A piece of advice for better presentations

The last weeks I learned a lot (again) about better presentations. Although I’m usually a gifted presenter, that’s not a guaranty for outperforming every presentation, like I have to admit. So some weeks ago I was asked to hold a presentation, but just with 8 slides. It was a pretty instructive procedure for me to cut my 22 slide presentation down to 9, but I learned to recognize the essential messages of my presentation much better. Some of the slides I’ve cut I never used again. Lesson learned:

After dealing some time with an issue, try to cut down the issue to less than half of the slides to get a better feeling for important messages in it.

That presentation was pretty much better than before. I won a interested business angel, Mr. Wiethoff, who’s both: experienced and pleasant. With him we reworked the presentation once again. We had a difficult tech slide in it, which was somehow hard to explain. Mr. Wiethoff just asked: “What’s the message of that slide? One sentence please!” Once again we had to rethink about it but we created a better idea for the slide. Lesson learned:

Rework any slide with an unclear message. You must be able to say it with one sentence.

And finally we decided to add a final slide with the message of the whole presentation in 3 short & memorable essentials to let them sink in when the presentation is finished. Lesson learned:

Keep some good stuff for the end, because that picture is often remaining longer than other slides. It might be the one the audience remembers easy.

One Response to A piece of advice for better presentations

  1. ReneMT says:

    Good points! As I also have to present some new stuff I am developing now and then the last time I just can underline how important clearly structured and first of all simple and pregnant slides are for catching the audience’s attention. You also have to consider the fact that most people will follow your words with maximum interest for only about 20 minutes (besides you’ve got the real killer topic 😉 ). So this is another reason for tightening a presentation.

    Btw. the story reminds me a little bit of my diploma examination: I had to cut down my diploma thesis from about 60 pages to a 10 minute presentation… Was a hard piece of work 🙂

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