Think about it… How many neverending presentations have you attended in your life? How many cluttered PowerPoint templates with tiny fonts have you suffered? How many lecturers reading their own slides have you seen? But… it’s easy to see the mote in your brother’s eye, isn’t it? What about you? Did you catch your audience’s attention? It’s the time for the creative presentations!
That said, I’d like to help you to reduce the number of yawns whenever you make a public presentation: You have to create something fully engaging and encourage yourself to use some tools and techniques to make a remarkable presentation. Your own distinctive and personal brand is at stake and you have to make it out of your comfort zone.
The Creation Process of a presentation could be split into 3 different steps:
- Preparation: starting point, data collection, and overview
- Design and content: contents and container must go together
- Presentation: you are in the spotlight… Your time is now!
We could say that a presentation is nothing more than a social event. You are the protagonist, and you have a certain amount of time to make your (previously segmented) objective audience listen to your message with a positive attitude. It is therefore a unique opportunity, and you have to try your best and seize it.
We can all recall the advertising and marketing practices from only some decades ago: reasons and rationality were indispensable. Nowadays however, we’re used to two-way communication: emotional, storytelling and able to make us live new experiences. So we need to come to a decision: are we going to communicate with emotions and feelings, or are we going to communicate in the old-fashioned way?
In order to make a successful, unforgettable, and amusing creative presentation we need to focus on multiple aspects. Based on my own experience, I have come up with 26 steps that will help you develop an efficient public presentation.
Steps to create original presentations
How to start a presentation?
As Abraham Lincoln used to say: “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”.
- Begin without the computer, thinking globally, organizing the structure, and visualizing what you want to be shown in your creative presentation idea.
- There are some important issues you should take into account:
How much time do I have? Falling short may seem unprofessional, and overshooting your time may be annoying.
Who’s my audience? A great percentage of your success depends directly on this issue and therefore you should adapt your presentation to the audience before you.
What’s my presentation going to be like? It is, by all means, essential for you to know what you are going to talk about and how.
Use this presentation template
If they had to remember 2 or 3 concepts, what would they be?
- Guy Kawasaki’s (@GuyKawasaki) 10-20-30 rule. This Marketing guru explains how a successful presentation should never go beyond 10 slides, 20 minutes, and a font smaller than 30 points.
- We remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we listen to and look at, 70% of what we say, and 90% of what we do. If we want to be unforgettable, we have to make our audience take action.
- Emotional communication will ensure engagement: data and statistics build trust and credibility.
- We don’t have only images and text to develop our presentation: we can also use videos, gifs, interactive infographics, external content, and interactivity with pop-up windows, etc.
- It is demonstrated that our brain activates with data and reasons, and it lights up like a Christmas tree when we’re listening to stories. Let’s then use more storytelling!
- Let’s make a Marketing tool out of our presentation, and a personal and distinctive brand for us. How? You just need creativity and added value. Let’s dare to be different!
Design and content
- A neat model of slides will allow for better understanding. A model of slides that changes along with the contents will provide more dynamism and will create bigger expectations. Forget the old PowerPoint templates, it’s time for interactivity.
- An adequate font is always helpful, but a bad choice in your typeface can ruin your presentation. Therefore, we don’t recommend using something extremely “creative”, but picking an elegant, simple, and readable font. Moreover, avoid handwritten or script typefaces. This way you will always succeed for sure. And remember: when in doubt, Helvetica : )
- One slide, one idea, one sentence. Get rid of long paragraphs or texts with small fonts because, with these, your audience would only focus on reading instead of listening.
- Fantasy backgrounds (gradients, textures…) are the greatest enemies of easy reading. White backgrounds will always make things easier.
- Movement is the first thing the human eye notices. Adding dynamism to your presentation is cool. Throwing a party is too much.
- 5x7x7 Rule. Titles shall be no longer than 5 words. Paragraphs shall not use more than 7 lines. Lines shall not be constituted by more than 7 words.
- Numbered lists are more likely to catch your audience’s attention than checklists.
Creative ways to present
- You are the number 1 visual element of your presentation.
- The tone must fit with the context. In a symposium about a certain legal regulation, a more serious tone may be necessary. In a seminar about education and technology, it would be correct to use a friendlier and more relaxed tone.
- If you’re going to be seated during your presentation, you must try harder not to be dreary and counteract the passivity of your body language with an interesting and stimulating speech.
- If you’re going to be standing, your presentation will be more dynamic and therefore you have to try not to dizzy your audience. Keep one foot permanently on the floor and move only the other one, never turn your back to the audience, and don’t read the slides. If you start feeling nervous and you don’t know what to do with your hands, hold a small object like a pen throughout your presentation.
- Keep calm and enjoy your presentation. And invite your audience to do the same.
- Means matter. Instead of the super-popular PowerPoint, there are several tools that will allow you to create more dynamic and attractive presentations.
Recommendations for a great presentation:
- Get there early. This way you will have time to solve any kind of last-minute problem.
- Know your target audience.
- Rehearse your presentation. Part of your success will depend on this.
- Read and revise other presentations, studies, and publications previously made about your subject. Don’t forget to watch some tutorials on YouTube. Always focus on the best ones.
- If you’re feeling nervous, focus your attention on assertive people. You will easily recognize them and they will boost your self-confidence.
- The more you do it, the better you get. Luckily, everything in life is about practice.
- The beginning and end are important. A good start catches the attention; a great finish makes everything even better.
- Don’t forget to introduce yourself and tell them something about yourself. Before you say goodbye, provide some contact data so people can reach you.
- Say “Thank You”.
- Enjoy your presentation and you’ll do great!