Effective PowerPoint Presentation, What to Prepare?

Here are some guides when you do PowerPoint presentation that you need to pay attention to:

Physical Environment Planning

1) Room size - in relation to the anticipated number of attendees. Avoid over-crowding, or too large a room for a small audience.

2) Light sources - Brightest light on the presenter where possible, medium light over the audience, and less light around the screen, or between the screen and the projector, if possible.

3) Electrical socket outlets – the availability for setting up equipments and make sure it is functioning.

4) Electrical extension cables – approximately 18 feet/6 meters long or at least can connect from socket outlets to the equipments.

5) Projector and screen - for the viewing by a larger audience.

6) Projector and computer - Consider simultaneous display. Having a laptop at the podium so the presenter can see exactly what the audience is seeing on screen without having to turn his/her head, and at the same time, retain eye contact with the audience.

7) Microphone, speakers and amplifier - for the presenter in a large venue. Test the functionality and ensure the person in-charge is qualified to control the amplifier.

8) Cordless Presenter – enables the presenter to activate slides, indicate key points in the slide from a distance.

PowerPoint Presentation – A quick guides

(1) Begin the slide show by pressing the F5 key.

(2) Move to the next slide by pressing the ENTER or by clicking the left mouse button.

(3) Go back to the previous slide by pressing BACKSPACE, or the left arrow key.

(4) To end the slideshow before it is complete press ESC key on the keyboard.

(5) A pen tool is available for drawing on the screen with the mouse. Press CTRL+P and the pointer will change to a pen that allows you to draw freehand on the screen using the mouse. Press the E key to erase all pen strokes. Press CTRL+A to disable the pen feature and revert the pen back to a pointer arrow.

(6) If you would like to use the pen to draw on a blank screen during a presentation, press the B or W keys to turn the screen to black/white. Press B or W again to return to the presentation when you are finished drawing.

(7) To hide the pointer and button from the screen press the A key.

(8) Be sure to preview the slide show using a projector if one will be used during the presentation. Words or graphics that are close to the edge of the screen may be cut off by the projector.

Delivering PowerPoint Presentation with Credibility

1. Set up your "Authority".
Early on, explain why you have the right to talk to them on the topic by highlighting relevant elements of your background:
  • If it's a technical topic and you were trained as an engineer, say so.
  • If you've been working in the field for the last 2 years, say so.
  • If you've studied the subject in depth and interviewed experts, say so.
  • If you don't have direct but do have parallel experience, say something like: "when I was working in (this other field), I had considerable experience in (the topic) that I believe applies here..."

    2. Demonstrate Understanding.
    Prove that you know what you're talking about by:
  • Quickly recapping the preparation you've done for the session.
  • Using the audience's language. Learn and use the terms your audience knows to facilitate understanding and demonstrate that you took time to prepare. Be careful with acronyms and jargon.
  • Acknowledge that there may be people in the room that know more than you do about some aspects of the matter at hand, but that your study gives you a good grasp of what needs to be done.

    3. Establish Facts.
    Identify the source of the information you are using such as:
  • "the sales report for the month just ended shows..."
  • "the data from the field test conducted in XXX last month indicates..."
  • "the recent research survey of XXX customers in the Southwest concludes..."
  • clearly identify the origin of data used in charts and graphs.

    4. Tell the truth.
    Your audience will never really trust you if they catch you in a lie. Avoid the temptation to pretend to know the answer to a question and fake it. It's better say "I don't know" and find the answer from the group or commit to research the issue after the session.

    5. Be yourself.
    Trying to be someone you're not is almost as bad as telling a lie. It's also a lot more work. You can, however, take up a temporary role to illustrate your understanding of the views of others by using introductory phrases such as:
  • "If I was the parent of a teenage girl, I might be thinking...."
  • If we were walking in the shoes of the customer, we might..."

    6. Doing what you say you will do.
  • If you say you're starting at 9:00 a.m. then start at 9:00 a.m.
  • If you promise frequent breaks, allow for frequent breaks.
  • If you say you're going to take all questions, do so.

    7. Speak with conviction and enthusiasm.
    Say it like you mean it, and your audience will believe in your words. If you sound tentative, people will book you as "squishy" and question your commitment on the matter. Eye contact is extremely important.

    Establishing solid credibility improves your chances of success in several ways:
  • It works to solve two key tensions (Audience vs. Presenter and Audience vs. Material)
  • It allows the group to listen to what you have to say without having to spend time wondering who you are or where you got your information
  • It sets a "trust" level that will allow people to seriously consider and then act on your recommendations
  • It builds your reputation for future presentations!

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