Are your delivery methods up-to-date with 2021 trends?
Given the new era of online meetings and Zoom calls, there may be new methods to help you better deliver your message. The Align Team recently reviewed their presentation recommendations from 2017 to see if what worked then still works now. If it’s been a while since you’ve examined your presentation approach, you might take a couple of minutes to review these tips, both old and new, to determine how you can make your presentations more effective.
2017: Be animated. The more technical and dry the material, the more entertaining you need to be.
2021: Open Strong. Engage your Audience. Good presentations include stories. Unlike facts, stories speak to the heart, and every good presenter uses stories to illustrate points and help people make an emotional connection to their message. Be entertaining and consider using relevant use cases if your material is on the technical side. Show your passion, connect with your audience and focus on how your presentation meets their needs or concerns.
2017: PowerPoint doesn’t make a bad speaker better. It only enhances the misery. Slides should be 3-4 lines at the most, and fonts should be large enough to read from the back of a room. Don’t hesitate to keep slides minimal, clean, and to the point.
2021: This tip on slides hasn’t changed all that much. Continue to simplify and limit the number of words on each screen. Use key phrases and include only essential information. Presenters who constantly “flip” to the next slide are likely to lose their audience. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute. Do not read from your slides. The content of your slides is for the audience, not for the presenter. Be thoughtful when using graphics or images. Please make them relevant to the message to help in visually connecting with your audience.
2017: Be prepared. Know your time. Know your material. Know your Audience.
2021: These comments from 2017 are still relevant today. Be prepared! But also have a “Plan B” in place in the event of technical difficulties. How many times have you been at a speaker luncheon or business forum when something went wrong? Write an outline! Know your material so you can present it with or without visual aids. Match the material you’re going to present with the time you have and include Q & A!
2017: Practice! Don’t make stuff up! It can hurt you in the end.
2021: Practice with someone who has never seen your presentation. Ask them for honest feedback about content, flow, word inflection, and any effects or graphical images you may be including. If using PowerPoint, know how to and practice moving forward AND backward within your presentation. Audiences often ask to see the previous screen again.
2017: Leave the audience with optimism that they can change, grow, or find the solution. If you leave them with doom and gloom, don’t expect to be invited back for a long time.
2021: For a presentation to be GREAT, you need these elements:
- Content: Every presentation needs to start with the right content. That means a clear message, supporting your message with facts, and use only what you need.
- Design: Two essential pieces here are clarity and consistency. The effective design makes your content clear and leads viewers down the right path to your message. Remember, too much visual information is just as bad as a story that goes on and on. Eliminate visual elements that don’t reinforce your message.
- Structure: Everything must have a place, both in the presentation and out. Presentations are stories told in time, and they need to have a beginning, middle, end, and hopefully a clear call to action. Presentations need to be structured with the audience in mind. A great presentation is targeted to its audience, both in terms of message and content.
- Delivery: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!” All your great work on content, design, and structure doesn’t mean a thing if no one sees it. Presentations are an experience shared between a presenter and their audience. But just as important as the Presenter’s skills is the platform and technology you use to deliver your presentation.
—– 2021: Advanced Technology —–
Presentation software is just one of the many ways technology has changed the way speakers present their material. There are two ways technology helps speakers present.
- Social media. Presenters can use Facebook and Twitter to interact with audiences during the presentation. For example, hashtags can encourage audiences to participate through live surveys, constructive feedback, or chatting through live forums.
- Zoom Conferencing. Not all meetings and presentations can be held in person these days, and Zoom has made it possible for audience members from remote locations to connect in one meeting.
Today there is an explosion of presentation tools targeted to specific audiences and platforms. In addition to PowerPoint, tools such as Canva, Prezi, Google Slides, and Visme are useful. Which one is right for you depends on your content, your design, and your audience. Try incorporating some of these strategies into your next presentation to enhance engagement, improve conversations and build satisfied audiences.
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