Make them Say “Yes!

Learn the 3 Keys to Killer PowerPoint® Presentations
The purpose of a presentation is to communicate an idea or information to an audience, often with the goal of persuading them to take action. How your message is received by your audience all depends on how well you plan, craft, and deliver it. There are three key steps to creating and delivering the best presentation possible:

1. Plan Carefully
The way you structure your presentation is the most important step you can take to ensure its success. A great presentation delivered badly is better than a bad presentation delivered well. In other words: Garbage In, Garbage Out. So, how do you create a great presentation? Start by examining what you want it to achieve. What are the points you want to make? What is the evidence to support these points? What action do you want the audience to take? Using a mind map to think through these questions is a very quick and helpful technique.

Thanks to mind mapping, you have your goals set, and you’ve crafted your message. The next step is to plan out your story line, or the flow of the presentation. This is where storyboarding can save you a lot of time and ensures the best presentation flow. First, storyboarding allows you to think about building your argument at the outline level. Thinking out the presentation in a visual storyboard gives you that “forest through the trees” view that is much more effective than jumping straight into creating slides in a program like PowerPoint®.

To read How to Plan a Killer Presentation click here

2. Communicate Visually
How many PowerPoints have you sat through where the slides are lists of bullets and the speaker just reads through them? Do you give presentations like this? Be honest! If so, your audience is not only bored, but they also resent it as a waste of their time, and much worse, they are not likely to remember anything you say. Instead of using bullets, communicate visually! We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and it’s true—what takes one thousand words to explain correctly can be described much more easily using a simple image. Not only is it easier to communicate something using a picture, but it’s also much easier for people to remember things that have been communicated to them visually. Psychologist Jerome Bruner of New York University has studied the art of communication, and his studies have shown that: People remember 10% of what they hear; 20% of what they read; and 80% of what they see and do. Most people are visual learners; a recent study by the U.S. Federal Government suggested that up to 83% of human learning occurs visually. The study also indicated that information which is communicated visually is retained up to six times greater than information which is communicated by spoken word alone. Here are a few examples that make the benefits of communicating visually abundantly clear.

But how do you create visuals like these without an art department? As the video demo shows, it’s remarkably easy with SmartDraw. To learn more about how to communicate visually, read this article

3. Present with Poise
So you’ve created a well-planned presentation that goes beyond boring bullets. The final step is to deliver it to your audience in a way that gets their attention and keeps it. While replacing bullets with visuals in slides increases comprehension and retention immensely, the way the visual is presented is also very important. Simply showing a complete chart, graph, or other info-graphic all at once is almost certain to overwhelm the audience. Presentation expert, Rick Altman, calls this “drinking from the fire hose.” Even the best-designed visual can contain too much information to be absorbed at once. The solution? Reveal it step by step using animation (also called sequencing). You present the visual sequentially instead of all at once, explaining the significance of each step as go.

Click here to see a video demonstration.

To see for yourself how effective sequencing can be, watch the video demo. To learn more about how to deliver more effective presentations read this 9909 Mira Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92131 USA Phone: 800-817-4238 (toll-free) Phone: 858-225-3370 All Rights Reserved. ©2009

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