Power Through Presentations: Tips and Tricks to Build a Better Slide Deck

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If you have ten minutes to present, prepare ten minutes of material. No more. In my experience conference organisers are usually quite clear about how much time you have allocated. The best presenters know exactly how much time they have to work with, then they tailor their presentation to fit the time and keep an eye on the time throughout.

Frame Your Story

And if you are running out of time, stop. Jump past a couple of slides if you need to make one last point. Images are key elements to any presentation. But remember to keep your visuals clean and simple. But use them to communicate your point to the audience, not as a prompt for what you want to say. You want your audience to listen to you instead of reading from your slides, so less is more in terms of the text on the slides. Inconsistency in slides is a subtle thing but can take away from a presentation very easily.

While slides with different colours may look nice, they may be distracting to your audience. Use a consistent template with the same fonts to make it easier for your audience to follow along. And remember, your audience will view your conference presentation from a distance, so use large clear fonts and as few words as possible in your slides. One of the most common mistakes I have seen being made by conference presenters is presenting a roomful of people with information they already have. A great way to make this mistake is spending the majority of your presentation going over the existing literature and giving background information on your work.

Before you begin speaking to a group, find out what they already know and where they are up to with your topic. Most conferences use mobile apps now, and these are a great way to get an insight to exactly who is attending the conference and what their speciality topics are from the programme.

This can give you a good idea of how much background you need to give so that your key presentation points will make sense. Rehearsing is crucial to making you feel comfortable with every word you are going to say.

Rehearse your paper aloud in private and in front of a friend. This can feel a bit embarrassing, but reading it through in your head never corresponds to the time it takes to read it aloud in public. The more times you say the words aloud, the more you will be familiar with it. It feels strange but it works.

Another strategy that works well is recording yourself. Preparation for anything is key, especially for conference presentations. Know your slides inside out. You should use them as a guide for your presentation, not an autocue. Think about your clothing. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable when facing your audience. A good way to think about your presentation technology requirements is this: any tech you want to use can and will fail. Or for your laptop to decide to reboot. As well as following the conference instructions to submit your presentation online or at their drop-off desk, copy your slides to an online deck service and upload a copy of your presentation to Dropbox.

Take no chances. And if you have any specific audio-visual requirements, make them known to the conference organiser well in advance. Not all conference venues can accommodate the latest technology. Get comfortable with the presentation area, walk around it until you feel familiar with the environment in the room.

Bring your set of notes with you, and make sure you can read them in the lighting conditions in the room. Body language has an important role in presentations, especially at academic conferences. There are usually a lot of facts and findings to be highlighted in a conference presentation, and you need to use all the presenting tools available to you to remain interesting and effective throughout.

Your gestures, tone of voice and positivity can be seen through your body language and may determine how engaged your audience is. Try to spread your gaze, rather than staring at one person. And avoid focusing intently on your laptop screen, your notes, or the floor. Instead, keep a straight, relaxed, open posture, and feel free to be comfortable with the full stage and move around the stage a little as you speak. When you see a speaker rooted rigidly to the spot and without positive body language the presentation loses a lot of its emphasis.

Avoid other distracting movements, such as repeatedly putting your hands in and out of your pockets, jingling coins in your pocket, or fiddling with pens, clothing, or props such as laser pointers. This captures whatever you have up on your screen and saves it as an image file. You can then edit and insert your screenshot into your presentation.


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Taking a high-quality screenshot is simplified and enhanced with Snagit. You can easily edit screenshots , like adding arrows and removing your cursor from the final image. You can further enhance those screenshot by adding in arrows and customized callouts. Adding in elements that highlight interesting insights adds more weight to an important point.

A cousin of the screenshot, the screencast is an even more powerful visual tool you can use to enhance your presentation. An ideal use of screencasts is for reporting on project results.

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That way, you can walk audience members through a real-time display of data. Start by using your screen recording feature, set to video recording capture. Then edit the footage as needed like cutting for time and insert into PowerPoint.

10 Powerful PowerPoint Tips

As a general rule, the more unique you can make your visual elements, the better your presentation will be. Even though stock imagery may be appealing because of convenience, it may limit your presentations potential impact. This means that inserting more vivid pictures in a presentation will have a greater impact on the viewer.

Take matters into your own hands with Snagit, which allows you to customize screen captures and images to enhance your presentation. Remove distraction from the equation by blurring personally identifiable information.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation That Isn’t Boring | Blog | TechSmith

You can also remove image backgrounds that might clash with your presentation. While your presentation itself may be a one-time thing, you can record your presentation and use it as a reference for anyone who wants to view it. One way to make it even better is to record an introduction for your presentation in which you can give context.

That, combined visual elements, helps turn a boring slide deck into a memorable, interesting PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint presentations often get dinged for being boring, regardless of whether the substance is good or not. Avoid the pitfalls by creating custom slides that feature bold themes, unique imagery, and helpful video references. Engaging the audience and creating an enjoyable experience for them is critical for any PowerPoint presentation.

These tips can go a long way in reaching your goals. Snagit is a helpful tool for crafting a high-quality PowerPoint presentation. With its screen capture and editing features, Snagit lets you easily take your PowerPoint decks to the next level.


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