How to Give an Effective Business Power Point Presentation
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How to Give an Effective Business Power Point Presentation

This is a simple list of things to do before giving a business power point presentation. Following the list should result in better presentations.

How To Create an Effective Business Power Point Presentation

By Arthur H Tafero

By executing the following simple steps, you will greatly increase the effectiveness of your business power point presentations:

• Plan your power point presentation like a story board for a film documentary. For the average effective classroom or professional business presentation, you might be expected to create between six and twelve major points. Each of these points might have between one and four slides. Each slide, on the average, might be up on the screen for about ten seconds. That would mean that your entire presentation should run between one minute (6 slides) to eight minutes (48 slides). Remember that an audience’s attention span begins to dissipate as the presentation lengthens. I generally recommend presentations of about 24 slides that last about four minutes at most.

• Select the most dramatic or humorous photos to interact with your data. Nothing is more boring than 24 slides of data without photos. Photos can either be on the same page as the data or immediately before or after the page of data.

• Before physically beginning your presentation, make sure the room is sufficiently dark to highlight the presentation. Draw down the shades, shut all the lights and request that all cell phones be turned off. Make sure your computer, overhead, or any other electronic equipment (especially the sound), is in good working order and at the levels you prefer. Become comfortable with your presentation area. If time allows, rehearse your presentation one or twice.

• Get Supersized. There is nothing that will kill your presentation faster than small print or numbers on your data slides. Use comfortably large text and numbers for each slide.

• Be aware of your contrast. Understand some basics of the use of colors in power point presentations. There are five basic colors: white, black, yellow, red and blue. According to David Ogilvy, an icon of American advertising, you might want to stick to basics such as black on white. Ogilvy does not care for the use of white on black, although many Hollywood producers have opted for that presentation style. Generally speaking, if you are not going to use black on white, you should have the brightest color against the darkest color in the background, or you may run into contrast problems.

• Some presenters run a bit of instrumental music under their presentations. It has been my experience that music interferes with the human voice and vice versa. I would never use any music under the presentation; it only serves to distract the audience from the data you want to impress upon them.

• Do not read from the computer when giving a presentation. There are few things that bores an audience more than someone reading to them from the computer or screen. Reading from the screen is almost as boring as reading from the computer. Don’t read from either one. The audience is intelligent and knows how to read. Just mention the heading or a few words to introduce the text on the slide and let the audience read it for itself. Then move on to the next slide.

• Physically move your body toward the screen and get away from the computer. Use hand gestures to highlight some points on the screen for financial statements like market shares, sales charts and stock charts. Don’t be afraid to interact with the data you are showing.

• Speak in a forceful, but not annoyingly loud, voice. Act like a man or woman, not like a boy or a girl. If you act like a boy or a girl, your data will be treated with much less respect.

• Make sure your text is grammatically correct and that spelling is perfect. Many presentations have been ruined by a misspelled word or a faulty sentence construction.

• Be careful in your selection of data. Tell the truth. Do not exaggerate for the purpose of effect. Select only data that gives a positive spin on your presentation or to your product. Take negative data like three losing quarters in a row and turn it into positive data by saying the third quarter losses are less than the second quarter losses, therefore there has been a turnaround.

• Do not present any data that presents your competition in a favorable light. If your competition crushes you in the Chinese market, use a market share pie that highlights North America and vice-versa.

• Don’t be overly long with your presentation. Get up to the microphone, briefly introduce yourself and get the presentation on the screen as quickly as possible. There will be plenty of time for discussion after the presentation.

If you follow all or most of these suggestions, you should have a fairly successful presentation. Good luck to all of you.

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