- The two approaches to presentations we will consider are the traditional presentation and the more design oriented presentation.
- The traditional approach is often used for more complex technical talks but it is not a requirement.
- The design approach is more effective at engaging the audience.
- Both types can be effective but you need to decide which is appropriate for your audience. Traditional is easier to create.
- Slides contain a fair amount of text.
- There are normally three to seven points on a slide. More than this is too dense.
- All of the key points are listed.
- The text is a guide for the audience and the speaker. They shouldn’t be able to get lost during the presentation because everything is listed.
- These are most common in business environments. In some cases too much flashy design may not appear professional. The large amount of text is seen as an accomplishment.
- The presentation can become tiresome because of the quantity of information.
- The audience may spend more time reading the text instead of listening to the speaker.
- Is it appropriate for the slides to act as a guide or should the focus more on conveying the information?
- Background images are often pointless and distracting.
- Images are generally not important.
- There is normally an introduction, body, and conclusions.
- The introduction should explain to the audience why they should care about the presentation. You are not writing a mystery novel. Explain the importance at the start.
- The introduction can contain a list which lists all of the parts of the coming presentation. It can be appropriate to give this information to the audience but it is pointless to spend much time on it. This is often used to fill time and doesn’t add much to the presentation.
- The body is where all of the important details are presented. This should be the largest part.
- A common mistake is to provide too much background material and too little about the topic you are discussing. If the audience is familiar with the background then they don’t need to hear you discuss it. Keep the background material short.
- The conclusion is often a restating of everything which has been presented. Don’t dwell on the less important parts. Don’t simply repeat what has been previously stated. Provide a summary, not a list of points.
The 1-6-6 Or 1-7-7 Rule
- This is a rule of thumb for traditional presentations.
- There should be one idea per slide, no more than six or seven lines of text, and no more than six or seven words per line.
- The idea is to not overwhelm the audience but this can lead to very dense, hard to read, and tiresome slides.
Common Slide Mistakes
- Too much text.
- Too much content.
- Too busy background.
- Too complex image or diagram.
- Overuse of slide transitions.
- Don’t get too creative with text colours and background colours.
- Many colour combinations which look good on a computer monitor are difficult to read when projected onto a presentation screen.
- Keep the contrast between the text and background high.
- Don’t change the fonts. Pick one or two and use them consistently.
- Don’t read the slides. The audience doesn’t need to you read to them. They need to you to explain the ideas.
- Look at the audience.
- Practice the presentation. Especially if you are new to giving presentations or are nervous.
- Time yourself so you don’t go on too long (this is rude). Bring a watch.
- It looks amateurish if you have to skip past the last few slides because your presentation is too long and you cannot finish presenting the material.
- Avoid laser pointers unless there is a real need to point and even then be careful in using them. They are mostly used improperly. Don’t shine them at the audience.
- Try to avoid repeated patterns in your behaviours. These can be speech patterns, gestures, or breathing. Speech patterns are repeated phrases which don’t really add anything to the statement (e.g. in any case, so on and so on, basically). Breathing problems can come from nervousness. These can include holding your breath and occasionally gasping or deep sighs.
- Relax (if possible). It’s easier to think about and discuss your ideas if you are relaxed.
- If you are very nervous then the solution is preparation and practice. Prepare by thinking about the likely questions you will be asked. Practice so you are more comfortable.
- Practice will also let you time the presentation so you will know how long it will be. People often speak faster during the real presentation than during practice.
- Develop a plan and keep to it. Avoid the temptation to ad lib unless you are absolutely sure it is necessary.
- Stories - make a bigger idea out of little facts; more compelling
- Emphasis on supporting the speaker; not text-heavy.
Steps For Developing A Designer Presentation
- Sorting out step; group and identify core ideas (up to 3).
- Create the slides, review the slides.