When it comes to public speaking, PowerPoint can be your best friend or a significant disability in getting your message across. There are many slide design options that can help with visual impact, such as graphic templates, large san serif fonts, and using color to make important points pop. But no amount of artistic flair can make up for the most frequent mistake made by presenters: trying to cram way too much information into a single slide or even a single presentation. The first step to an effective public speaking PowerPoint presentation is to understand the purpose and best use of PowerPoint slides.
Slides Can’t Speak for You
Simply put, if you’re relying on slides to speak for you, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Before standing up in front of any audience, you should know what you want them to leave with. You need to know what you want to convey well enough that just a few key words are enough bring the full concept to mind for your listeners. That’s what the content of your slides should be providing: a succinct reminder of the bigger message you are delivering while you are delivering it!
Make Your Point Logically
The second biggest hurdle to an effective PowerPoint deck is structure and organization. A slide presentation is by nature sequential: what appears on the first slide should lead logically to the second, the second to the third, and so on. This format lends itself best to deductive reasoning, starting with the details—evidence, clues, data—and using them as stepping stones to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Getting lost in a forest of detail with no integrative idea to carve a path out is a sure way to lose your audience. Nor will grandiose declarations of opinion unsupported by evidence result in any consensus between you and your audience.
What Only You Can Bring
Effective public speaking, PowerPoint or not, hinges on the enthusiasm or conviction you bring to what you’re saying. Standing up and reading your slides in a monotone voice is a sure way to kill interest. Respect your audience by using PowerPoint to deliver a concise, logical message that means as much to you as you would like it to mean to them. Contact Magnovo Training Group to develop your PowerPoint public speaking abilities.