Effective PowerPoint Presentations: What Makes Them Work?
Let’s face it. Some people give effective PowerPoint presentations and others deliver lousy ones. We’ve all witnessed both in presentations that we’ve attended. You hope — maybe pray — that when you’re on the stage, you’ll deliver one of effective PowerPoint presentations instead of one of the lousy ones. There are three principles you must remember to deliver an effective presentation. Start with these, and the rest will take care of itself.
1. Know Your Message
The only reason you’re giving a presentation is to communicate a message. Nothing else matters. If your audience don’t grasp what you are telling them (your message) your presentation will be a waste of time for everyone. Many presenters lose sight of this. Always remember your message and keep it at the center of everything you do from creating the PowerPoint Presentation all the way through the delivery.
2. Focus on the Message; Not the Medium
The medium should never get in the way of the message. Far too often, however, the presenter becomes so enamored with all the things that PowerPoint can do that he or she hardly knows where to start. At the risk of leaving out something important, they include everything. The animation, colors, patterns, fonts, and music turn the whole affair into a three-ring circus, making the presenter look more like a clown than a ringmaster.
The most powerful messages can be delivered in the simplest way. Look for the most simplest and most effective way to communicate your message, and then use it.
3. Make Your Message Memorable
You want your audience to understand and remember your message, whether you’re presenting to your department or giving a keynote. But, here’s the thing. You will be remembered one way or the other. Do you want them to recall how enthusiastic and dynamic you were, or how dull and boring?
The familiar expression, “Don’t shoot the messenger” is a great theory, but it doesn’t matter. The way you deliver your message will always be associated with you, as a person. In other words, they’ll form an opinion of you based on how you present. Just think of the televised presidential candidate debates. Who invariably “won” those contests in the eyes of the audience? It was the person who spoke with authority, conviction, and without getting ruffled by what anyone else said.
Effective PowerPoint presentations do only one thing: Deliver a message. If they don’t do that, they don’t serve a purpose. Remember these three key points to deliver effective PowerPoint Presentations every time.