Four “Cs,” Fewer Yawns

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How To Make a Great Presentation

If you’re responsible for generating your company’s PowerPoints or presentations, you’ve suffered through enough of them to know what makes audiences yawn: like being able to read everything the speaker is saying, copy so dense you need a reciprocating saw to get through it, miles and miles of screens without anything cool to break it up, designs and color schemes and fonts that change with each transition. Four simple “Cs” can keep your audience from yawning, and keep your information top of mind.

Establish Credibility

What qualifies you or the speaker as a subject matter expert? What story, experience, career path, or successfully managed challenge will tell the audience why they’ll learn by listening?

Minimize the Copy

“Why buy the cow…?” is a good reminder for those of us who give or develop presentations. Who wants to listen to the speaker if everything they’re saying can be read on the screen? Use just the key points as text teasers for a powerful effect, with 1-3 of your high-level points that can be easily remembered. And if a presentation is also a takeaway for your clients or audience, offer a copy with notes, or use a companion collateral piece as a leave-behind.

Maximize the Creative

Use the amazing photos, infographics, video and audio that are available today. There are plenty of presentations online that are great examples of what audiences love. Watch videos or hear from the experts about creating good presentations, like this one. Find ways to add interactive moments into your “production.” Then create a blend of imaginative images (and sound, if it supports the message) that keeps your audience’s attention and shakes them up – in a good way! – in between those dry stats.

Be consistent!

Proof and polish…and ask someone else to review your visual presentation, too, before you give it. It’s distracting to see a typo or mistake in a presentation, or to wade through too many sizes and styles of fonts. Give your overall theme and design some uniformity so your presentation helps brand your presenter or company with its quality and clarity of message. Errors in presentations arc back to credibility. They raise questions about how careful the presenter’s company is when absorbing and reflecting information and how meticulous they will be when handling someone else’s business. Strive for perfection in your final version – don’t leave the proofreading to the audience!

We have a number of resources on the CreativeStartsHere site that can help you build a better presentation. Head on over to our Featured Resources!