Oh no, it’s another snoozer! Slide by slide the audience struggles to stay awake during a colleague’s presentation. How can you avoid this during your own? Do your homework and make sure you research your subject well, design an effective PowerPoint (aka “Deck”), and have the right tools to deliver. Do a YouTube search on ‘Steve Jobs Keynote’ and take some time to watch and study some of his speeches. Pay attention to his free-flowing movements and simply-designed slides.
No need to write out your whole speech – keep it to bulleted items and expand naturally upon them. Don’t over use animation but use them effectively if you plan to add a few. Know your audience. What do they need to know? What do they already know? And ultimately, what is in it for them? Outline and organize your content before building your deck. Prepare a strong close by summarizing your conclusion. Then Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
KNOW YOUR DOMAIN:
Take a few minutes to get familiar with the operations of your AV equipment. Will you be projecting on the boardroom wall for some co-workers, or will you be on stage in front of hundreds? Will you be controlling the laptop or will you have a remote? Can you see the main screen from where you are presenting or will you have a personal “Confidence Monitor”? Will your screen be in an older 4:3 or the newer 16:9 widescreen ratio? Build your deck accordingly. Not knowing your AV setup could add some additional stress moments before taking the stage.
Do you have video to show? If so, how long is it? Don’t lose your audience by playing long boring videos. Consider editing the video down to the meat of it. NEVER rely on wifi to show videos from YouTube or other website, we have seen many failures. Get the video file, there are ways to download most youtube videos to your hard drive, and be SURE to embed those videos to your presentation. Does your video have audio? Who’s in charge of the sound system? Make sure to touch base with the sound crew a couple days prior to make sure they are prepared with an audio feed. Download YouTube videos? Embed videos into my deck? Google it!
Many people are afraid of microphones. Decide which one will be most comfortable for you to present with. Handheld and podium mics are without a doubt the best sounding microphones for any PA system, but lapel or headset mics offer the freedom to roam and be more natural. Professional presenters tend to use headset mics because they sound a lot better than lapel mics – what options will be available to you?
There are many projectors out there but which one do you choose? You have many things to consider when selecting the right projector, including the size of the screen, the screen ratio (4:3 vs 16:9), the distance of the projection and most importantly, the amount of ambient light in the room. The brightness of a projector is measured in ‘lumens’ and rental projectors can range anywhere from 1,500-10,000 Lumens. Always be sure to test the projector’s brightness in advance if you are unsure of the overall clarity. Are you using your own laptop, or the AV teams computers?
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Consider recording your presentation on video. First and foremost, you can learn a lot from watching yourself give a presentation. Do you look nervous, fidgety, did you move around too much? If this is an important presentation, you should have some stage lighting, and backlighting especially if you are doing video! Are the stage lights too bright in your eyes? Probably! That is show business for you. Ideally, stage lighting should be 45 and 45. 45 degrees to the sides, and 45 degree high. Is your presentation worth selling? Maybe you can produce some DVDs for some extra money.
“Presenting To Win, The Art of Telling Your Story” by Jerry Weissman is an excellent book about staying focused on what your audience really wants from your presentation. It is known as the bible of PowerPoint Presentations and is a great resource for anyone that struggles with public speaking.
Amos Productions specializes in corporate entertainment and audio-visual needs, including services ranging from equipment rentals to full service corporate events. Our staff of experts will provide you with the support needed to create and implement your vision into a full-fledged corporate production, company conference, award show, holiday party or smaller scaled meeting. We strive to provide all of the A/V equipment you need, without the technical jargon and hassles. The experts here will assist you in selecting the right components, with the support needed to deliver a successful event. We also provide on-call assistance and are here for your every need.