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Presentation Skills – A Very Detailed Guide (1) – Tips

Introduction to the series of Presentation Skills. This is 1st on the series of the presentation skills topic that shall be described in a form of a Guide. (A very detailed guide actually).
We shall be covering the following
1.      Presenting Information – Tips
2.      Using Body Language in Presentations
3.      Sequencing
4.      Signposting
5.      Presentation Segments
6.      Getting Prepared
7.      Using Charts
8.      Using Fonts Effectively in Your Multimedia Presentation
9.      Refine Your Techno-Human Interface
10.    To Woo Senior Management, Respect Their Principles
11.    To Avoid Lecturing and Droning Monologues
12.    Ten Commandments of Client Presentations
13.    Dealing with Presentation Disasters
14.    Power Tips for Presentations with Computer Projection
15.    Concluding Your Presentation Well
16.    Managing Difficult Audience Behaviour
17.    Handling Questions with Authority
18.    Preparation: The Key to a Relaxed, Effective Presentation
19.    Presentation Anxiety 1: Physiological Interventions
20.    Presentation Anxiety 2: Psychological Interventions
Let’s get started with the first topic

Presenting information – Tips

Title

  1. A good title slide is unambiguously clear, attention-grabbing or suspense-creating.  In a serious business presentation the ideal title presents the bottom line of the proposal (reduce Package Size to Increase Sale Slice)
  2. All titles must be self-explanatory.  Repeat the title on every slide, ideally on the top right.
  3. Maintain consistency in style (preferably title case).
  4. Use serif fonts.

Number slides.

  1. Bullets are not complete sentences.  More like telegrams than letters.
  2. Use simple language, small words, and phrases rather than long sentences
  3. Use bulleted list or short sentences.  Avoid writing in a conversational style.
  4. Capitalise where appropriate.  Do not do so to emphasise words.
  5. Ideally, each page should have five or six bullets. 
  6. If you have more than three points, number them.  They make reference easier. 
  7. Use sans serif fonts.  Font size depends on audience size.  The larger the audience size, the larger the font size.
  8. For bullets, use filled dots, diamonds and tick marks for main points, dashes and circle outlines for sub points.
  9. Ensure text alignment.
  10. You can Avoid Greek symbols and Wingdings or Webdings type of characters.  They often mimic Roman alphabet and lead to confusion.
  11. Ensure space between bullet mark and the bullet point.
  12. Bullets for small number of points (3-5).  More than that, numbers
  13. Colour and graphics arouse interest but should be used with discretion.  Slides cannot look busy.  Graphics must be relevant or not used at all.  Therefore, a better term to use would be “illustrationâ€� of information. Strategically, a graphic, if reserved for the last slide works well.
  14. Recommendation of content – slide 1 should include a self-explanatory presentation title, name of presenter and presentation date.  Slide 2 should have the presentation agenda.  Slide 3-8/9, content of presentation, slide 10, a summary of the entire presentation. 
  15. Do not have a “Questions?â€� or “Thank youâ€� slide.  A blank concluding slide, or one with the corporate logo while you conclude is advisable.

Template background

  1. For greatest readability, use a light background with dark lettering on it. 
  2. For less text, you can use a dark background with light text.  
  3. Do not use heavily patterned backgrounds that overwhelm the words, and create confusion.

NEXT – Using body language in presentations

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About The Author

CA, ISA, CISA, BCAF. Friends call me Techno Savvy Chartered Accountant. I work at EY in System Audit

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