Essential Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Presentation
The art of the presentation is a difficult one to master, and even people who regularly speak in public may feel a twinge of anxiety before they step on stage.
This is why the best presenters don’t leave anything up to chance: their performances are practiced, their PowerPoint decks are carefully designed, and every graphic and data point has been calibrated to enhance the main goals of the presentation itself.
The good news, for anyone currently preparing to give an important presentation, is that it is possible even for an inexperienced presenter to deliver a talk that will rouse an audience and memorably drive home the point — whether that be a sales pitch, an idea for a new product, or a public exhortation. It just takes the right tools, planning, and support.
Understanding the Challenges
One of the main challenges a presenter faces is the need to hold several things in balance at the same time. A good presentation simultaneously:
- Communicates information
- Demonstrates the relevance of this information
- Keeps the audience entertained and engaged
For example, if you are pitching an idea for a new product to the company you work for, you need to explain the concrete information about what it is, how it works, how it will be developed and manufactured, and who wants to buy it, all while keeping the emphasis on the advantages of this type of product for the company as a whole. If you want to make a lasting impression, you can’t afford to let the energy lag while doing this.
Meeting these challenges requires careful preparation, and asking yourself the right questions during the planning stage can help you stay focussed.
5 Questions that Will Help You Prepare Effectively
At the beginning of the process, you should try to stay as open-ended as possible — get all the ideas on paper, think of everything you’d like to include, and then start shaping and forming the presentation into a series of PowerPoint slides that will help you visualize how the presentation is going to flow.
As you plan your slide deck, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this slide communicate something important?
- Is it best communicated through text, chart, graphic, or video?
- Will this derail the argument by introducing a tangent?
- Is it repetitious?
- Is it boring?
In addition to helping you cut extraneous material, these questions will help you process the information you’re dealing with and find more creative ways to communicate important points.
For example, you may realize that creating an animation showing how a product works will save a huge amount of time, while also introducing something visually interesting.
Don’t Feel You Need to Go it Alone
As you work through the material you’re presenting, you may realize you don’t have the skills or time needed to do everything on your own. If this is the case, you should contact a presentation agency that offers PowerPoint design services like custom animations or graphics.
Outsourcing some of the work to a PowerPoint design company is a great way to ensure you get a professional-looking product that utilizes a wide range of storytelling tools to help your audience understand what you’re trying to explain. Not only will this help you sell your idea, it will also demonstrate how serious you are about your topic.
At some point or another, most of us have experienced anxiety about speaking in public. And when the stakes are high, that anxiety can feel crippling. As with any other important task, adequate planning is key, and by asking yourself the right questions and knowing where to go for extra help, you can create a presentation guaranteed to exceed expectations.