11 Tips for a successful presentation

In this time and age, it gets harder and harder to avoid any presentation at all, doesn’t matter if you are the creator, or the observer.

Studying, or working; either way you will have to present the fruits of your hard labor to your school mates, co-workers, or the ungrateful management, sitting there, with the unreadable expression on their faces, while you are trying to figure out if they are interested, or fighting with the growing need to fall asleep. And you don’t know why…for the love of all that is holy, why? You put so much effort into it. You even put so many cool transition effects between the slides as possible.

But worry not, my dear fellow traveler in the unknown. Visual News came, in the hour of need, and created a great set of tips for the inexperienced Presentation Creator, to annihilate the most common mistakes know to mankind. Here goes:

1. Avoid the templates

Yes, I know your presentation software provides a lot of what-would-you-maybe-consider-as-nice-looking-templates-but-if-it-is-so-seek-help templates, but avoid them at all cost. You want to start something new and fresh, then start something new and fresh…but from the scratch, the results will be much more interesting.

2. Avoid using more then 5 lines of text

It’s an presentation, not a transcription of Pride and Prejudice. The audience has to also listen to you talking, not just reading the text on the wall. Stuffing too much text on a slide will make exactly the opposite to what’s expected, the people listening to you will get lost in all the information.

3. Avoid bullet points

If you have different topics to cover, than cover them. Do not stuff everything on just a one page. Instead of 5 bullet points, make 5 compelling slides.

4. Use simple and easy to read fonts

Always prefer legibility over complexity. Unusual fonts can be used for titles, but for the main text stick with Sans Serif, or Helvetica. If you are using dark background, make the font bold.

5. Choose appropriate font size

I know, you are making your presentation on your desktop computer, or laptop, where everything is nice and visible. Keep in mind, that your presentation will be projected for a larger group of people, so make sure even the last row can see something.

6. Maintain a strong contrast between the font and the background

Similar as the last point – you want your text to be legible, to pop out at the audience. Keep a high enough contrast, that something like this is possible. If you use a picture as a background, use a stylish background bar for the text. It won’t collide with your picture, and the text will still look good.

7. Avoid using too much colors

Do not use more then 5 color. Also you can use tools like the Adobe Kuler, to set the complementary colors, so your presentation won’t look like somebody run over a clown.

8. Use Contrasting Colors to draw attention

In most of the texts you will present, you will want to present the main ideas, the main topics. This can be done easily by improving the importance of a word by changing its font color. Also, keep in mind point 7.

9. Avoid using too many pictures

Again, this is a presentation, not a photo album. Instead of using 4 – 5 pictures on a single slide use just one, but choose the one with the most impact.

10. Use visuals to increase emotional appeal

Nothings tells a story better than a picture. Use powerful images to underline your main points. (Make them cry for bonus points)

11. Avoid using transitions

As I already mentioned, the gradient effect of a slide transition may look cool..may have looked cool..in the 90’s, but today it can be considered as distracting and annoying.

via Visual News


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