Presenting to an audience is often a small challenge. Most presenters are more or less nervous when standing in front of an auditorium. Many people even get real stage fright. But what helps against it? Besides aids such as autogenic training or tranquilizers, there is an unspectacular but effective trick to alleviate the fear of performing in front of an audience: Professional preparation.

Stage fright can affect anyone who performs in public. The fear of appearing in front of an audience is often not so easy to control. There are musicians and actors who have been performing in public for decades as true professionals and who suffer from stage fright time and again. What happens if the artist forgets the text or plays an audibly wrong note? Then nervousness can quickly turn into panic. Once you have panicked, it is very difficult to get the situation under control again. For presenters, breakdowns during a presentation are the biggest stress factor. The audience often doesn’t even notice smaller mishaps. Larger breakdowns can ruin the entire presentation.

Is stage fright a part of it?

Not all people are the same. There are speakers who have a lot of experience and self-confidence and who hardly feel nervous when speaking in front of large groups. Then there are presenters who are not at all afraid of smaller groups, but become restless in large halls. I read about former CSU chairman Edmund Stoiber that he routinely gave his speeches in large beer tents. But as soon as a TV camera was running, he got nervous. A small group of people may actually be completely free of nervousness when they have to deliver a speech in front of an audience. The vast majority of people who “expose” themselves to an audience know feelings ranging from mild nervousness, to strong inner restlessness, to severe stress and anxiety attacks.

Basically, we all can’t help it if we get stage fright. It is an automatic reaction that is deeply rooted in our genes. Our ancestors had to react quickly when hunting wild animals or fleeing from warlike conspecifics. The body releases adrenalin and prepares the organism for fight or flight. Of course, today we are no longer in danger of our lives when we want to present something in front of a larger group of people. Stage fright is connected with an expectation that the quality of our performance will be judged by the audience.

Stage fright can be your ally

One thing is clear: A strong stage fright, when you can hardly keep up on your feet, is of no use to you. In such a case, you should consider visiting an experienced therapist who can help you professionally to get your fear under control. However, a slight tension will bring you some advantages. Stage fright sharpens the senses. You become more concentrated, your senses are all at their peak and you can focus entirely on your presentation. You will not be distracted by trivialities, but with your consciousness you are completely in your task.

Which little trick soothes your stage fright?

As we have just found out, a slightly increased adrenaline level is quite helpful to conduct a presentation with high concentration. But often the fear of failing in front of an audience is unpleasantly high. In addition to various breathing and relaxation exercises, there is a profane, but quite effective method to lower the stress level before a presentation. And this is the optimal preparation. We have already noticed that breakdowns can ruin the whole presentation.

By eliminating all sources of error as much as possible, you can also step more calmly before your audience. That starts with the planning. Try to avoid time pressure by starting the preparations early. Under time pressure, mistakes creep in quickly. The sets of foils have a great potential for errors. Content errors, wrong design, the list of error sources is long. You can have a professional PowerPoint presentation created if you know a good agency for presentations. If you want to create the slides yourself, an agency can at least significantly improve the individual slides.

But the biggest “source of error” is often the presenter himself. Practice your presentation by reciting it out loud several times until everything fits. A professional presentation agency can also help you to achieve considerable improvements in your performance in a short time. A few hours of work with a presentation expert will greatly enhance your ability to speak in front of an audience. The more conscientiously you prepare yourself, the more confident and calm you will appear in front of your audience.

 

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In Germany there is a large number of different PowerPoint service providers. Customers can choose from a single company to a large agency. But which PowerPoint service is the right one? We would like to give you some suggestions on how to find the right PowerPoint agency for you.

If you want to hire a PowerPoint agency for your next presentation, you probably value top quality and you want to be sure that your audience will experience a convincing presentation. An external service provider should support you in achieving the best possible result. But where do you find the right PowerPoint agency? What should you consider before hiring and what criteria must a provider meet? The following questions should help you make the right choice.

Do I really have to have my slides created by a PowerPoint agency?

That depends very much on the goal you are pursuing with your presentation. The more important the goal is, the more important the quality is. If you only create slides from time to time, or if you have only created simple presentations for internal meetings, you do not have enough experience for sophisticated slide design. Really professional results can be achieved with service providers who offer presentations as a focus.

