There are many ways to deliver an effective presentation.
If you’re a skilled presenter with a clear and powerful message you will most likely succeed in impressing your audience without needing to rely on a host of visual aids. Even so, presentation tools -correctly used- can certainly increase your impact.
The problem is: How do you know which tool to use? And once you’ve chosen a presentation tool, how do you get the best out of it?
Microsoft PowerPoint is the go-to presentation tool for huge numbers of people across the world, especially for Windows users. In a way, it is a victim of its own success: it is so familiar that audience members sometimes actively expect to be unimpressed before a PowerPoint-led presentation even begins (and bored soon after it starts).
Presenters sometimes blame the PowerPoint software itself for their own tendency to get bogged down. For example, because PowerPoint offers slides with bullet points by default, people may just write down everything they can think of to say and end up tediously detailing long lists of extraneous information.
Presenters often fail to step back from their computer and spend some time thinking things through: What message am I trying to get across here? Can I help the audience to visualise this in some way? Maybe via a simple graphic, a photo, a concept diagram or just by showing single phrase on the screen?
It’s unfair to blame the software for the failings of the presenter. PowerPoint actually offers a good range of features you could use to make your presentation more crisp and visual. You just need to be aware of these tools, then think of ways that they can help free you from the Tyranny Of Text.
Why not join one of our PowerPoint courses to discover these features and get some ideas about where you could apply them?
Prezi, and other alternatives…
They say a change is as good as a rest; could this be true for you and your audiences? PowerPoint isn’t the only presentation tool on the market. One of the most intriguing to emerge in the last few years is called Prezi.
The browser-based system from Prezi might offer you a refreshing change from the slide-based approach of Microsoft’s PowerPoint and Apple’s KeyNote software.
Prezi is free-to-use and requires no software installation, just an up-to-date browser. All your shows are automatically stored online, ready to use whenever wherever you need them, just so long as you have an internet connection.
Prezi offers you a blank canvas rather than slides, which may suit your inner artist. It can be very effective for telling a story, injecting a feeling of motion into your talk, and for zooming in on the details as well as showing the big picture.
Click here to view our Prezi course outline