Presentations can be tough. There’s a lot to remember and standing up in front of a room full of people can be nerve-wracking enough without the worry of making presentation mistakes.
The more prepared you are, the more successful your presentation will be. So have a read through these 5 presentation mistakes to ensure that you don’t make them:
1. Don’t try to cram in too much information
There’s no point having a 40 minute presentation if your timeslot is only 30 minutes. Find out in advance how long you have and practice your presentation to make sure you can fit everything in without rushing it.
2. Don’t read the text directly from the screen
There’s no point filling your slides with text and then just reading it out loud to your audience. They will get bored and no one will be listening to you as they can’t read and listen at the same time. Instead just add the main headlines, and a visual to support it; if you have researched your subject and practiced your presentation you should be able to talk your audience through the rest of the info.
3. Don’t pace up and down
Pacing can be a sign of nervousness and you don’t want your audience to know that you’re nervous. Moving around is fine, just try and do it purposefully so as not to distract from your presentation.
4. Don’t talk too fast
Nerves can also cause you to talk too fast, this may make it difficult to follow the presentation. Take a deep breath before you start and remember to pause between slides.
5. Don’t forget to prepare for questions
You might think you have covered everything in your presentation but there are bound to be some questions from the audience. Be prepared for questions by fully researching your subject as well as your audience to find out their level of knowledge on the topic.
Presentation mistakes can be avoided – do you have any other items to avoid? Tweet us @presenteduk.
More and more people are abandoning their laptops and using tablets to present. If you use a tablet in your presentations there are all sorts of presentation apps available, both Apple and Android, to make your life easier.
Here are 10 presentation apps that we think are worth downloading…
1. PowerPoint, FREE
If you’re a PowerPoint fan but like the flexibility of using a tablet then you can install the app to open, create and present PowerPoint files as easily as if you were using your laptop.
2. Keynote, £7.99
Keynote was built especially for iPad and iPhone, and is a great alternative to PowerPoint if you’re not a Windows user.
3. Slideshare, FREE
This is a really useful Android app for sharing and viewing presentations online. Ideal for finding inspiration or sharing ideas with colleagues. slideshare.net
4. Haiku Deck, FREE
If you have no design skills Haiku Deck is an easy way to create presentations using stock photography, filters and fonts. You can also share your work on social media, and view on any device.
5. Prezi, FREE
This app allows you to you create, edit, present and watch prezis directly from your iPad.
6. Glisser, FREE
If you want an interactive audience experience then this platform is definitely worth using. Enabling real-time polls, digital Q&A, social sharing, likes and slide downloads for the ultimate engagement experience whilst also collecting valuable interaction data. Glisser.com
7. Analytics HD, $5.99
This is an essential app if you need to check Google Analytic stats before a big meeting or share stats and graphs in a presentation.
8. Slide Shark, FREE
Upload your PowerPoint presentations from your iPad or laptop to an online account and then use this app to show your presentation on your tablet or phone, and broadcast on the web.
9. Canva, FREE
If you want to create graphics to import into your presentations this app is a really easy way to design professional looking visuals using the photos, fonts and graphics provided.
10. Corkulous, FREE
This is great tool for planning a presentation as it lets you pin ideas and to-do lists, and brainstorm when you’re on the go.
Do you have any other must-have apps on your tablet or smartphone? If so we’d love to know which ones you recommend – you can tweet us @presenteduk.
One of the most nerve wracking parts of delivering a presentation can be worrying about forgetting your presentation material. You can of course print out notes to guide you, but you want to avoid reading everything straight from a piece of paper if you want to engage your audience (and also if you want to look like you know what you’re talking about!)
If you’re prone to forgetting things it might be worth training your brain. Here are some proven tips to help improve your memory…
Visualise your content
Most people remember visual content easier than written content. Mind maps are diagrams where you lay out your presentation content in a visual shape rather than as a list, and are proven to increase memory retention. When you try to remember part of your presentation you’ll picture the image of the mind map which is easier to recall than a long list.
Read and Repeat
Research shows it takes 8 uninterrupted seconds for information to enter into your memory. Focus on your text for at least 8 seconds, look away and try to remember it, then read the information again and repeat as many times as necessary.
Researchers have found that memory improves over 10% when words are spoken out loud, so practice beforehand to maxmise the chances of remembering your content. It’s also worth rehearsing your presentation just before you go to bed as sleep helps to consolidate recently learned information.
Group items together
It’s much easier to remember information in chunks rather than in a long list, so if you have a list of stats try breaking them down into sets of three to five.
Take a break
It’s important to rest your brain and not overdo it. Set your alarm to make sure that you take regular breaks and go and make a cup of tea before beginning again.
We hope that these tricks help you to remember more of your presentation content.
You’re at work and you have a million things on your to-do list, one of which is creating a PowerPoint presentation. With so much to do you probably often find yourself rushing through your slides and not giving your full attention to the layout and design as you’re a bit short on time. You need to learn our PowerPoint hacks!
The 10 PowerPoint hacks below should hopefully speed things up and free up a bit of your time to spend concentrating on the design and messaging of your slide deck.
