I have witnessed good public speakers fail miserably. They are prepared, confident and they exude positive vocal and visual energy. They have worked several hours on their PowerPoint presentation. There is a critical problem that we see over and over again. They are skilled at using the PowerPoint program, however they don't know what information to include on each slide.
How to organize and visualize content is a vital component of a successful presentation. To communicate an idea, a proposal, an improvement, a benefit; we must tell a compelling story that an audience wants to hear. These are challenges that most presenters face and they can make or break a presentation.
Thankfully, there are simple solutions you can follow that are extremely helpful. First, use a format to organize your content. Make sure your message is clear. Formats reduce preparation time and often, the duration of a presentation. They are more efficient than just brainstorming information onto a page or a visual. They also help speakers focus their messages better and improve transition from one point to another.
After you have organized your content, storyboard your visuals. Less information on each visual is preferable. Also, bear in mind that your first few drawings aren't necessarily your clearest or your best. Sometimes it takes a few bad ideas to get to a good one. We recommend using bullets, pictures and graphs:
- When using bullets, short phrases are better. We recommend a maximum of 6 bullets on a visual
- Pictures make a great impact as long as they support your message
- Graphs are better than tables when comparing numbers
After storyboarding, transfer your visuals to PowerPoint or Keynote.
If you're obliged to overload a visual, try building or breaking up. This way, you can show small amounts of information at one time which facilitates understanding by your audiences and greater impact by the presenter.