Which is better – a good all-rounder or a real PowerPoint specialist?

Of course, large marketing and advertising agencies also offer PowerPoint as a service. However, it will be rather rare that an employee is hired there exclusively for this topic. It will rather be the case that presentation slides are offered for an advertising campaign. These agencies certainly know how to integrate the corporate design and how to create a slide. What you rather cannot expect here are individual consultations that result in exactly the tailor-made solution that would be optimal for you. Real PowerPoint experts have the advantage that they have already created numerous presentations for a wide range of companies and target groups. They ask the right questions, they know which messages should be conveyed and how to put these messages into the right perspective.

Should I have my entire PowerPoint presentation professionally created or is a good revision sufficient?

This brings us back to the area of priorities. If you are planning a new company presentation or a sales presentation, then you should try to get the best out of it. In fact, you will only really succeed if you involve the PowerPoint agency of your choice as early as possible. If the concept and structure are not professionally planned from the beginning, it will be very difficult to correct wrongly set priorities and inappropriate concepts afterwards. The agency will conduct a detailed briefing interview with you to understand your company and your products and to present them in the best possible light. Good presentation agencies will ask you about the target groups to which your presentation should be directed. This way, you will receive an individual solution that will really pick up and convince your audience.
But of course, it is also quite sensible and effective to have an existing PowerPoint presentation reworked. Because even when the concept and structure have already been determined, the right PowerPoint agency can turn the individual slides into little masterpieces that can be turned into a “game changer” with brilliant design and convincing visual language. A presentation revision makes sense for every appearance in front of an external audience. The difference in quality will be considerable.

How do I find the right PowerPoint agency?

You can use social media such as Xing or Linkedin to ask your contacts or regional groups if someone can give you a tip. Of course you can also start a search query on Google and enter, for example, “PowerPoint Agency Frankfurt” or “Presentation Agency Frankfurt”. A series of results will be displayed. Small and large agencies, providers that are in your immediate vicinity or in the nearest city. You can take your time to look at the websites of the individual providers and decide which agency appeals to you most personally. Probably this will not be enough to make a really satisfying selection. You will have to have a personal conversation with some providers you find particularly interesting. You will find out how professional the various agencies are. What exactly do they offer, what special services or skills do they have to offer? What does the project management look like, what references can they provide. Think carefully about what you would like to know before a meeting. Afterwards you should have the necessary information to choose the right PowerPoint agency for your project.

Today, a good PowerPoint presentation does not only consist of a sequence of slides. The latest media formats and techniques are used to increase the success of a presentation. Good PowerPoint service providers know when and how a slide can be improved with high tech. The concept of Augmented Reality is particularly interesting, which in German means extended reality. The use of Augmented Reality helps your audience to absorb more information in less time with greater benefit.

If you are planning your next presentation, you should find out in advance which techniques you can already use for your messages today. Especially with company presentations, product presentations or sales presentations, it is important to convey the important messages reliably and to create positive emotions. Customers, influencers and decision makers should be convinced as well as possible. Especially the audience, which often sees presentations, is hardly impressed by a slide with text. This is where modern technologies such as augmented reality come in.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is about the technical extension of the perceived reality. Real and virtual worlds are connected with each other. In principle, augmented reality can mean all sensory perceptions. As a rule, the technology is applied in the field of vision. For example, a real image shown is used to display other images, text information, videos and graphics in real time. The application purposes range from information about the immediate environment, navigation faded into the field of vision to games.

Virtual reality or augmented reality – what is the difference?

Virtual reality refers to an interactive reality generated by computers. Through the artificial creation of images, sometimes also sounds, users can immerse themselves in virtual worlds. Modern digital technologies such as 3D software and corresponding technical equipment, for example, allow a 360-degree panoramic view in a virtual building whose original is thousands of kilometres away. There are video glasses and VR glasses, so-called head-mounted displays, which the user can put on to immerse himself in these virtual worlds. Virtual reality thus creates worlds that seem almost real, but are only technically created. Augmented Reality” belongs to the same subject area in a broader sense. But here the focus is on the expansion of the real world with additional information.

How to use Augmented Reality?