1. Altering images
Changing the size of an image can be a bit fiddly to get right. As you drag the image to alter the size, hold down the Shift key to avoid skewing it out of proportion.
2. Aligning objects
Wonky images can make an otherwise great design look amatuer, but it can be difficult to get items to line up exactly. Select the image you want to change and hold down the Ctrl key while using the arrow keys, for much smaller movements. If this still isn’t aligning objects up accurately enough, select all of the items, go to the formatting tab and find the align tool in the Arrange group.
3. Aligning text
To quickly justify the text to the right press Ctrl + R. To justify to the left press Ctrl + L and to justify to the center press Ctrl + E.
4. Selecting small objects
Grabbing smaller objects can be a bit tricky, but there is an easy way to avoid messing around. Press the Escape key to make sure that no objects or text boxes are selected, and then press the Tab key to go through all of the objects on the slide.
5. Black screen
If you want to stop the presentation at any point and get your audience to focus on you for a moment, you can make the screen go black by pressing B or hitting the full stop (.) key.
6. Turn off the pointer
Having the mouse pointer on the screen when the slideshow is running can be very distracting. You can turn this off by pressing Ctrl + H. If you want to get the pointer back just press A.
7. Quick access tool bar
You can add your favourite tools to the top of the page so that they are easily accessible. Right click the top of the screen and select ‘Quick access tool bar’ to select the icons you want to add. This is an essential hack for the team here at Presented.
8. Change the case
To quickly change any text into upper or lower case without retyping it, you just need to select the text and press Shift + F3.
9. Format painter
To copy the format from one object to another, simply select the original object and press Alt + F to activate the format painter.
If you want to see what your slide show looks like while still working on it just hold down the Ctrl key and click on ‘Slide Show view’. A small window will pop up where you can preview it in slide show mode.
We hope these tricks save you some time on your next presentation! If you have any other great PowerPoint hacks why not tweet us @presenteduk
Brain science is a big thing here at Presented. We believe in the science behind presentations to help an audience understand and remember your message.
That’s because this brain science is almost universally ignored by businesses. We let ourselves down with slides that make it almost impossible for our audience to understand our message, let alone remember it.
We thought we’d put 5 of our brain science tips into one handy article that you can bookmark for future reference.
Using brain science in your presentation:
Tell a story
Sometimes the content of our presentations isn’t the most exciting topic. So mimicking the structure of a story with a beginning, middle and an end can make our presentations easier to grasp, follow and remember. Make it clear why the story is relevant to your audience (the beginning), raise and resolve all the issues (the middle), and summarise and wrap up concisely and clearly (the end).
The 10 Minute Mark
Research shows that an audience is most attentive at the start and end of a presentation, with attention decreasing dramatically every ten minutes. To avoid losing your audience you need to break your messages into ten minute chunks. At the end of each section do something to hold attention, such as play a short (relevant) video or ask a question.
Play on emotions
Emotions help us relate to a story. Admittedly it can be difficult to make a corporate presentation emotional, but if you can talk about a problem that affects the audience you will have their attention right away. Using anecdotes and stories will bring each point even more vividly to life.
Be visually appealing
Visual information is much easier to remember than oral information. Using effective and relevant imagery in your presentation will grab your audience’s attention. It will also make it easier for them to remember what they have seen once the presentation is over.
Limit the text
As mentioned above people cannot remember too much information in one go, so don’t fill your slides with text. Use one message per slide and visuals to replace information where possible.
For further information on using brain science in presentations please get in touch!
In last week’s blog article we gave you 5 tips on presenting to large audiences. Now is the turn for small audiences.
Small audiences don’t necessarily equal easier audiences.
You may feel more embarrassed to be stood up in-front of a group of co-workers where all eyes are on you, than to be stood in-front of a large, faceless crowd. Presenting to small audiences is more common in business places and used for sales pitches, training and internal updates.
Here are 5 tips to help you present to small audiences…
1. Research your audience
For smaller groups you can deliver a more focussed presentation. You should find out beforehand who you are presenting to, what they are expecting to get out of the presentation, and how much they already know about the topic.
2. Customize your presentation
Following on from point one, you can tailor your slide design to your audience once you know more about them. If your presentation is a sales pitch you can use the company’s brand colours in your design. You can also get away with more detailed visuals or graphs as the audience will be closer to the screen (but not too much to overload them!).
3. Make a connection
With a small audience you can (and should!) make eye contact with everyone in the room. Smaller groups will be more willing to interact with you, so it’s much easier to ask questions along the way and get input from your audience.
4. Check your audience are following you
Being able to see everyone in your audience will allow you to gauge how well the group are following and understanding you. You may be able to see confused expressions so will know to slow down and ask if anyone has any questions. If you see that people are losing interest it may be time to change the tempo and try something to get their attention back on track!
In a larger presentation where it’s not always possible to provide handouts for everyone, you have to make sure that you cover as much information as possible within your slides (again, without overloading!). When presenting to a smaller audience you can leave out any extra information that isn’t absolutely essential, and include this on a handout to leave with the group at the end of the session.
We hope these last 2 blog articles have given you some pointers on presenting to different sized audiences. If you need any help on tailoring your design to your audience size, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.