Presentations can be a cause of stress for many people. Not many people like standing in front of an audience to speak, particularly to present facts and ideas in a work situation. However, there are ways to make an impactful presentation so here are some rules to note.
The 10/20/30 rule
Keep the number of slides you use to a maximum of 10 slides. The audience have a limited attention span so spend no more than 20 minutes on the presentation. The font size on slides has to be at least 30 pt. That means not having too many words on one slide, which leads on to the next rule…
Visualise your speech
Use images to represent your words. This will save you the effort of memorising your content word for word. Don’t underestimate the use and power of visuals during a presentation. It is not so much of what you say but what your audience can see that matters as they create visual anecdotes of your speech.
Focus on your audience
Don’t focus so much on what you have to say. Instead, put yourself in the audience’s perspective and ask yourself: What is the message I want to get across? By doing so, you allow your audience to connect to you and your content without losing their attention.
Don’t go off topic
There is a chance that this may happen when someone in the audience asks a question or when you get excited about the topic and ramble on. Ensure that your content stays relevant throughout and it supports the goal of your presentation.
Know your equipment
Very often, presenters assume that the equipment will work or will be operated by someone during the presentation. Technical issues could distract your focus and derail the presentation. It helps to spend some time familiarising yourself with the equipment you will be using during the presentation to save yourself from wasting time and being embarrassed.
Presentations need not be the nightmare they are thought to be. Just remember to stay focused and remember that your audience have limited attention span and time, and you will be able to deliver an impactful presentation.