Presentation Skills: What Should You Include in Your Slides?

If you’ve decided to use slides in your presentation because you believe they will help your presentation, it’s crucial to think about what to include in your slides.

Resist the temptation to write your script out in the slides. Not only is that boring for the audience to see slides full of complete sentences, but they can read faster to themselves than you can read out loud so they will finish reading the slide before you do.

Instead, use fewer words and provide the voiceover that gives meaning to those words. Even better, use graphs, charts, spreadsheets, photos or images that will visually explain your points.

Graphs, Charts and Spreadsheets

Use graphs, charts and spreadsheets if the information they contain will help the audience understand your message.

Avoid putting up a chart or graph and saying, “I know you can’t read this.” (When I hear this, I am tempted to shout, “then why are you showing it to us?!”) Make sure it’s legible and that the colors are easy to distinguish.

And rather than just showing the whole chart or spreadsheet, highlight and zoom in on one section of it. So, first show the overview and then on the next slide, show a bigger version of an excerpt, for example, just the 2010 numbers or just the line that shows customer growth over the past three years. Having just one section on the screen makes it easier for the audience to see, read and understand what you are focusing on.

Also use your words to highlight the important points. Orient them to what they’re looking at and then focus in on what’s important. For example, say, “What you’re looking at is a graph showing 2010 sales. On the x-axis, you’ll see the months. On the y-axis, you’ll see the sales, in millions of dollars. I’d like to draw your attention to the last bar, December, where you will see that sales are double any of the previous months.”

Use Photos or Images

You can also use high-quality photos or images in your slides to communicate a point.

Make sure they are clear, easy to understand and relevant. Use high-quality stock photos or take some photos of your own.

For example, if you are introducing your department and office location to clients who have never seen it, use your camera phone to take some photos of your office and co-workers and include them on the slides. If you’re presenting outside the country, include a map of your location so the audience can see where you are in relation to a city or landmark they are familiar with. Photos and images used in these ways can help you bridge the gap between you and your audience.

Use As Many Slides As You Need

I know that some companies have rules about how many slides people should have in their presentations. And I realize these rules are in place because the CEO doesn’t want everyone presenting to him or her with 300 slides that are going to take three hours to deliver.

However, I think these slide limits are arbitrary. I could give a one-hour presentation without slides (in fact, I would prefer it). I could also give a one-hour presentation using 20 slides, and I could give a one-hour presentation using 150 slides.

Content and time limit should be more important than the number of slides. Use as many slides as you need.

It shouldn’t matter how many slides you have, provided that the slides enhance your presentation and help you clearly communicate your message within the time limit.

How to Create Right Designs For Presentation Folders

Before answering the above said question, it would be better to have an understanding what really are presentation folders. One of the most commonly used stationery items throughout the world, they have become associated with certain specific purposes. They are an essential item for offices, businesses, conferences, meetings and seminars.

Besides their basic function of managing and handling official documents, they are used for carrying important notes for a presentation, a meeting or a conference. As they have extra pockets built right on the inside of their covers, they offer a unique opportunity to protect and handle important business papers, notes, clips, and other important documents.

Designing and printing cheap presentation folders can be a tough task. Designers have to use their creative prowess while using the latest technological tools in order to churn out the best results. They use the standard full color CMYK printing technology and other related services to improve the quality while keeping the rates at the lowest possible.

There are many ways in which presentation folders printing can be customized. From changing the color pattern to paper quality, from designs to the concept of the product, from shape of the folders to the printing quality; almost all can be modified to some extent in order to make the product more affordable and appropriate to the company’s business identity.

This type of folders makes a good impression as a gift at a seminar or a conference. At the product launch ceremony, they can be used as a good marketing strategy to make more loyal customers. They are also highly customizable and can be localized. For example, many companies offer services such as folder printing UK to make it a local product rather than an international one. In any case, their demand has been seen on the rising trend in the recent past.

Business Presentations – For Greater Clarity Use Child’s Play

When presenting data or analysis to senior executives or committees it’s obvious that if they don’t understand your message then they won’t your concept. But something equally important is the issue of actually understanding the presenter e.g. the speed at which you talk, the way you pronounce words, or a strong regional accent can all influence the clarity of your message. One easy way to fix this problem is to articulate every word.

I’ve presented at a small conference – 90 people – the presenter before me was a Doctor. She was presenting some very important research about the need to use sustainable materials in the construction of public sector housing. A very important message; Al Gore, after-all, got a Nobel Prize for work on a similar theme.

But she mumbled her way through the presentation, mostly with her back to the audience reading her slides. Despite having a microphone the audience struggled to hear or understand what she was saying. Amongst her worst faults were dropping the ends of her words, especially when the letters, T or D, or ING were involved. This had the effect of making her mumble even more difficult to understand. And then when she noticed that the audience were losing interest she started to rush, which made comprehension even worse.

If she’d asked here’s the advice I would have given her: ANNUNCIATE! Specifically, pronounce every single word properly. The effect it has is to:

1. Slow you down so that you are better understood by your audience
2. Allow you to breath properly because you have slowed down, hence you don’t swallow your words
3. Allow you to think, so you can go off-script and really react to your audience
4. Make your facial muscles congruent with what you are saying.

Don’t underestimate the power of proper pronunciation it can have a dramatic effect on your presentation. Here’s how you do it.

The minute you close this article go to your nearest bookshop and buy “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr Seuss. Read it out loud for at least three consecutive nights before a presentation. Re-read it again just before your presentation. Then marvel at how much more time you seem to have and how much better your audience rates to what you say.

Remember if they can’t understand you, they won’t buy your ideas.