Make Your Presentations Awesome*


*Disclaimer: By “awesome”, I probably mean “awesome for young people like me who have a short attention span and a quirky fixation with everything minimalist”. That said, this may NOT work for you in some cases (e.g. when you are presenting to your customer about the issues your project is facing). Also, I am NOT a Mac user and will probably never be (unless someone wants to lend me or give me a Mac).

First and foremost, here is a comparison:

Today, I will try to discuss what works and what does not when people make presentations. This is coming from someone who has presented for different kinds of people. I am not a certified Powerpoint presentation maker though so please refer to the disclaimer above.

First, here is an acronym c/o Vivek Singh on what you should NOT do:

Don’t be a LOSER.

1) Nobody likes LONG PRESENTATIONS. You lose your audience after 15 minutes if they are 30 years old and above. You lose your audience after 10 minutes if they are 20 to 30 years old. You lose your audience after 5 minutes if they are 19 and below. You lose your audience within seconds if your audience is Barney Stinson.

2) We appreciate that you do not have paragraphs in your slides but nobody likes OVERUSE OF BULLETS either. People don’t like paragraphs because they seem to overload people with information. Having 5 bullet points in one slide is practically doing the same thing.

3) No one can read your SMALL FONT. Please have mercy on people who have poor eyesight.

4) EXCESSIVE TEXT ON THE SLIDE just shows that you are not confident with what you are presenting. Tendency is that your audience will probably just read through the slide and not listen to you.

5) And #4 brings us to this point too. With excessive text on your slide, you’ll have the tendency to just READ FROM THE SLIDES ALL THE TIME which is pointless. You could have just sent them your slide set. They can probably read too.

What should you do then? Well here’s some acronym made by Meki Carolino:

Be a WINNER.

1) Explain WHO YOU ARE and WHY YOU ARE PRESENTING TO THE AUDIENCE. Giving a background about yourself somewhat makes the audience think that you have the capacity and the right to talk about what you’re talking about. Telling the audience why they need to listen will make them listen. If you find that there is no reason for them to listen to you, cancel your presentation immediately. A good presentation has a purpose.

2) Who doesn’t like something INTERESTING? Just like how you’d be more attracted to a pretty girl, add some non-tacky pizzazz to your presentation. Add pictures and video clips if necessary. Tell stories. Keep them glued to you and your presentation just like how evil girls do everything to get the interest of boys.

3) Since we don’t like too many bullets and too much text, keep your presentation NEAT. Know which colors work well together. The classic black and white combo never fails–unless you use Comic Sans. No Word Art and gradient backgrounds unless necessary–though I don’t know when that could possibly be.

4) You don’t want people having to remember things that they don’t need so stick to the NECESSITIES. Does your audience need to approve on your idea? State the background/problem you want to address, the solution you are proposing, and how you plan to implement it. Done. You don’t need to tell us the story of your friend’s mother’s batchmate’s nephew graduated summa cum laude–that is unless it’s your way of making the presentation interesting.

5) Assume that your audience does not know anything about what you’ll talk about. No need for highfalutin words. No need to make your audience flabbergasted. Make it EASY TO UNDERSTAND especially if there’s some technical aspect to what you’re presenting. Please pity people like me who have lag time and may encounter syntax error.

6) At the end of day, what matters is what sticks. Thus, make it EASY TO REMEMBER. If Justin Bieber was able to do it with “Baby”, you can probably do it too.

Remember:

Don’t be a LOSER.

Be a WINNER.

Now, go! Make your presentation awesome. #notetoself #willbepresentingtomorrow

**Screencaps of the slides shown here were made by me for a presentation practice workshop. Pictures used in the slides are from all over the internet. If you own the picture and don’t want it shown here, please let me know so that I can take it down. Thanks!

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2 thoughts on “Make Your Presentations Awesome*

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