Does this sound like you?
"I have so much information to cover until I don't know where to start, what to do, or how to do it!"
"My presentations are pretty good, but I want them to be great! I need a systematic plan so I'm not just going through the motions, muddling through."
"What will make a difference with my audience?! What will draw them in, and - and most importantly!!! - what will get everyone to buy what I'm selling?!"
What you must know is it is entirely possible to make your presentation an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for both you and your audience without it being more work for yourself.
Here are the four steps you take to smoothly make your way through preparing for your presentations with grace, determination, excitement, passion, and enthusiasm. Make this a consistent practice - resolve this is what you will do every time you prepare a presentation - and you will joyfully break free of the presentation preparation nightmare and cut your prep work by 50%.
For some, PowerPoint (PPT) presentations are becoming a thing of the past, but for those who still use them - *hand in the air* that would be me! - or their Apple cousin, Keynote, read on! (Not so fast! So you do not use PPT or Keynote. That's cool. I know you have a colleague who uses one or the other, and you have been looking to offer some constructive criticism, right? I knew it! Let's charge ahead!)
Voyage with me into the mind of an English instructor. Come on. I promise it will all make sense in a minute.
Upon first glance at a student's paper, an instructor, especially an English instructor, can immediately ascertain if the paper is "A" work or otherwise. The spacing is nicely done; margins are the right size; the font is our all-time favorite, Times New Roman, at a 12-point size; headings are in place; you even see a few citations that are properly formatted. You can feel it; this is a winner, and you want to read on! Right?! (Or am I alone on this one?)
Just as educators may be a touch leery of the contents or the quality of the contents of a paper if it is poorly formatted, just as we may be skeptical of a restaurant that looks a little shady (although I've been known to visit my fair share of greasy spoons), or just as a website with a questionable design (*biting lip) gives us pause, your presentations can find themselves under similar scrutiny by your audiences. A couple of small presentation design details you may not have considered are ...
In a previous post, "You CAN Deliver a Worry-Free Webinar," I discussed preliminary and logistical steps to take with setting up yourself to deliver a worry-free webinar. Let's take it to the next level and look at the actual webinar design. (And not to worry if you do not make webinars but only make face-to-face presentations. These points are just as applicable if you are presenting in-person, so READ ON!)
If you have ever had to present a webinar, you may feel an added layer of pressure to do a great job that you do not experience when you present to a live audience. Here's how to get over that stressor: No matter the topic, always give your audience a reason to lean in, to take notice, to pay attention, to press the headphones a little more tightly against the ears. Pull in your audience in a way that makes the world to want to listen to your webinar. You might do this by choosing to solve a problem right away, deliver a provocative statement, or make the audience a part of the conversation.