Magazine Contact #21 - Magazine - About us - Concept Wiesner-Hager
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The difficult fate of the good presentation. Please don’t fall asleep on me…

Magazine Contact #21

Dumbing down: Blockbuster film director Michael Bay (“Transformers” and “Pearl Harbour”) landed in the media with a presentation because he fled from the stage in a panic, when he was no longer able to follow his own teleprompter text. But even when the text is fine it is still by no means a guarantee for successful lectures, presentations and conferences. The question is: What modern presentation techniques can you use to inspire your audience?

Is it all just a matter of equipment?

Let’s go from large to small. State-of-the-art for communication rooms are touchscreen monitors. They can be used to effectively and clearly convey content. In addition, work can be done together on documents, content created can be digitised with the push of a button. For the right impact it should be at least 55 inches. An alternative to this are interactive whiteboards. They serve on one hand as digital projection surfaces for presentations or as electronic flipcharts. Wireless presentation systems are also increasingly establishing themselves. The projectors or monitors can be controlled directly from mobile terminals such as notebooks, tablets or even smartphones via WLAN technologies.

 

A picture says more than a thousand words.

However technology is not everything! It depends on the visualisation. A new technique to prevent the audience from nodding off into a waking coma is graphic recording. With diverse tools, such as Powtoon, presentations can be transformed with little effort into animated clips. Anyone not shying away from the expense and effort can also hire a live illustrator for this, who translates complex content into colourful images with lightning speed.

 

 

And nevertheless it’s still the words which actually matter.

As mentioned in the beginning, silence is not always golden. The technology may be working perfectly and a lot of effort may have gone into the visuals but if the content doesn’t captivate the audience then it’s all in vain.

Tell stories! Storytelling, a narration technique that imparts knowledge in the form of a metaphor, has also been around for presentations for ages. Embed your relevant information in a story, in line with the motto of “help me and entertain me”. And stir up emotions, capture their hearts – like Ironman, alias Tony Stark alias Robert Downey Jr. did in the presentation of his new secret weapon. He appealed to the audience’s passion instead of paralysing them with facts and figures. They can glean this from the handout anyway or they will no longer be relevant, as soon as you’ve made a proper BOOM! and their attention has been ignited.

 

The 1 x 1 of a good presentation

 

For many years PowerPoint presentation were considered good, safe tools for lectures. The latest studies report that the slides make people stupid. This is because when one looks at a slide one is no longer listening. On top of that the slides are also ignored after a brief period and their usefulness or added value to the presentation ends up at zero within a few minutes. The following tips help to avert this danger so not every presentation has to automatically end in dumbing down or coma:

 

  • Reading off slides is absolutely taboo – the audience will otherwise start reading themselves and ignore the speaker.
  • Maximum time spent on each: 3 minutes.
  • No continuous text on slides – only images, graphics etc.
  • Exception: The last slide – key facts can be repeated there in writing.
  • Always incorporate figures into diagrams.
  • Maintain one uniform colour scheme.
  • Matter of taste: Go through the agenda when starting the presentation.
  • Always use the same type of animation.
  • Nervous hands should hold a pen, then they’ll be inconspicuously occupied.
  • Look at the audience, ideally approach them and involve them in the presentation.

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