4 Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Written by Zac Johnson
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Anyone who’s familiar with public speaking already knows the dreadful feeling that can come with a presentation. The feeling of being put under a microscope, every single person in the room looking you dead in the eye while you attempt to communicate a concept, idea or plain knowledge on a given topic. It’s a lot. If you’re finding yourself in a position of having to speak or present often, you need to understand four key things in order to be successful.

With Affiliate Summit West 16 in the books, I’m sure this is something many of you are now thinking about, having either given your own presentation or having watched ones being given. I’m sure others stood out for their value and quality while others were a drag just for you to sit through.

No matter what your thoughts on the sessions given, it’s time to up your game when presentation during your next meeting or conference with these presentation tips!

Avoid Lecturing Too Much

As Inc. says, you should not lecture people. A lecture is what happens when your parents want to tell you all of the ways you messed up. Do you really think you will get through to your audience when you attempt to tell them each and every item on your list? There truly is a significant difference between entertaining someone, teaching someone, explaining something, or lecturing them. What you need to do is understand the difference.

Six Figure Affiliate Blogging

As mentioned earlier, Affiliate Summit West 16 just came to a close in Las Vegas. Having spoken at the event several times now, I have a good idea on what the audience wants to hear. Through our “Six Figure Affiliate Blogging” panel, John Chow, John Rampton, Syed Balkhi and myself share some of our best tips and recommendations for finding success online. Not only do we share our own experiences, we also open the floor for audience Q&A to keep the engagement going.

When setting up your next presentation to an audience, try to start a dialogue and ask questions. Have the audience participate. Tell stories. Do anything besides just sitting back and reading off a list of points as the audience sits there gazing at you, eyes full of boredom.

Learn From the Professionals

You don’t need to be an expert at presenting to deliver an engaging presentation. After all, if you were an expert you wouldn’t be looking for tips. That being said, there are a few professionals out there who have an advantage when presenting to others. They seem to captivate their audiences every time. If you’re able to learn from some of the best speakers out there, identify what they do that makes them successful and mimic those things in your own way, you could see more positive results in your presentations.

To get some new ideas and real-life examplers on great looking presentations, all you need to do is head over to Slideshare to view thousands of presentations like the one below.

As Powtoon says, you need to focus on your presence. However, you can only develop your presence once you know what makes the best speakers and presenters successful. From there, work on conveying your message through storytelling rather than filling your audience’s ear holes with drab statistics and recited information. Whether you’re trying to persuade someone to take action on something or just sell them a product, if your presence and story are lacking, you have no chance.

Tailor to Your Audience

The best presentations are tailored to their audience. As Harvard Business Review points out, the people in the room need to be spoken to according to their experience, ability and general level of intelligence. If you are presenting to a small room of a dozen c-suite executives you’ll undoubtedly have a different approach than if you were going to present to an auditorium of five hundred high school seniors.

On the flip side, if you are simply looking to target towards an online audience, you can simply create content and put it out there for your audience to find. Again, using Slideshare as an example, we can see the slide below targets to the pitching / entrepreneur audience.

Your core message can be the same time and time again, but you need to be sure that your presentation and rhetoric is subtly changed to meet the needs of your audience. The best trick for doing this is to have the majority of your presentation planned out, and then change up the supplementary material within your slides.

For example, using software like LiveSlides allows you to embed video in PowerPoint, so when you go to your next presentation (or find out the audience has changed), you just switch the videos you want to link in. Pop culture and humor can be used for those high school students, and something more industry specific or professional can be inserted when it comes to those executives.

The content and audience is already out there, now you just need to integrate the two to create the ultimate experience.

Tell Them What They Want to Hear

It doesn’t matter what your topic is. People come for information that is exciting, relevant and powerful. Don’t spend too much time trickling in facts and figures the whole night just to build up to something; give them what they want. The whole point of a presentation is to engage others and persuade or inform them of something important. Why would you delay them any longer and make them squirm in their seats? A little buildup of anticipation can be a good thing, but you have to remember the attention span of your target audience. Don’t blow your whole opportunity and get to the point.

Hubspot has always been great at making engaging content that grabs attention. We can see an example of this in their motivational quotes slideshare below. Right away you will notice that each slide has a quote and a picture of the person who said it. This is the perfect amount of text and images for a 20-30 minute speaking presentation, as you can control the flow with your own voice, while not losing the crowd with too many distractions.

Regardless of why you are presenting, where you are presenting, and what you are presenting about, these tips hold true. They are some of the most powerful points that professional speakers use all of the time, and they can all serve you well as you are preparing to ace your next presentation. One thing is certain, you don’t have to be an expert when it comes to conveying information to others. You just need to follow this advice and you’ll have a much easier time at engaging your audience.

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