I have been reading recently on some of the business magazines about how to make a killer presentation or to ensure that you engage your audience during your presentation; you need to provide them with a slidedoc. (presentation in word form, without the unnecessary verbiage).
While I agree it is good to prep your audience especially those who seem to be too busy to digest any information (basically the top guy), I am a strong believer to pare your message to the simplest form. That is to say, out with the jargons and use simple and straight to the point words. How many times have you sit in a presentation where, either the speaker expects you to already know the topic, thus the content will be relevant to you, or when the speaker is speaking something so ‘foreign’ that you lose interest altogether. Either way, presenters tend to fall in the vicious cycle of using lots of words and not enough images.
Everyday we are constantly bombarded with ads that entice us with beautiful images or visuals that make us succumb to unnecessary buying. This, in itself, has proven that we are basically attracted to a visual message than lengthy sentences. In addition, our minds just find it difficult to focus on one thing when it deems it to be ‘boring’ or when there is another interesting thing intervene like playing with the phone in a presentation.
Although it is true that the use of images will entice your audience, there are other factors to be considered. For example, the content of your presentation needs to be relevant and never try to deviate from your point (unless you are able to make a connection to your content). Presenters need to also learn to ‘read’ the audience. It is easy and tempting to go into a presentation and present all you have prepared but if your message did not convey, you have failed in your presentation. Engage your audience and make sure that they feel that they will learn from your presentation and that they are also able to contribute their inputs.
So to recap – present without jargons, use images, learn to read your audience, engage and interact with your audience. Lastly, for those who do not like to use Microsoft PowerPoint, you can check Prezi as an alternative. (www.prezi.com)