This is an extract from a book called ‘Don’t say I never told you’.
Create a story
|Last-minute slide presentations are a career-limiting activity. You would not hang your dirty washing in front of a hundred people, so why would you want to show your audience sloppy slides? Only say “yes” to a presentation if you have the time, resources, and enthusiasm to do the job properly.
|Create time so that you can be in a “thinking space” (e.g., work at home, go to the library, etc.).
|Map the subject area out in a mind map and then do a mind dump on Post-It stickers covering all the points, diagrams, pictures you want to cover. Have one sticker for each point. Then you place your stickers where they fit best. Using stickers makes it easy to re-organize them. This will lead to a better presentation.
|Have a story
|Have a story to tell. As a guide an hour long presentation will take 90 hours. 30 hours in the planning (collecting ideas, organiizing ideas and sketching the story), 30 hours designing presentation and 30 hours practising.
Deliver the experience
|Steve Jobs rules
|Create Twitter like headlines
|The rule of three. The human being thinks in threes. If you have six points to say turn them into three groups.
|Introduce the Antagonist: Who are you against. The default future if we do nothing
|Reveal a holy shit moment. When the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the brain releases dopamine to greatly aid memory and information processing.
|At least 10 to 20% of your slides should be high-quality photographs, some of which will not even require a caption.
|A picture can replace many words. Memory improves from 10% to 65% where you have added a picture, three days after a presentation. Challenge yourself to use fewer words and more visuals.
|Understand what is considered good use of colour, photographs, and the “rule of thirds.”
|Understand Stephen Few’s work on dashboard design if you are using graphs.
|For key points, do not go less than 30-pt-size font. As Nancy Duarte says, “Look at the slides in the slide sorter view at 66% size. If you can read it on your computer, it is a good chance your audience can read it on the screen.”
|Limit animation; it is far better that the audience is able to read all the points on the slide quickly rather than holding them back.
|Use Guy Kawasaki’s “10/20/30 rule.” A sales-pitch PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 pt. Average slide to have no more than 40 words
|Be aware of being too cute and clever with your slides. The move to creating a lot of whitespace is all very well, provided your labels on the diagram do not have to be very small.
|Dress up numbers. Put a context around it. Steve Jobs said the iPod could hold 1000 songs in your pocket, rather than talk about the 5GB storage. Never show numbers to a decimal place nor to the dollar.
|Never use clipart; it sends shivers down the spine of the audience and you may lose them before you have a chance to present.
|Prepare a paper to go with the presentation
|Always prepare a paper for the audience covering detailed numbers and so forth so that you do not have to show detail in the slides.
|Understand that the PowerPoint slide is not meant to be a document; if you have more than 35 words per slide, you are creating a report, not a presentation. Each point should be relatively cryptic and be understood only by those who have attended your presentation.
Refine and rehearse
|Where possible, if you are going to present on a regular basis, make sure you have a Tablet PC, which gives you the ability to draw when you are making points. This makes the presentation more interesting, no matter how bad you are at drawing.
|Have a simple remote mouse so that you can move the slides along independently of your computer.
|Practise, practise, practise
|Practice your delivery. The shorter the presentation, the more you need to practice. For a high impact one hour presentation you should invest 90 hours. 30 hours in the planning (collecting ideas, organiizing ideas and sketching the story), 30 hours designing presentation and 30 hours practising. For a 15-20 minute pitch to the CEO at least 10 practices in front of a test audience.
|Steve Jobs would have covered over the magic 10,000 hours of practice that is required to be an outlier in your field. The more he presented the better he gets.
|Get training so you have mastered Eye contact, Open posture, and hand gestures.
|Bring theatrics into your presentation. Be active as a presenter, walking up the aisle so that those in the back see you close up, vary your voice, get down on one knee to emphasize an important point; have a bit of fun and your audience will, too. Very few things are unacceptable as a presenter.
|Always tell stories to relate to the audience, bringing in humour that is relevant to them. A good presenter should be able to find plenty of humour in the subject without having to resort to telling jokes. No doubt, some of the audience have heard the jokes and would rather hear them from a professional comedian.
|Make sure your opening words grab the audience’s attention.
|Always remember the audience does not know the whole content of your speech, particularly if you keep the details off the slides; if you do leave some point out, don’t worry about it—they don’t know or would not realize the error.
|If there has been some issue relating to transportation, technology, and so forth that has delayed the start, avoid starting off with an apology. You can refer to this later on. Your first five minutes is the most important for the whole presentation and must therefore be strictly on the topic matter.
|Greet as many members of the audience as you can before the presentation, as it will help calm your nerves, and it will also give you the opportunity to clarify their knowledge and ask for their participation such as at question time. The other benefit is that it confirms that nobody in the audience would rather be doing your role, so why should you be nervous?
|If you are delivering a workshop at the end shake hands with as many of the audience as possible by positioning yourself by the door when the audience leaves. This develops further rapport between presenter and audience.