When you really need to get your message across, use a powerful presentation

Everyone knows to deliver a strong message their presentation should be simple, clean and concise right?

Yet everyone that I have spoken to do exactly the opposite … WHY?

Watch this short PowerfulPoints presentation to learn more.

What is the point of having a presentation slide?

Ok, you should now have the content of your presentation, generally in the order you need it. The next challenge is to craft it so that it works as a presentation and this is a challenge for many people.

This is an area where just about everybody struggles and we will be spending a few of these video blogs to help you with this. Everybody I have ever spoken to knows that their slides should be simple, clean and not have a lot of text. Yet most have the usual cluttered slides… why?

Well the first problem is, they don’t really know what role slides play in a presentation, so let’s start with that.

Firstly, to dispel a major myth…the slides are NOT there for the speaker. Quite the contrary…if you are creating slides to remind you what to say you are heading for a disaster. Yes, slides are there to support the speaker but not by reminding them what to say. If the speaker is that ill prepared that they need the slides for that reason, your presentation is doomed from the start.

What are slides for then?

Its simple…they are there to deliver or support a key message and that is all. If you go through your previous presentations and look at each slide asking if each slide is doing that, I’m sure you will quickly find a lot of unnecessary slides. Your next job then, is to identify what are the key messages you need to deliver in your presentation. These should be based around the groups of questions you have previously developed. Look at those groups and try and identify what are the key points you need to communicate around those.

One guideline we use is by asking this question:

“What would I like the audience to talk about when I have left the room?”

Make a list of those key points, preferably noted as short, positively framed sentences, like “Product XYZ is the most appropriate solution to your challenges”. This is a key message, you will now need to evidence that with slides as well.

More on this topic in our next issue. Bye for now.

Lee Featherby (@mrpresentations)