In augmented reality, additional digital information such as videos, images, text or 3D graphics are superimposed on a real image. Imagine, for example, the view plan of a large shopping centre, which shows the individual shops with homepage, free parking spaces on the site or information on the current schedules of the integrated cinema. Better known are sports broadcasts where times, positions or lines (offside display for soccer) are shown. The additional data enables the user to record specific as well as everyday processes in an optimized way and to carry out work processes in a time-saving way. This extended reality provides the user with additional information that can be quickly recorded. Jet pilots receive additional important data in real time through their glasses. This enables them to capture information that would otherwise not be accessible to their eyes. So when texts, infographics, images or videos are superimposed on a real image, we speak of augmented reality. Today, augmented reality is often used in everyday life, even if we are not always aware of it. Modern SLR cameras provide additional information in their viewfinders about focal lengths, exposure times, flash function, etc. to help the photographer to take good pictures. In all modern taxis, the current fare for the passenger is shown in the rear-view mirror.

Use Augmented Reality for your presentations

Augmented Reality offers an almost unlimited range of possibilities if you want to make additional information quickly accessible in a comprehensible way. For your own presentations you can use Augmented Reality to insert extensive information into your slides in a more comprehensible way, to inspire your audience with the use of the latest technology, or to integrate playful elements into your presentation. Ask your PowerPoint agency whether they have experience with the use of Augmented Reality. Your presentation will gain in quality and keep the attention of your audience for a long time. This technology can also be used very well as an eye-catcher at trade fairs. Good PowerPoint agencies have the necessary hardware and software to enrich your presentation with augmented reality. For particularly exclusive presentations with a limited number of participants, tablets can also be distributed to the audience in order to insert additional representational elements. Please also ask your agency if virtual reality glasses are available.

The higher your demands as a company or brand are for modern, contemporary solutions, the more important the use of augmented reality can be for the quality of your presentation. Use these modern solutions to convey your important information to your audience in a fast, comprehensive and entertaining way.

 

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If you want to have a PowerPoint presentation professionally created, choosing the right service provider is a crucial first step. There is no shortage of specialist agencies. But only a PowerPoint agency that can offer professional support in all aspects of a presentation is a suitable partner for your presentation success.

When is a service provider too expensive? Perhaps you have already asked yourself this question. Many years ago, I found an answer that seems right to me: If the costs are not in a reasonable proportion to the benefits provided, a service provider is not worthwhile. So if you want to have effective presentations created, it costs money. But with the right PowerPoint agency, your investment will definitely pay off. But what knowledge and skills does an agency need to bring to bear to ensure that your next presentation is as successful as possible?

The three most important success factors of every PowerPoint presentation

The success of your presentation depends on three basic factors: The right content, the right design and a speaker who presents the individual slides perfectly. You really need to achieve top results in all three areas in order to achieve the overall result.

So you need a service provider who can do much more than just design films. Only a full-service agency will be able to create a professional presentation for you from a single source. This agency has to conduct a comprehensive briefing interview with the management in order to work out the right contents and messages. It must know which film design can achieve the most convincing result. And it must be able to train the speaker in such a way that he or she really presents convincingly. These three factors must be brought together harmoniously to achieve the success you desire.

The right content and messages

A professional agency will always attach great importance to a detailed briefing discussion at the beginning of the work. This conversation is all about understanding the company properly. What is the company’s history, what services are provided, what values and self-image does the company want to convey. Of course it is also very important which target group is to be addressed. Only then does the presentation agency understand which messages need to be inserted into the presentation and in what way. Agencies that do not take the time to do this will not be able to understand the customer and his target group properly. If unprofessional work is done at this early stage, the overall result cannot possibly be optimal.

The selection of suitable designs and media

Only when it is clear what kind of company is to be presented, what content is to be communicated and who the target group is, can the right design be developed. It makes a big difference whether Porsche wants to present a new vehicle model or whether the Frosta company wants to promote a new organic vegetable pan. The design must fit the respective company and the content. What messages should be conveyed? Which emotions should be triggered in the target group? The agency must consider which images, animations or videos could fit the message and where they should be inserted. Extensive knowledge in neuroscience and advertising psychology is a great advantage. Which information has to be presented in which way to trigger the desired feelings in the audience? If you want an agency to create PowerPoint slides, you should make sure that the great design proposals are based on a well thought-out strategy. For example, if you are simply having your existing PowerPoint design changed to introduce a new “look”, then you should not have too high expectations of the effect on your audience. Without a well thought-out strategy, a few “cool” effects won’t do much good.

