BITE THE BULLET - unleash your presentation power!

Added: 01/10/2017

I'm always looking for new ways to help my clients and I've recently collaborated with Fay Marcroft PR to create a series of DIY PR Toolkit workshops to help business-owners to develpop their own PR strategy, take control of their media relations and potentially save a shed load of money in the process. We launched our first interactive workshops this week - to be held later this month - and we're really proud of our new product; it's perfect for those businesses that understand the importance of PR but aren't quite sure where to start.  We can't wait to deliver them!

You may recall my previous blog  "5 good reasons to outsource", where I explained how and why outsourcing can significantly help small businesses, so Fay and I decided that outsourcing the creation of our workshop presentation would be a good idea since we were both so busy developing the actual content. And, being in the buisness of organising events and conferences, I was all too familiar with the term "Death by PowerPoint"!

So we (well, Fay) found Karen Hyde, a brilliant Virtual Assitant who specilaises in PowerPoint design and online content, and we are delighted with the results - definitely worth every penny!

 I was so impressed with Karen, in fact, that I aksed her to wtite a guest blog for my webiste - and here it is.....................


 Bite the bullet - unleash your presentation power by Karen Hyde

Anyone wha has worked with me knows I love creating PowerPoint presentations. They are certainly one of my favourite tasks to work on, and I get super-excited when a new one comes along. PowerPoint is so versatile and gives everyone the tools to create a unique and engaging presentation.

"I need a presentation. I don't want it to be boring but it must look professional and have something a bit different."

I get that a lot and if you just stop to think for a minute; what are presentations all about? Those slides are there to support what you are saying, not to say it for you.

Your presentation is not a report or thesis. If it is, you may as well hand a document out to your audience and go home.

Have you ever sat through a presentation where there was so much information on each slide, you just didn't know where to focus?

When PowerPoint goes bad - a true story
I used to work for a large company where the CEO told any person presenting to his leadership team to keep their presentation to a maximum of six slides. He thought that this would help people stick to their allocated 30-minute time slot. Sadly, what happened was presenters crammed so much detail into each slide, they failed to make the point of why they were there and what decision they needed. In trying to improve matters, the CEO then asked all presenters to share their slide set before each meeting. This, of course, didn't help at all.

As a communications specialist, I first spend time with clients understanding the outcomes they want, then planning the structure and defining the content. Often, I will use the ABCDE model:

AUDIENCE Who is going to be in the room and what do they already know about your topic, idea or product? 
BEHAVIOUR What knowledge, impression, action will your audience take away?
CONTENT Knowing the answer to A+B helps you decide on the level of detail you need and how to design slides that get your point across.
DELIVERY Where will you be presenting? Small room, large room, auditorium, inside or outside, Wembley Stadium? Make sure your presentation suits the venue.
EVALUATION Ask the audience. Stop at the end of each section to gauge how things are going.

Which of the folloiwng slides grabs your attention first? Which one is easier to read?



Pep up your PowerPoint - 10 tips to try instead

  1. Suprise, surprise! Open with the unexpected; perhaps a jaw-dropping fact, an element of mystery or something unusual. Just make sure it's appropriate for your audience and topic.

  2. Drop the bullets because there are so many exciting ways to bring facts to life. use free icons, be bold with colour and big up the numbers.

  3. Don't be afraid of quantity. Why have one slide, when you cna have 100? A golden rule is to make on epoint per slide. Moving through your lsides smoothly and at pace will keep your audience interested.

  4. Stay true to your brand. When you have put much thought, time and money into your branding, don't dilute it by using a hotchpotch of colours across your slides. Keep it cnsistent and try to stick to three main colours.

  5. A picture paints a thousand words and stirs up imagination, bt a word of caution, never pinch pictures from Google. Try Pexels for thousands of free images, licensed for commercial use.

  6. Steal with pride. PechaKucha is the inspiration behind some of my best work. With PechaKucha it's all about visual experience and where I head to find ideas.

  7. Invest the time and make your PowerPoint template. Use your exact branding colours, set up new layouts exactly as you want them. Do this once and you will never have to do it again.

  8. Practise makes perfect, so rehearse and rehearse again. It si no godo having a wonderful presentation if you do not know the story or you run over time. Try recording your voice as you time your slides.

  9. Convert your presentation to video. I will take a bet that you have never considered using PowerPoint to make a video. It can be done and you wonlt need any special editing apps. Here's one of my video demos.

  10. Remember, no matter how beautiful and interesting your slides are, YOU are the one presenting!


So there you go - some excellent advice from Karen on how to make truly awesome PowerPoint presentations.  You'll have to come along to one of our DIY PR Toolkit workshops to see what she did for us - it will be worth it!

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