YOU Are Your Presentation, Not The Slides

YOU Are Your Presentation, Not The Slides
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A fact that is often forgotten when putting together fantastic slides that will “wow” your audience — YOU are your presentation, not the slides. You can include all the cool animation, images, and graphs you like, but your slides will not persuade your service, only you will.

3 Basic Presentation Mistakes
Data from thousands of business presentation skills training participants highlights the most common mistakes by inexperienced presenters. Too many presenters get so wound up in the slides that they have spent so much time creating that they commit a form of slide “suicide” by these three basic mistakes:

  • Turning their back to the audience and thus losing audience attention
  • Leaving a slide on the screen too long and thus losing its impact when the topics
  • Including too many bells and whistles and thus confusing the audience

4 Ways to Improve Your next Presentation
Yet, slides can enhance your presentation when used correctly and to illustrate critical themes. Sales presentation training experts have put together these four hard and fast rules to follow so that you appear professional and that you strengthen, rather than weaken, your message:

  1. Do Not Read Your Slides
    Your audience can do that on their own. Project the slide and pause a moment while the audience orients themselves to the image. Then maintain eye contact while you expand upon the significance of the slide.

    If you provide handouts at the end of the presentation, the slide will provide a visual reminder of how you can help them.
  2. Do Not Rigidly Stick to Slides in Order
    Questions may pop up and you may need to head off in another direction from what you had planned. Be flexible enough to change the order of the way you present the slides and even omit those that have little relevance to your current audience.

    If you have a printout of the slides in front of you, you can easily switch from one to another by using their slide numbers.
  3. Do Not Overlook the Lighting
    Brightly lit or darkened rooms can have negative effects on your slides’ appearance. It is best to assume you will be presenting in bright light unless you know otherwise. Dark printing on light backgrounds is best in clear light.

    If you notice your audience struggling to “read” your slides, forget the slides and present your message on your own. Remember that the objective is always to deliver your presentation with as much impact as possible. Fuzzy, overly pale or overly dark slides distract from your core message.
  4. Do Not Go On Too Long
    Every audience has an attention limit. If you have been given more than an hour to present, be sure to include a break so that your audience can re-focus when they return. All they need is a quick ten minutes to stretch and then you can resume.

The Bottom Line
Great presenters do not rely on their slides. They focus on connecting with their audience to make their desired impression and impact. While your presentation slides must be good, remember that YOU are your presentation, not the slides.

To learn more about making better business presentations when the stakes are high, download How to Tell a Better Story


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