Principles of a Good Presentation

A presentation requires to attract the attention of the audience, it should be appealing and for one to achieve the mentioned areas, You have to put the following in to consideration so as to come up with a Good presentation.

1. Keep it Simple

Don’t let your message and your ability to tell a story get derailed by slides that are unnecessarily complicated, busy, or jumbled. Your slides should have plenty of “white space”. Do not feel compelled to fill empty areas on your slide with other unnecessary graphics or text boxes that do not contribute to better understanding. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become.

Keep your presentation simple

Limit text

Remember, the slides are meant to support the narration of the speaker, not make the speaker redundant

Limit animations

Use slide animations sensibly. Object builds (also called animations), such as bullet points, should not be animated on every slide. Some animation is a good thing, but stick to the most subtle and professional (similar to what you might see on the evening TV news broadcast). A simple “Wipe Left-to-Right” (from the “Animations” menu) is good for a bullet point, but a “Move” or “Fly” for example is too tedious and slow (and yet, is used in many presentations today). Listeners will get bored very quickly if they are asked to endure slide after slide of animation. For transitions between slides, use no more than two-three different types of transition effects.

Use high-quality graphics

Use high-quality graphics including photographs. You can take your own high-quality photographs with your digital camera, purchase professional stock photography, or use the plethora of high-quality images available on line (be cautious of copyright issues, however). Never simply stretch a small, low-resolution photo to make it fit your layout – doing so will degrade the resolution even further.

Have a visual theme, but avoid using PowerPoint templates

You clearly need a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation, but most templates included in PowerPoint have been seen by your audience countless times (It may have been interesting in 1993, but today the use of those common themes often undermines the professionalism of the presenter). Your audience expects a unique presentation. You can make your own background templates which will be more tailored to your needs. You can then save the PowerPoint file as a Design Template (.pot) and the new template will appear among your standard Microsoft templates for your future use.

Choose clearly visible colors

Color evokes feelings. Color is emotional. The right color can help persuade and motivate. There should be a sharp, clear contract between background and foreground colors on a slide.

Choose easy to read fonts

Fonts communicate subtle messages in and of themselves, which is why you should choose fonts deliberately. Use no more than two complementary fonts (e.g., Arial and Arial Bold). Make sure you know the difference between a Serif font (e.g., Times New Roman) and a Sans-Serif font (Helvetica or Arial). Serif fonts were designed to be used in documents filled with lots of text. Serif fonts are said to be easier to read at small point sizes, but for on screen presentations the serifs tend to get lost due to the relatively low resolution of projectors. San-serif fonts are generally best for PowerPoint presentations, but regardless of what font you choose, make sure the text can be read from the back of the room.

Use appropriate charts

Always be asking yourself, “How much detail do I need?” Presenters are usually guilty of including too much data in their on-screen charts.

In general, tables are good for side-by-side comparisons of quantitative data. However, tables can lack impact on a visceral level. If you want to show how your contributions are significantly higher than two other parties, for example, it would be best to show that in the form of a bar chart (below, right). If you’re trying to downplay the fact that your contributions are lower than others, however, a table will display that information in a less dramatic or emotional way.

Summary: A good presentation should have

  • Font sizes that the audience can read from a distance.
  • Suitable charts and graphs with understandable labels.
  • High contrast between background color and text color.
  • Proper spelling and grammar.
  • Appropriate art and graphics to help convey your message.
  • A consistent and simple design. This can be achieved using a slide master.
  • Limited number of words on each screen. Use key phrases and include only essential information.
  • Not have unnecessary CAPITALISATION.
  • Not have distracting flashy transitions such as text fly-ins. These features may seem impressive at first, but are distracting and get old quickly.
  • Not have too many animations and sounds that could negatively impact the credibility of the presentation.
  • Have good quality images that reinforce and complement your message. Ensure that your image maintains its impact and resolution when projected on a larger screen.
  • A limited number of slides. Presenters who constantly “flip” to the next slide are likely to lose their audience. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute.

Delivery Tips:

  • Know how to and practice moving forward AND backward within your presentation. Audiences often ask to see the previous screen again.
  • Have a Plan B in the event of technical difficulties. Remember that transparencies and handouts will not show animation or other special effects.
  • Practice with someone who has never seen your presentation. Ask them for honest feedback about colors, content, and any effects or graphical images you’ve included.
  • Do not read from your slides. The content of your slides is for the audience, not for the presenter.
  • Do not speak to your slides. Many presenters face the direction of their presentation rather than their audience.
  • Do not apologize for anything in your presentation. If you believe something will be hard to read or understand, don’t use it.