Your Guide to a Good Presentation

18 Jul 2023

So, you need to get in front of a panel and give a good presentation. It’s normal to feel nervous and unsure of where to start, especially if this will be your first time. Well, take a deep breath and get ready to learn because we’ve got a guide for your next presentation! A good presentation can sell an idea from a college thesis to a career-changing business proposal. This makes it crucial and pivotal and getting an important idea out there.

A successful presentation has two important components: the deck and the speech. We’re here to give you a concrete guide to both of them to ensure a well-delivered presentation for your next meeting.

A Good Presentation Deck Guide

Let’s dip our toes into the design for a bit. To give a successful presentation, you will need a good deck, which is a collection of slides used as supporting visuals for a presentation.

While a good graphic designer is essential for a visually appealing deck, there’s also some things you can learn. No matter the length or the topic of the presentation, there are a certain set of rules to follow for your visuals:

1. The Heading is the Slide’s Guide

The heading of a slide is the audience’s introduction to the current point. It should convey immediately what the slide is about. A good rule of thumb is the header should be related to all the content on the slide, like a landmark. 

A good header should convey the slide’s message from far away.

Try to use striking words for your header. Don’t use too many characters for the header to make it as concise as possible. You may also phrase the header as a question (“Did Our Participants Enjoy the Event?”) or a presenting phrase (“This is What They Thought of the Event”). You may even summarise the whole slide with the header (“Our Participants Loved the Event!”) and use the rest of the presentation to guide your supporting evidence. 

2. More Images, Less Text

As a general guide to your presentation, there should be more images than text in the slides. The slide should add to your point and enhance your message. Adding too much text in your deck distracts your audience from you and instead, they will focus on reading the slides.

This should also deter you from the #1 faux pas when presenting, which is using the deck as a teleprompter. Never read from your deck unless highlighting a crucial point. 

3. Your Presentation Text Should Always be Legible

Font size is important for a clear deck. While it may be silly to use a twenty-eight-point font size for your presentation, it’s necessary. From anywhere in the room, the texts in your deck should be legible for all audiences. Be sure to check the legibility of your slides during your tech run! 

This makes it not only easy for your audience to get back to your point when they get distracted, but it’s also a good rule of thumb for you to trim down your words. If you cannot fit large fonts in your presentation, then it’s time to recheck if your slide is text-heavy. 

4. Enhance Your Presentation, Not Entertain.

The last point we want to drive home is that your deck should enhance your presentation and not entertain the audience. It’s enticing to add cute animations, dazzling effects, or extravagant transitions while building your slides. But, in reality, they’re unnecessary. It can even harm your deck by slowing things down and destroying the flow. It’s better to stick to the basics and let your speech do the talking. 

A Guide to an Effective and Informative Presentation

The deck enhances your presentation, but the contents of your message is what sells it. It starts with a comprehensive understanding of your report, followed by simple wording:

Well-Structured. Structuring the information well to give is critical, because the organisation of your presentation should convey the overall idea neatly. As a general rule, your presentation should begin with an agenda, or a purpose. This should be followed by the main information or data-driven reports that should support a business proposal or invite feedback and brainstorming.

For feedback, practise your presentation in front of others.

Always end your presentation with Key Takeaways. It summarises the entire presentation without the full showcase of data. These should be the points that your audience will remember as they leave the meeting room.

Data-Driven. To build up confidence in your presentation is to believe in what you’re presenting. Ensure that the flow and topics of your presentation is driven by data with a foundation of accurate information. Have charts, graphs, or percentages prepared to give your presentation a proper leg to stand on, and you can never go wrong.

Do proper research, prepare accurate data, and practise your presentation in front of others to calm your nerves.Overall, a good presentation has one purpose: to leave your audience well-informed with opportunities for brainstorming. 

Worded Simply. A successful presentation is clear no matter the report. Whether you’re presenting to pitch or if you’re giving a project update, it’s best to keep the language plain and simple. 

Check the clarity of your presentation by running it on evaluation tools.

Don’t use heavy jargon or extravagant language or try to sound “too professional”. It’s best to keep your presentation short, sweet, and simple. A swift practice goes a long way to see if your wording sounds forced or unnatural. As a tip, you can use online text evaluation tools that can assess the grade level of your speech.

A Good Presentation Invites Collaboration!

…And that wraps up our guide for a good presentation! This should give you a solid foundation to start preparing for your presentation. Remember that it will always boil down to believing in your topic. If you love what you’re delivering, then it should be a piece of cake to convince others of it as well. Even if it’s just you who is presenting, the environment of your presentation should be collaborative. Ask for questions and feedback for improvements, and you should be good to go.