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All of us have been the victim of mind-numbing, god-awful presentations. Here are some tips to make your next presentations great:

  • Know your subject
  • Know the audience
  • Know the A/V equipment
  • Know the time constraints
  • Have a “plan B”‘ be prepared to adjust on the fly
  • Have a “hook” to start . . . get their attention (See Knockout Presentations, DiResta (1998))
  • Keep it simple
  • Engage the audience: use eye contact, questions, etc.
  • PowerPoint tips:
    • Use the “Rule of 6”
      • 6 lines per slide
      • 6 words per line
      • No more than 6 slides without a graphic
    • Use minimal animation and effects
    • Rarely use sound effects
    • Use a big font (230 pt.)
    • Graphics and sound effects must be relevant to the topic and not distracting
    • Allow 1 minute per slide; more if you expect a lot of discussion
    • Beware of colors: dark background vs. light; yellow
  • Use humor, but be careful!
  • Use voice inflection
  • Be aware of your gestures
  • Know when to use charts
  • Know yourself
  • When appropriate cover:
    • The purpose
    • Background
    • Relevant issues
    • Recommendations / actions
  • Always tell ’em, tell ’em, and tell ’em again

Good luck!

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