Creating presentations that make a difference

When creating presentations that make a difference, the more you know about and care about your topic, the better speaker you will be. Your enthusiasm will help displace your fear. Now it's time to think about the visual portion of your presentation and how it will effectively create the results you are seeking. When your voice is combined with visuals (photographs, slides or charts), your audience's retention of the content increases by 50%.

Organize your information

Keep it simple and structured point by point. Your audience will better retain what you say if it's easy to understand and is presented logically.

For small, informal meetings of up to 10 people where discussion and participation is encouraged, an easel and pad, colored markers, a flip chart or overhead transparencies will work best.

Audiences of 10 to 30 people benefit most from overhead transparencies, slides or computer/video projection systems. Transparencies are the most portable, but computer generated graphics can be different and help keep your audiences attention.

For large audiences

35mm slides or big screen presentations are the most effective, giving you the most control over your material and the attention of your audience.

Prepare your visuals ahead of time.

Make them simple, clean, colorful and relevant to what you are presenting. The use of art is only effective if it is truly linked to your message and doesn't distract your audience from your ideas. Use short phrases or words that highlight what you are saying. Just using a colored marker to underline key words is an effective way to heighten interest.