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April 22, 2016
12 Tips to Help You Become a Talented Presenter: Part 5
 
You’ve already given a great deal of thought to your content, so what about the visual elements of your presentation? PowerPoint and the use of other visual aids often prompt a little controversy in businesses today, but not because there is anything wrong with using them; it’s all down to their misuse.

With research suggesting that 65% of us are visual learners, if used properly and effectively, slides and visual aid software can add enormous value to your presentation.

Most good presentation training courses include guidance on the use of visual aids, but the following tips will go a long way to helping you avoid some of the common and costly mistakes we see at Mindful Presenter every day.

Tip 6: Make it visual
  • Avoid using PowerPoint’s default slide options.
They are not only dull but everyone else is using them. That’s part of the problem, so create your own visual theme.
  • Don’t use bullet points.
They suggest that you will force your audience to read. If you do, it’s not a presentation, it’s a reading class.
  • How many slides should you use?
 Ignore the “rules” because there really aren’t any. You need to ask yourself three questions when considering using one:
  1. What useful purpose does it serve (that doesn’t including serving as a script for you)?
  2. How will it help my audience?
  3. Does it add value to my message and help “bring it to life”?
  • Don’t animate your slides.
It’s annoying, distracting, and unnecessary.
  • Use high-quality images.
If artwork is included in your software package you can be confident that your audience will have seen it before. Try using your own high-quality photographs or source them online; there is plenty of choice.
  • Use color mindfully.
Colors evoke feelings and can have a significant impact on your audience. For example, the color yellow is often associated with optimism, happiness, idealism, imagination; that’s why we made our company logo yellow. You may find this online color wheel helpful.
  • Contrast is good. 
Contrast will make it much easier for your audience to see the text or graphics you are using.
  • Choose fonts carefully.
Use the same one throughout your entire presentation. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s big enough for your audience to see it at the back of the room.
  • Sort your slides.
Your presentation should look, sound, and flow like a great story. Using a slide sorter view can go a long way to helping you unfold your story.
  • Think like a tweet.
You should be able to explain the slide in less than 140 characters. That doesn’t mean you show them on your slide; it just means you think that way to help you to find the best image.
  • Billboards are best.
When you are driving down the street, the last thing you have time to do is pull over and read a billboard. That’s a good way to think about your slides, too. Design them as clearly and as powerfully as a billboard so that your audience “gets it.”

Watch out for Part 6 soon.

Did you miss Part 4? Click here. To start at the beginning with Part 1, click here. To go to Part 2, click here. To go to Part 3, click here.

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Maurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s best loved brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at www.mindfulpresenter.com
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