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Presentation Tips: Design Your Own Success Story

Jul 6, 2008
Do you have an important presentation to deliver? This article is designed to provide you with some useful tips that will help you make a great impression on your boss, co-workers or prospective clients. Specifics may vary from person to person; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which everyone can benefit.

You've probably heard the phrase dress for success. Certainly, the term can be applied to most presentations whether the presentation is designed for a corporate board room, a classroom, or the next membership meeting of your local club or organization. Indeed, what you say is crucial, but how you say it can go a long way in determining the impression that is left on your audience.

To follow are five presentation tips that can help make your presentation more impressive:

Presentation Tip #1: Use pictures wherever possible. Everyone is familiar with the cliche' a picture is worth a thousand words and in the case of presentations, this can be especially true. If you're using slides that describe a new product, be sure to actually show the product itself. If you're creating a written presentation that talks about new people who are joining your team, try your best to include their pictures in your document. Another benefit to pictures: if you're presenting to an international audience, and language may be a barrier, pictures will communicate universally for you.

Presentation Tip #2: "Include graphs, diagrams and tables. If you've ever picked up and scanned through an annual report, you'll likely have noticed several pie charts, bar graphs and tabular information that quickly communicate essential data in a way that makes that data stand apart from text. Other examples of graphic devices that can add to the effectiveness of your presentation are: flow charts, time lines and organizational charts.

Presentation Tip #3: Animate. Most presentation software packages, PowerPoint for example, include animation features that transform one-dimensional slides into moving shows. Examples are builds that enable key points to build one by one (or several by several) onto the slide to emphasize your messages. Other features include fade-in and fade-out as well as wipe and box out animations that can add instant interest to slide presentations.

Presentation Tip #4: Color your world. Adding color to presentation slides immediately emphasizes essential ideas. However, do not use too many different colors. And, much like good fashion, be aware that colors must complement each other instead of clashing. If you're creating a business presentation, its usually a good idea to use your company's corporate colors wherever possible. If your company has a graphic design department, they can help make sure you use the right color schemes.

Presentation Tip #5: "In written presentations, consider the paper and other factors. One of the surest ways to impress a reader is to use special designer-inspired paper (such as linen stock or cotton-laid textured stock). These types of elegant papers can help to communicate an upscale, high quality image for yourself and your company.

In addition, linen report covers and portfolios will do the same thing. Something else to consider: the use of presentation products that enable you to custom-print your name, your customers name or any message you want through your desktop computer printer. Computer-printable presentation products are great for preparing last-minute presentations. And, custom-designing the look of your presentation for individual customers can really impress them.
About the Author
Sharon Mann is President of the I Hate Filing Club, a group of nearly 100,000 office professionals who hate filing but love finding new ways to become more organized. For information about how you can get new ideas, sample new products and connect with your peers, visit www.Pendaflex.com.
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