No successful presentation without a good presenter

Many companies only use the services of their agency until a PowerPoint slide set is completed. But that is only half the story. The most sensational presentation can fail if the speaker is not able to present the individual slides correctly. Your PowerPoint service provider should be able to prepare the speaker for the presentation. If your agency offers appropriate training, you should take advantage of the offer. Just a few hours of individual work with a presentation professional will bring great success. Sometimes an experienced executive only needs a few additional insider tips to raise his presentation performance from “good” to “very good”. Employees who need even more routine in the area of presentation will be able to increase their performance significantly through training.

How do I find a good PowerPoint agency?

A good agency should in any case cover all areas of the topic “presentation” professionally. If only partial aspects are offered, your presentation can only partially achieve the best possible result. Take the time for a detailed conversation and feel the presentation agency out. Which topics have already been worked on, which examples of success exist, what is the procedure for creating a presentation? If you take your time, you do not run the risk of getting into an agency that was too expensive in terms of the final result.

 

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What makes a good presentation? Not only do these include excellent PowerPoint slides; they are just one part of a successful presentation. They have to adapt form and content to the target group again and again to achieve the greatest possible success.

Presentation is an absolute key qualification today

The ability to present convincingly is one of the key qualifications in business and public life today. There are countless occasions where a presentation is now a part of the job. It starts at school, continues with studies or vocational training and accompanies a large number of working people throughout their working lives. Professional success depends to a large extent on whether a person can present professionally. Not so long ago, with a little luck, one could somehow get past this topic. Today, presentation is part of the working world.

The optimal type of presentation for all occasions is the dream of all presenters

Countless books have been written about presentations. The more books one reads about this topic, the more different opinions about the right way to present can be found. Many authors find that the pyramid principle developed for McKinsey in the 1960s is the ultimate method for building a presentation. Other experts argue that only through the right storytelling can important messages be conveyed safely. One author recommends showing only individual keywords on a slide, the next presentation professional assures that text has no place in modern presentations and that only the visual language will lead to the goal.

I myself have been dealing with the topic of presentation for decades. Over the years, I have read dozens of books about the right way to present yourself, and I have also written a few books on the subject myself. I am always invited to give lectures to explain my knowledge about the right methods. And of course I have also been looking for the ultimate blueprint for the perfect presentation. Clients who want to have professional PowerPoint presentations created by a presentation agency would of course want the ultimate for their money. So what could the perfect presentation look like that leaves nothing to be desired?

What are the basic rules for successful PowerPoint presentations?

But with the right method, it’s one of those things. I have often experienced how experienced speakers have used a generally accepted method and still only moderately appealed to the audience. Because as useful as it can be in one case to rely on the pyramid principle, it can be of little use in another topic and with a different audience. Storytelling is an excellent tool, but in certain situations the method is completely out of place. You will most likely not be able to reach all people in the audience with a certain presentation method. What may be too dry and overloaded with information for one viewer, may be too superficial and shallow for another. You will probably never be able to please everyone. But if by far the largest part of the audience gives positive feedback, you have done it right.

Professional preparation for the target group considerably increases the chances of success

There are speakers who go to an event with their presentation and then let themselves be surprised who is in the audience on that day. They rely on their experience and expertise and assume that they are already striking the right note. This is very reckless, because a failed one-time presentation can ruin the whole presentation. It is often a good start, for example, to create a good atmosphere with a little joke. But this can just as well go wrong if the jokes don’t do justice to the occasion or the audience. Therefore it is a very good idea to find out as much as possible about the audience before the presentation. Often you don’t have a homogeneous group in front of you, but most of the time you can find out something about whether the people sitting in the seats are more young or old, more academics or workers, people who want to be entertained or people who are looking for a solution to a problem. The more you can find out about your audience, the better you can adapt your presentation to them.

