Secrets of an energising presentation
Tips from the world’s number one projector manufacturer on giving an energising business presentation.
Secrets of an energising presentation
Epson has been confirmed as the world’s number one projector manufacturer an astonishing fifteen times by Futuresource Consulting Limited.
Epson manufacture projectors for business, education, home cinema, gaming, and the arts. For readers of this blog, however, many of the business presentations you participate in this year are likely to be delivered using an Epson projector.
Now, as we all know from experience, some of those presentations will be inspiring, others interesting and informative, and others painful to behold. The art of presenting in the modern era is an ever more sought after business skill, and one that can affect the progress of your career as well as the success of your business. As major stakeholders in the culture of business presentations, we want to do everything in our power to help your presentations pop.
Here are our top tips for making your presentations stand out from the crowd:
1. Start from the content
Whether pitching a business idea or delivering quarterly results, every presentation’s goal is to provide visual support and emphasis to what a speaker is telling their audience. As such, it is first and foremost very important to clearly define what you want to say before developing a presentation.
Different presenters have different preferences for how to establish the content. Some like to work with partners to sketch out the flow of a presentation in bullet-point format on paper or white board. Others prefer to draft a presentation script fully in text. The key point is to know in some level of detail what you want to say before you try to illustrate it.
Too often we all sit through presentations that are essentially bulleted reference cards for the speaker. If your presentation could be mistaken for this, you are not yet finished! You should be able to give your presentation without looking at your slides, if needed.
2. Think visual highlights
The images you project should act as a visual support to what you are saying.
Depending on the context, subject matter, and audience, you may feel it is important to be more literal or alternatively more creative about how you choose to illustrate the content of your presentation.
To pick up on the earlier examples, in a quarterly results presentation it would be appropriate to highlight certain key figures, show graphs illustrating performance trends, and include images of new investments or innovations, and possibly a video message from the CEO.
Alternatively, when pitching a business idea or making an internal company presentation, it could be more effective to establish a creative visual theme that parallels and highlights key points within your verbal message. This can also be used to introduce humour and entertainment into an otherwise dry subject, helping to keep the audience engaged.
Today, in addition to Microsoft PowerPoint, there is alternative presentation software such as Pressi that can offer a different visual experience for the audience.
3. Rehearse and refine
Having drafted the verbal and visual presentation, your delivery can be exponentially improved by taking the minimum of an hour or two to rehearse.
Particularly when presenting in groups it is important to define responsibility for speaking to each section or slide of the presentation, to ensure everybody has a clear and equal role.
Rehearsing the full presentation out-loud to a colleague before the real event will help you test and refine your script, establish links from one slide to the next, spot any inconsistencies or typos in the presentation, and give you a confidence boost before you deliver it for real.
4. Choose a high-quality projector
You should not separate technology from your presentation planning.
Remembering your laptop, a back-up copy of your presentation on USB, and having your own slide changer are all important things to remember.
However, using a good quality projector is an often overlooked and important ingredient in ensuring your presentation is as energising and inspiring as it can be. 3LCD projectors produce colours that are up to three times brighter than other projectors.
The colour brightness of 3LCD means that you can guarantee the professional image quality of your presentation visuals, without having to present in a darkened room. As such, not only will your visual presentation be more impactful, but it has been shown that your audience is likely to be more attentive, energised, and engaged in the presentation as a whole.
5. Stand to deliver
Where possible, it is important that you stand to give presentations.
The best starting position for any presenter is to stand either directly in front (if the screen starts blank) or advanced and to the left of the projected image (from the sitting audience’s perspective), and not to use a lectern even if one is provided.
Presentation trainers will tell you that the action of looking up at a presenter naturally gives the audience a sense of deference and confers a respect on the speaker, one that would not exist if those present were all standing or sitting together.
Standing to the left (audience’s perspective) of the projected image helps to prioritise the speaker over the projected image, as reading gives us the habit of prioritising content on the left.
Body language and movement help to inject dynamism and enthusiasm into what can otherwise be a static format. Hand gestures, eye contact, and moving towards the audience to engage with individuals or when emphasising points of particular importance are all useful tools to employ.
To conclude, a presentation will only be as good as the effort you put in to creating it, that is, think not only about the message you are trying to convey, but also ways in which you can best communicate this with your audience. The easier you make it for the audience to engage and take in what you are saying, the more successful your presentation will be.