The death by PowerPoint phenomenon is very real, and it can turn your presentation into a hindrance rather than an aid. Learning how to prepare a presentation can help you become more strategic and effective in your approach. These 4 basic steps will guide you through the process of preparing a presentation that stands out from the crowd!
4 Things to think about when preparing your next presentation
Starting a presentation can be a bit daunting. In order to make a well organized, effective presentation, it’s essential to do a little previous work. These 4 easy steps to go through when preparing a presentation will help you take a more strategic approach to your work and take your presentations to the next level.
1- What are your objectives?
The very first step when preparing a presentation is to think about your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this presentation? While many people don’t really take time to think this one through, it’s a really essential step when working on your presentation. What you’re trying to accomplish will help you guide yourself and be more efficient and strategic as a whole. Even if it seems like a given, reflecting about it and wording it can make all the difference.
When working on how to prepare a presentation, thinking about your objectives is a great starting point for businesses of all kinds. It can help you decide what to include in your presentation, what image of yourself you want your audience to take away, and even how to design your PowerPoint slides. Is it just an informational presentation? Are you trying to gain a new client? Or pushing for a potential investor? You can use this set of questions to get the ball rolling:
- What am I trying to achieve with this presentation?
- In order to consider this presentation a success, what would be the perfect outcome?
- What should the audience take away after this presentation is over?
- What do I want the audience to think about when thinking about me/my company?
Thinking about what are you trying to achieve will help you determine the most important factors of your presentation and what you should focus your energies on. Many of us have probably experienced a ‘death by PowerPoint’ where the presentation feels disjointed and the speakers seem to keep going in circles. Thinking about your objectives and how your presentation will align will help you keep your presentation sharp.
2- Who is your audience?
Just like with a presentation’s objectives, this is a step that gets easily dismissed. However, it’s a vital part of preparing a good presentation. Knowing who they are, what they do, and what their target is can help you be more effective and strategic during your presentation. Ask yourself:
- What previous knowledge of the topic does the audience has?
- What previous knowledge about myself/my company do they have?
- Why should they be interested in my presentation? What do I have to offer them?
Not thinking about who your audience is can be a key element in the ‘death by PowerPoint’ phenomenon. Without knowing who your audience is and what previous knowledge they have can really play against you. If you spend too much time on details they already know, you can end up making your own presentation tedious and repetitive. On the other hand, if you assume that they know more than they do, it can end up being a frustrating and confusing experience.
Doing a little “market research” on who your audience is can go a long way. Knowing what their topics of interest are can help you focus your presentation better. If they don’t know about you and your company at all, it can be a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your past experience, and work on building authority!
3- Outlining your presentation
Now it’s time to outline your presentation! By taking into consideration what your presentation’s objectives are and who your audience is, you can strategically define what to include in your presentation. What would you need to include in your presentation in order to meet your objectives? What information does your audience need to know by the end of the presentation?
Using that as a guiding line, you can start brainstorming what your presentation should contain. Don’t forget that this is only a draft. Once you start working on your presentation and your PowerPoint, probably new things will come up. You’ll probably get new ideas on how to tackle different issues. And practice and feedback are great tools to make sure your presentation ends up just the way you want it to be. But working on an outline will help you create a ‘skeleton’ of your presentation and think strategically about how you’re going to approach it.
Learn more about presentation outlines and techniques here.
4- Working on your presentation design
Finally, when preparing a truly outstanding presentation, it’s important to also think about its design. Presentation design is another aspect that gets easily overlooked. But PowerPoint is essentially a visual tool. If you don’t take into consideration all its visual and design components, you’re missing out on the best it has to offer. The ‘death by PowerPoint’ syndrome has definitely a visual component too. I bet we’ve all felt frustrated and bored from the get-go when finding out an upcoming presentation has 50+ all-white, all-text slides.
In truth, PowerPoint is an amazing tool with almost unlimited potential. It can help your content become more memorable by presenting it in a more visual way. It can complement your presentation by adding aids like videos, graphs, or illustrations. And, it can even convey an image of yourself way in a “tell, not show” way. For example, you can say that your company is professional and detailed-oriented. However, if your slides look like something done last minute, it’s unlikely that idea will hold on in your audience’s mind.
A good presentation design can make you look more creative, closer to your audience, more business-like, soothing, trustworthy, and so on. Even the colors that you use in your presentation play a role in how is your presentation received! Humans are naturally visual creatures, so you’re more likely to make an impression through visual aids. Making your presentation back up your words is key when thinking about a truly effective presentation.
Are you ready to start preparing your next presentation?
Working on a presentation, especially an effective one, is hard work. There are many elements to take into consideration: content, delivery, visual aids, and so on. Hopefully, this 4-step guide on how to prepare an outstanding presentation will help you as a starting point.
However, you don’t have to do everything on your own! While it’s a must that you yourself work on your presentation’s contents and delivery, you can always outsource your PowerPoint presentation design. This will give you more free time to work on your presentation’s content. Plus, you’ll get a professional, outstanding design that perfectly represents your brand and everything you want to convey.
24Slides offers a slide design service that will make sure that you’ll end with an outstanding custom PowerPoint presentation that will stay on your audience’s minds long after it’s over. And, most importantly, all your information is secure and confidential. Take your presentation to a whole new level by making use of 24Slides amazing designers!