Preparing Properly for Your PowerPoint Presentation

Preparing Properly for Your PowerPoint Presentation

It doesn’t matter if you are a nationally acclaimed speaker or someone who occasionally gives a pitch to your board of directors, at some point in your career you will need to make a presentation.

Below are six tried and true tips that will help focus your message and ensure you deliver the best PowerPoint presentation to your audience.

Preparation is the Key

  1. Know how much time you are allotted. This is often the most overlooked items with presenters. If you have 10 minutes to present, have no more than 5 powerful slides that encompass your message. Put a timekeeper in the room to give you a countdown. If your audience wants you to continue, they will let you know.
  2. Determine your goal and call-to-action. What do you want to do:
    1. Provide information?
    2. Launch a new product?
    3. Deliver a Public Service Announcement?
    4. Improve brand awareness?
    5. Train your employees?

    Focus on your goal and work on a strong call-to-action. In other words, answer this question: What do you want your audience to do next? Tell them exactly what action you want them to take.

  3. Know your audience. Spend time with your meeting organizer and committee members to really understand the makeup of your audience. You don’t want to make your PowerPoint presentation too basic or too complex at the risk of either boring or confusing them.
  4. When using PowerPoint, develop the right presentation. Here are three ideas to make this happen:
    1. Outline your presentation on post-it notes before going to the computer. Put an idea or thought on each note and move them around until you have the flow of a beginning, middle and end.
    2. Use very few slides. Guy Kawasaki states all presentations can be delivered in 10 slides. Period.
    3. Make each slide simple. Minimize the words used on the slide. Use 30-point font type and impactful visuals to hone in on your message. Remember, PowerPoint is just an aid to drive home your message.
  5. Rehearse your presentation many times.

    Rehearsals in front of different people accomplish three things:

    1. Makes certain you can deliver your message in the time allotted
    2. Gives you a chance to become comfortable up on stage and work out your nervousness and
    3. With audience feedback, you can start making your message more clear and concise.
  6. Spend time securing the right technology.

    I have personally witnessed several presentations go wrong because presenters didn’t spend adequate time communicating with the meeting organizer about their needs - from the projector rental to the presentation requirements.

    I recently watched a presenter frantically try and figure out a technology configuration that would work because he brought his presentation in on a jump drive and the organization did not allow them.

    Here are easy ways to avoid such debacles:
    1. Send your meeting organizers exactly what technology you need. If you are bringing your own laptop, let them know what brand and operating system you have running on it.
    2. Send your PowerPoint presentation to the event host 7-10 days in advance and make sure it is on the cloud. Sending your presentation in advance ensures it will work efficiently with the technology ordered. In addition, the AV technician can load presentations in the order of the agenda, thus saving time. Whether your PowerPoint presentation is on your own cloud or the event’s cloud rental, having backup to your presentation when you need it, is priceless.
    3. Make sure your audience can see and hear you. When onsite, come to your meeting room at least an hour in advance to test the microphone and lighting system. Run through your PowerPoint presentation with the technician to ensure all participants can adequately hear and see you.

Hartford Technology Rental is Your Presentation Specialist

Whether it is for an event rental or corporate rental, Hartford Technology Rental has the right equipment for your presentation needs. Give us a call at 888-520-5667 and speak to one of our experience technology specialists about our breadth of presentation equipment options!