You can probably relate to this all too familiar scenario: You’re attending a presentation and the presenter is almost unbearable to watch. Whether they’re stumbling through slides or speaking rapidly, you find yourself unable to process any of the information presented. But what contributes to the failures of bad presenters? First, we should define what contributes to great presentations.
What Makes a Great Presentation?
When it comes to any type of presentation, its delivery is key to success. Take it from the masters at TED Talks. Speech and body language are important to delivering your message. These affect an audience’s perception. Chris Anderson, owner of TED, summarizes what all great presentations have in common:
“And even though these speakers and their topics all seem completely different, they actually do have one key common ingredient. And it’s this: Your number one task as a speaker is to transfer into your listeners’ minds an extraordinary gift — a strange and beautiful object that we call an idea.”
Telling a story is one way to help tap into audience members’ minds. Storytelling is scientifically proven to stimulate the entire human brain. Whereas the use of bullet points only stimulate 2 parts of the brain. Many impactful speakers choose to use images instead of words on slides — opting to use their voice to deliver their ideas.
Additionally, no matter how many slides your presentation ends up being, make sure it carries a consistent visual theme from start to finish. This helps to guide the audience along.
What Makes a Bad Presentation?
There are many factors that contribute to bad presentations. Geoffrey James, contributing editor at Inc.com, identifies 8 bad habits that ruin presentations. Whether it’s asking for extra time or fidgeting, there are numerous ways for a project to go south.
Most bad presenters are either unprepared or unaware of their habits. Or, they’re aware of their shortcomings but don’t know how to develop better presentation skills.
Prep for Your Next Presentation
When you’re creating your next set of slides, be sure to abide by presentation best practices. If you don’t have access to (or are worn out from) Microsoft PowerPoint, don’t fret. You have options. Here are 3 excellent alternatives to using Microsoft PowerPoint:
- Piktochart — Piktochart is home to themed templates for infographics, reports, and presentations. Use free graphics, fonts, charts, and pictures.
- Prezi — Prezi’s navigation is more of a journey, and less of slides. Check out their premade templates for lively transitions. Plus, access your Prezi from anywhere.
- Google Slides — Similar to PowerPoint, Google Slides has free templates and simple slide transitions. Access your slides from anywhere and integrate it with other information in your Google account.
Don’t forget Mimeo when it comes to preparing your next presentation! Sign up for a free account. Then build, proof, and ship your presentation in minutes!