An outstanding presentation is much more than a PowerPoint slide show loaded with bells and whistles. A stellar sales pitch engages the listener by connecting what he or she already knows with the new material you wish to share. It's this connection with the audience that transforms a good presentation into a great one.
To achieve this connection, your presentation must include three primary components:
- Relevant content
- User-friendly design
- Dynamic delivery.
Tackle the content first
Most presentations consist of an introduction, the core material, a summary and closing. Think of it as a sandwich — the introduction and closure are the bread, the core materials are the meat, and the summary is the condiments. The main value of the presentation is its core, but you need the other ingredients to provide a working foundation and to add a little flavor.
and fill it in with research.
Get your audience involved
As you create your masterpiece, keep your audience in mind. Focus the presentation to their needs and find ways to engage them in the presentation.
Get the look
Regardless of your presentation's format — a simple poster board or an elaborate PowerPoint slide show — think of your materials as tools to guide the listener. Use them to communicate key points. Limit the introduction of material on each display to digestible bites. Restrict the use of fonts (typefaces) to one or two that are easily recognizable and readable. Carefully consider the use of graphics and special effects — in this case, less is more.
Deliver the goods
Great presentations demand practice. If possible, videotape yourself delivering the material. Have dress rehearsals with employees or business partners. Solicit feedback and tweak your presentation accordingly. If you repeatedly deliver the same presentation, request feedback and make changes to meet your audience's needs.
Don't forget about Plan B
No matter how much you practice, snafus happen — computers crash, software programs freeze and yes, presentation materials sometimes get lost on the way to the big event. Anticipate what might go wrong, have a backup plan in place, and practice your backup plan.