Today’s technology provides options for presentations like never before. Whether presenting in person, or through a web cast or a virtual meeting, presentations need to be engaging, creative and most of all informative with a clear call to action.
This edition of the Presbyterian Communicators Network newsletter focuses on presentation ideas that will help you inspire, equip and connect with your audience. Check out these tips.
Tell a story
Your congregation is filled with captivating stories. Use those stories to engage and grab your audience’s attention. Start your presentation with a compelling story of impact rather than facts and figures. Stories help the audience process and remember what was said. And besides, stories are much more interesting!
Organize your presentation into 3 clear points
Individuals are accustomed to remembering thing in “threes”. Categorizing your presentation in groups of threes helps your audience retain key information. When planning your presentation think in advance of the three main points you want your audience to remember. And while you more than likely will have many points make sure they all tie into your three key points.
Keep your slides simple
If you’re using PowerPoint or Keynote use 20 words or less on each slide. Too many words on a slide makes it difficult to read. Use compelling words, phrases, graphics and images to keep your audience engaged and your presentation on point.
Great images are essential
Colorful and exciting images can help to tell the story without lots of words. Great images help to make great presentations. Powerful images can make your audience laugh, cry and certainly become engage. In addition to colorful and exciting images, a slide animation tool can also add a great deal of interest and energy to your presentation. However, be mindful not to get carried away with too much animation.
The power of music
Besides great images, music disbursed throughout your presentation can help retain the attention of your audience. Music can set the mood for your audience. It can also add excitement and an emotional element to your presentation. And, a little fun!
Don’t read from your slides
Reading from your slide is not the most effective way to hold your audience’s attention. Reading slides that individuals can read for themselves makes for a boring presentation. Use your slide as a prompter for the information you want to convey.
Your face says it all
Your facial expressions and tone of voice readily lets your audience know if you’re nervous, not sure of the information you’re presenting or struggling with making the presentation. If you’re not comfortable presenting in public, practice before your presentation. Present in front of friends and family first. Practice makes perfect. Make sure you’re completely knowledgeable and familiar with your material and you’re ready to go with a smile.