well spoken can also help you connect with your audience effectively. Varying the speed with which you speak, emphasizing some constructive changes, tuning the tone and pitch of your voice can make you sound more interesting than ever.

It would be evident to mention that over 3/4th of communication is made in presentations is non-verbal. This means that your body language is crucial to getting that message spread across the set of audience. Pacing the stage, making use of hands, facial expressions, it all matter. Making your gestures confident and open is the key to success, move naturally around the stage and if possible move between your audience as well.

In the end, beware of your volume, keep a check on your pace and don’t forget to maintain eye contact while smiling. You can consider asking for feedback when it’s all over. Always remember that presentation is all about learning. Try to enrich others as well as yourself.