By Lyndon Nicholson, CEO of PowerPoint presentation design agency Buffalo 7
We all have our comfort zone when it comes to presenting to an audience. And some of us require a greater level of support from a presentation deck than others.
For the average presenter, having the back up of an all-singing, all-dancing presentation can provide an extra layer of confidence.
Slick visuals, a compelling narrative and an overall professional sheen can do a lot of the heavy lifting for a presenter, helping the audience to follow your story, understand your themes and, ultimately, buy into what you’re selling.
But what if you’re already a seasoned conference speaker, perfectly at ease with an audience? You may be an expert at keeping a room full of people rapt through verbal communication and stage presence, but this doesn’t rule out the need for a presentation deck. It just requires a toned down visual aide that will complement your existing star speaker quality and help to embed your words in the minds of your listeners.
Keep it simple
If the speaker is the presentation then everything else is there to complement and emphasise. To ensure this is the case, there are a few helpful rules to follow:
• Don’t overdo the visual stimulation; experimental design, sophisticated animation, 3D rendering and ultra HD video can work wonders, but not in this instance. Keep the spotlight on the speaker
• Cut the content; if your audience is reading, they’re not listening so keep text to a minimum and use it to identify sections or chapters
• Reinforce the narrative; accomplished speakers can weave stories within stories to reach an emphatic conclusion. Use your slides to help identify a beginning, middle and end
• Don’t forsake quality; a presentation with a high-calibre finish will amplify your own professionalism. Even elite presenters can come undone as a result of a shoddy presentation
For the accomplished speaker, a less is more approach to presentation design will ensure you can shine, giving your words greater emphasis and helping you to leave a lasting impression.