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Effective Presentations Using Smart Technology

May 6, 2008
The degree of how effective a presentation is lies with the presenter and not with the all singing all dancing presentation enhancing technology available today. You could have the very best PowerPoint presentation along with absolutely fabulous audio-visuals to impress the targeted audience but if you still do not manage to deliver your message your efforts will be rendered totally ineffective. It is true to say that technology helps and is important in its own way, but only as a means of support for you to get your message across.

You probably have far too many slides to begin with so you should have a good look through them and select the ones most relevant. Once this is done, you can then successfully intertwine what you are trying to say with your slides, ensuring that your message is not overshadowed with technological materials.

Even though being in possession of many slides to choose from is a good thing, the priority has to be crafting the point you are trying to get across with the storyboard. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word storyboard as "a panel or series of panels of rough sketches and major changes of action or plot in a production to be shot on film or video". This is why you have to think of your presentation as a production of this type and put your story together first of all.

Throughout the development of your presentation you must take into consideration the objectives you are trying to achieve as an end result. Your storyboard can then be designed with this in mind. Working through it this way will make sure that anything else you add acts as a means of support to your message instead of drowning it out.

When you have your storyboard in order, and have selected the slides which are needed, if you find that multiple slides are required to put over what you want to say, then dig a little deeper and try to pull together just one or two slides which would act as a support for the main points of your message.

You may well look through all your slides and decide that none of them is particularly relevant to what you want to say and this could be a good time to prepare some new slides. Your initial effort is always reviewable and changes can be made wherever you feel it is necessary for the easy flow of the presentation. Keep focusing on your message and objectives and if certain aspects have to be dropped or altered, don't hold back, simply get the changes made.

Many people get carried away with all the gimmicky assistance which is available when putting together a presentation. Use of such features to add that extra impact to the presentation is great, as long as they do not become a burden to you.

An excellent method to find out if the presenter is more significant than the slides is to make your presentation without the use of slides. This way you know you are delivering a sincere and genuine presentation and that any other visuals you may have in use are there simply as a means of supporting you and planting a firm picture in the minds of the people in your audience.

When you are addressing your audience, look them directly in the eye and make sure you keep eye contact. Think about how you have felt in the past as part of the audience of a presentation where the presenter has little if any eye contact with the attendees, and just simply reads from the slides. You probably wondered why the presenter bothered to turn up to the presentation at all, as you could easily have read the slides and gleaned exactly the same information without him or her being present.

So, you have cut down the number of slides in your presentation and feel confident that you have the right message going out with the important visuals supporting what you have to say. You may now like to use some of the following simple tips to help you deliver an outstanding presentation to your audience.

First of all, give a little thought to why the people may find your presentation interesting. Bear in mind the saying about a picture painting a thousand words and present your information with pictures that the audience will connect with your message and keep in their minds.

Another way to communicate with people and their emotions is by storytelling. Individual pictures are created by the audience and are better remembered in the future as they are their own pictures. A story also makes an otherwise boring presentation of facts and figures far more personal and interesting.

With your presentation prepared and ready to go, take a little time out for a practice run. If you find during this process that any part of your plan is not running as smoothly as you first anticipated, say for example, you discover some of your visuals are not having the desired effect, then pull them out. However super they look, getting your message across has to be the most important part of your presentation.

It is always a good idea to have a fall back plan which does not rely on power supplied visuals. This way, if there should be such a drastic event as a power cut, you will be able to continue, deliver your message and successfully achieve your objectives at the end of your presentation, This is another way of being sure that your visuals were there merely as a support to help you get your message across.

It may well be simpler to rearrange a bunch of slides and save yourself some preparation time. However, you are sure to find that the little extra effort to add some individual touches and your own original thoughts will be rewarded ten fold by way of personal satisfaction, when you use technology in a smart way and dazzle everyone with your well prepared and professionally put together presentation.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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