Have To Make A Presentation? Use These Presentation Ideas

Most people find the thought of making a presentation daunting. Here you will find presentation ideas to help you prepare.

Get your message across with impact by thinking outside the box and being creative at the planning stage.

Here's how:

1. Planning your Presentation

Ask yourself these questions to help you plan:

a) What is the purpose of your presentation?

Is it to inform? persuade? sell? Decide what outcome you want and work backwards.

b) Who are your audience?

They will be tuned into WIIFM radio - Whats In It For Me. Put yourself in their shoes. Why should they listen to you? What level do you need to pitch it at? Don't confuse them with unfamiliar jargon.

c) What resources do you have?

How much time do you have? A common mistake is to try and cram too much into the presentation, so that the audience leave confused. What is your venue like? Will you be able to use presentation equipment and other aids? How many people will the venue comfortably seat?

2. Preparing your Presentation

Structure your presentation into three parts: an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. Remember to KISS (Keep it Short and Simple OR Keep It Simple Stupid!). Here are some presentation ideas to help you prepare:

a) Write your ending first

Only a strong ending is a good ending. Summarise the key points. Think about what you want the audience to remember when they leave the room.

b) Hook them with a good introduction

Plan to start with a thought provoking question, an interesting fact, a funny story or cartoon that relates to the topic. Explain what they can expect from you, how long the presentation will take and how you will handle questions. Practice your introduction in front of a mirror or partner or friend until it sounds right.

c) Plan your main ideas in a logical sequence

Decide whether to structure the main body of your presentation in chronological order, or order of importance. Take out the detail and put it into a hardcopy or softcopy handout.

Have a clear break between one point and the next. A maximum of five to six points is as much as an audience can take. Remember, they will lose concentration after 20 minutes of listening to you.

Bring your presentation to life by painting pictures in the mind of your audience. For example: "we have a lot of work to do" sounds better as "we have a long road to travel" or "we have a steep mountain to climb".

3. Using Powerpoint in your Presentation Design

Many presenters automatically choose Powerpoint as a visual aid. DON'T fall into the trap of using it as a reading lesson. Your audience should be focused on YOU, not a screen.

To get best use of Powerpoint:

  • keep to a maximum of 5 bullet points per slide. Avoid using sentences.
  • keep your presentation design consistent and simple. Avoid distracting animations, however clever they might seem.
  • For a professional look, avoid block capitals and underlining text. Use colour or text size to make your headings stand out.
  • a picture paints a thousand words. Use photographs and diagrams instead of text where possible.

4. More Presentation Ideas

Think about using other aids to give your presentation impact. Here are some presentation ideas that appeal to the senses :

  • short video clips
  • physical objects or demonstrations related to your topic
  • posters
  • background music at the start/finish
  • subtle aromas that invigorate or relax as required - such as rosemary or lavender.

Making effective business presentations is a vital tool to improve communication in the workplace. Being able to present well is largely a result of good preparation and planning, followed by lots of practice. Watch other successful presenters and learn presentation ideas from them. Take the time to prepare and plan your presentation well, and your audience will respect you for that.

You May Also Like . . .