9 Steps to Better Presentations: Part 3 – One Idea Per Slide

9_-_A_Simple_Guide_to_Better_Presentations.011NOTE: This is the third in a series of posts taken from our guide 9: A Simple Guide to Better Presentations. Can’t wait and want to get it all now? Download the eBook for FREE here.

Just as your presentation should emphasize one big idea, make each slide about one thing.

If you have five lines of text on your slide now, break it up into one line on five separate slides.

And get rid of the bullet points, fancy builds, text animation, and slide transition effects.

Too much clutter distracts people. They pay attention to the stuff on your slide instead of you. The purpose of your slide is not to show how clever you are. It’s to help you make your points (see point #1).

Instead, put more time into planning your message. Thee return is much higher than you’ll get on that silly swoosh effect.

9 Steps to Better Presentations: Part 2 – Your Presentation is About One Thing

9_-_A_Simple_Guide_to_Better_Presentations.008NOTE: This is the second in a series of posts taken from our guide 9: A Simple Guide to Better Presentations. Can’t wait and want to get it all now? Download the eBook for FREE here.

A lot of presentations try to cover too much ground. You may think you need to tell your prospect (or team or students) everything. You don’t.

Some presentations, on the other hand, are about nothing. They don’t have a point.

Your presentation should be about one thing. People have a hard time remembering so make your presentation about one big idea.

Just give them one thing and leave them wanting more.

9 Steps to Better Presentations: Part 1 – Don’t Default to PowerPoint

9_-_A_Simple_Guide_to_Better_Presentations.005NOTE: This is the first in a series of posts taken from our guide 9: A Simple Guide to Better Presentations. Can’t wait and want to get it all now? Download the eBook for FREE here.

Who ever said every talk, meeting, or presentation needs PowerPoint?

Nobody.

Here’s a handy rule of thumb: if it (and “it” means anything in your presentation) helps you make your point, fine. If it doesn’t, consider dropping it.In fact, your presentation may be stronger without slides. (Abraham Lincoln never used PowerPoint.)

Do slides help you make your point? No?

Then do you really need them?

Steal Apple’s Design Philosophy To Improve Your Presentations

At the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) this week, Apple unveiled some pretty cool things: upcoming versions of its operating systems for mobile devices (iOS 7) and desktop computers (MacOS X “Mavericks”) as well as the next generation of its professional desktop computer, the Mac Pro.

Preceding all the news and announcements, though, was a nifty little video that explained Apple’s design philosophy:

If you design and deliver presentations regularly, the tie-ins should be obvious:

  • People remember what they feel
  • Doing something great means saying “no” to a lot of “good” things
  • Focus your presentation on one key idea

Want some specific suggestions for using these ideas in your presentations?

Get the FREE 9 guide or the Presentation Renovation eBook. You’ll learn how to take an ordinary presentation and make it extraordinary, applying the same principles that Apple uses to make remarkable stuff. The stuff that makes people camp outside Apple stores days before it’s released.

2 Questions You MUST Ask Before Giving Any Presentation

Ask these two important questions before you begin your presentation :: Renovate Communication Design, LLCYou’ve probably attended a meeting or presentation and, early in, thought, “This has no relevance to me at all.”

Or maybe you’ve sat through the entire meeting and wondered, “Now what?”

You can avoid these common pitfalls in your own presentations if you answer these two critical (but sometimes rarely asked) questions before you begin working on your content or making slides.

1. Who’s coming?

Who will attend your meeting or presentation?

Spend five minutes thinking about them. Picture their faces, say their names. What do they want? What are they afraid of? Jot down your answers on paper.

Want to go one step further?

Ask them yourself. Walk around the office and talk to your co-workers. Or put together a short survey and send it to them. This is especially helpful if you’re leading a workshop or seminar and have the attendees’ email addresses before the event. You can quickly create a survey and collect the responses easily with a Google Form.

The better you understand who’s in your audience, the more you can tailor your message to their needs. And the more relevant it is to their needs, the more they’ll appreciate your talk–and you.

2. What do I want them to do?

A boring presentation delivers information.

A good presentation motivates people to act.

Once you understand your audience and their needs, decide what you’ll want them to do.

In his massively bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey calls this “beginning with the end in mind.” You can apply the same idea to your presentations.

Do you want prospects to buy? Parents to change the way they talk to their teens? Students to get their work done? Employees to buy in to a new way of doing things?

Determine what you’ll ask them to do and then work backwards–build everything in your meeting or talk with the end in mind. This keeps your message focused and gives your audience clear direction when its over.

For your next presentation, start by asking these two questions and you’ll see a difference.

Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook + audiobook