If you’ve received comments on how dry and boring your presentations are and how your audience is suffering from “death by PowerPoint”, it may be time to listen up.
Are you stuffing content into your slides? Making it look like your audience doesn’t know how to read and you’re there reading them their bedtime story? It’s no wonder they’re falling asleep when you’re presenting.
But what can we do when we have so much useful information to convey? Here are a few simple tips you can use when creating content for your next presentation:
When working on the outline of your presentation (you do this don’t you), figure out what your main talking points are and prioritize them. Each slide should have 1 main point to talk about. When picking citations and data points, pick the ones that carry the most weight. Think quality over quantity. By ranking your talking points, you’ll come to realize which are relevant and important. Keep those points on your slide (ideally a maximum of 3) and ditch the rest. If you have more than 3 points that need to be included, split that slide into 2. The goal is to condense the content on each slide.
Your content shouldn’t be in paragraphs. This isn’t an article you’d expect your audience to read. Break it down to simple sentences. If you’re a truly an expert in what you have to present, you can explain it simply. Keeping it simple enables you to better understand what you want to write on your slides. It forces you to think through what you have to say and filter out everything that isn’t necessary. True masters can explain main talking points in a matter of words or even a single word.
This includes titles to charts, explanations to bullet points, and additional context for your graphics. Keep your content short. Remember, the goal of the presentation is to become a visual aid for what you’re saying. That means that important elaborations can be done verbally. It doesn’t have to be shown on your slide.
No speech or presentation can ever be perfect and it’s okay. That’s all part of the process. Editing ruthlessly is a great approach to condense content. Eliminate excessive adverbs or adjectives. Filler words that don’t necessarily need to be there. Can your point be shorter on the slide and expanded upon verbally? Take these into consideration when drafting your content.
Remember that your audience should be the focus of your presentation. It should be about what they want to hear and what benefits them. It’s not about you. Have the decency to put effort into curating what you have to say. A presenter is more than a verbal text-to-speech machine. Use your slides as a prop to help you engage and impress your audience. Stop hiding behind text-heavy presentations as a crutch to keep your speech going.
Need help getting the right presentation that you and your audience deserves? Let the experts give you a helping hand at Mad Creative Beanstalk. We’ve helped 100s of startup founders, lecturers and sales experts with their presentations and we can help you too.