It is not easy for anyone to make a presentation for a more or less large and more or less known audience, but it is also true that a great idea presented in a undistinguished manner may detract from the effort and value that the content that is exposed has. For this reason I want to share with you the “best practices” to prepare a company presentation.

First of all we must take into account if it is a presentation that must be explained by itself (it will be sent by mail, it will be downloaded from the web) or if it will be presented by a speaker. The keys that we present below take into account the second option.

1. Think in Word

Start preparing a presentation from PowerPoint (or Keynotes, for Apple lovers) can lead us to make two mistakes:

  1. Do not express everything we want to convey
  2. Put on the slides everything we want to say (success assured if we want our audience to fall asleep or get up and leave)

So the first thing we have to do is dump everything we want to say about on a text document.

It is important that we give an adequate, explanatory but original title. It may happen that in this phase of our preparation we think of one, but we can always go over it later.

2. Get rid of the straw

At this point, we organize and prioritize the information until we achieve that our speech fits the following scheme:

Estructure of a good presentation

3. Tell a story

To capture the attention of the audience, it is advisable to find a story that serves as a storyboard to direct our speech. A story that connects with our audience, for this it is important to think about who they are, what their cultural references are, common points, possibilities of using humor, etc. It will also help us find graphic support elements.

We can rely on some personal experience, look for an analogy with the content, or simply invent a story that fits our content. A good example -and recommended reading- is “La isla de los cinco faros” -Spanish version- by Ferrán Ramón Cortés, a book in which the keys of personal communication are exposed through the observation of five marine lighthouses.

We are done with the hardest part!

4. Alpha and Omega

With a clear content structure and a draft of the story, we can now focus on developing the introduction and closing of our speech.

The introduction is the key moment in which we have to connect with the audience and arouse their interest. With the closing, we have to start their applause!

5. Cut, paste and color

Since the speaker is going to be there, he will overcome his stage fright, he will position himself as a point of reference … we have to make the audience pay attention to him. The visuals have to support the speaker, and not the other way around.

Now we have to decide which part of the structured content we want to say and which part we want to show. The time has come to use Power Point or Keynote.

We will have to go back to the text document and decide which parts of each point we can explain with images and which parts we should explain orally.

Here it is worth that “an image is worth a thousand words.” A very good example of good use of the images is the following:

Visual presentation

Font: Soap presentations

What message do you think came best to NASA engineers about the dangers of a spacecraft explosion?

Depending on the importance of the presentation, we can decide to do the visual part ourselves or put it in the hands of a graphic designer. The difference will be without a doubt remarkable.

And here are the 5 key points to prepare presentations. I hope you will be of help for your next presentation!