How to make an Effective Presentation

We are in the business of designing presentations and over years, one does start drawing a line between whats a good presentation and whats a bad one. While I wouldn’t say that powerpoints with less content is better than slides with more in them. But that said, to make a great presentation there is much more than just that.

 Presentations are ultimately a person telling a story to change the status quo.

If you think about it, presentations are not made to continue the way we are doing things, it made to change the way we are doing things. I mean, otherwise, we would just be saying ‘great work’ and moving to the next work or project.

Revise the key outcome, you want to have when you finish making the presentation a number of times.

01 Begin with a purpose

Over 80% of clients who walk in for presentation design, seldom know what they are planning to do with the presentation.

More often than not, people don’t begin with a sense of direction of what the presentation is about to do or should be doing. The presenter or a team gather insights, information or data, have a hunch about what they want to do and get it into some logical formation and automatically begin to write a presentation. And somehow they believe, that the presentation will automatically work.

The key differentiator here: Start with what you are planning to do with the presentation. Is to impress people with stats? To convince them of a new plan of action or just to showcase where we are headed to a set of new stakeholder. Define a key outcome you want from the presentation. (This is also great when brief a presentation designer on what is to be done)

Revise the key outcome, you want to have when you finish making the presentation a number of times.

02 Weave it with a story

A generic presentation made to appeal to all is probably the greatest sin in presentation making.

Just on the face of it, its not very difficult to understand the people don’t really understand data or at least that they don’t register information that well without a simple thread of the story. Taking from the previous point, a generic presentation aimed at making everyone happy is the easiest way to ruin a story. The key element of any story is to know who has to hear it and how do we take him from journey A (unconvinced ) to B (convinced)

How can you resolve this? Have the journey in mind, think about where your user is and where you want to take him. Jot down the points that logically can take a person from that A to B journey. Break each point into three small points and dedicate one or two slides each to each argument. (Possibly, rehearse this with a friend) And fill it with examples.

03 Keep it simple and exciting

People like a great presentation, but they love the one where they can interact with.

One of the key things that I suppose great presentations have is the presenter’s ability to help audiences be a part of the whole presentation. More often than not, the simplest thing to do is to start with some simple but thought-provoking question or perspective.

How do you do this? Pop in a question at the beginning of the presentation. Or start with a joke. Or start with a simple small anecdotal story.

It helps to start off at a good note, gets the ball rolling and get people attention into your game and lead it to your story. Use that as a buildup into your story and carry it along the whole way.

04 Design the presentation experience

Last but not least, the presentation needs to look good.  As they say for product development, just because you have a great presentation, doesn’t mean that the presentation is going to go well.

Keep scrolling to know 4 simple hacks which will make your presentation look clean, simple and effective.

4 hacks to make your presentation look elegant

Design is a multi-facet thing that designers learn over the years. But that said, there are a couple of things that you can do as a starting point.

  1. Start with basics, make sure you select no more than 2 fonts for starters. The best advice here is to select fonts that are already available on your system, in case you want to send the presentation on mail. Calibri, corbel, trebuchet or Verdana can be good places to start from. Want more complex, head over to google fonts, checkout Poppins, and Roboto, two of my favorites.
  2. Start with a color scheme. Now don’t make this generic, get a designer or someone from your it set your powerpoint color scheme that your brand follows. The key is the consistency of your brand, small one-man team or even a big corporate need this.
  3. Make it visual. Once you finish the presentation, add images in the backgrounds, divider slides, and cover picture. Make the images relevant, if you are talking about growth… possibly put images of mountains, running, challenging scenarios like climbing, racing… it is easier for people to then relate to what you are saying.
  4. Still, need more? Best from this point onwards is to hire a presentation designer. They can bring a world of a difference with their creativity and custom design for your brand. But that said, it comes with a cost and timelines. If you are up for it, then be patient in the process.