The audience decides what is a good or bad presentation. This simple fact is something many presenters do not take into account when preparing their presentations. Most focus their attention on what information they want to convey. But just as important is the question of who the information should go to.

If you work with a good PowerPoint agency, your contacts will attach great importance to analysing the target group in order to tailor a presentation to the needs of the expected audience.

The perfect target group looks different for different target groups.

A universal presentation that works equally well for any occasion and any audience is a tempting idea. But when you create a PowerPoint presentation, you need to consider many important factors at once. Companies often underestimate the effort required to make a presentation a real success. Even if you want to design the individual PowerPoint slides yourself, it is a good idea to consult an experienced presentation agency for strategic advice. The experts have extensive experience in determining which form of presentation is effective for which target group. This increases the chances of success for your next presentation considerably.

 

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Smavicon has developed a method how to create a successful presentation in four coordinated steps This gives you a compact guide to create an effective presentation in a short time. Learn more about the four phases of the Presentation Booster method.

How do you start a presentation? Before starting to work on a professional company presentation, there is always the question of how to approach such a project successfully at all. One possibility would be to hire an agency. They will receive a briefing and you can have your PowerPoint slides created by the agency experts. In many cases, the work cannot be delegated and you have to take the important steps to the finished company presentation yourself. Most people who have to prepare a presentation have trouble creating a meaningful structure. They then sit in front of an empty slide and do not know where to start. Some, on the other hand, get into a real slide battle and start immediately by filling slide after slide with content. At some point, they are faced with the challenge of structuring the entire slides in a way that makes sense.

A clear structure for every presentation

No presentation is like the other. They differ in length, content and target group. Under these conditions, can there even be a kind of master plan for the right approach to preparing a presentation? Is there a standard for the right start? Are there any aspects that must be observed? Are there any aids with which you can prepare a professional PowerPoint presentation faster and thus more efficiently?
With the Presentation Booster method you get clear, easy to follow structures that allow you to plan a presentation step by step.

Stage 1: Analysis

How do I create a presentation and where do I start? The first preparatory step for a successful presentation is a clear analysis. The topic of the presentation will be determined and limited to the essential aspects. You define the most important goals for the presentation. The main part of the analysis phase, however, deals with your target group. To whom do you direct your presentation? How does your audience probably “tick”? Do these people get excited by emotions, for example, or do you have to convince them by enumerating many facts?

Stage 2: Concept and core message

In this phase, it is important to work out the core message and define the basic structure. Here the content, the entire chain of argumentation, the actual content and the dramaturgy are determined. What should your audience take away as the core message and what are the individual steps with which you want to convince your target group?

Stage 3: The implementation phase

How should you design your presentations? In the implementation phase it is all about the concrete media design. Here you determine which forms, colours and layouts fit your content and your target group. Does your target group prefer sober, clear design elements or do they prefer to be impressed by beauty?
In addition to the design of the slides, this phase also includes dealing with the outer frame of your presentation. What does the lecture room look like? What are the lighting conditions and the technical equipment?

Of course, you can only have a limited influence on the external conditions. Therefore, the examination of the general conditions can be counted as part of the analysis phase. On the other hand, you can also adapt your presentation to the screen, room size and technical equipment. If you are presenting in a large hall with many spectators, you must take into account, for example, that your slides can still be read even in the last row.

Stage 4: The training phase

After the concept for the presentation has been implemented, you as the presenter are the focus of attention. An excellent set of slides is only half the story. If you do not master the right presentation techniques, you have practically no chance of convincing with your presentation. Therefore, the last phase is of enormous importance for your success. Your voice, your facial expressions, your body language, your entire appearance play a decisive role in the success of your presentation. An extensive training under realistic conditions helps you to improve your own effect in front of an audience. It is not about “playing” or acting as a person that you are not at all. On the contrary. Only if you are credible and authentic will your audience believe you. Practice in front of colleagues and get honest feedback. Or ask an expert. Just a few hours of training with a presentation professional will significantly improve your skills. If you are interested, you will find further valuable suggestions on our homepage or in the book “Designing and presenting Presentations Successfully”.

 

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Good PowerPoint agencies often use the latest scientific studies to further improve their work results. The main focus here is on the results of brain research regarding the effect of presentations. Which PowerPoint designs have a particularly appealing effect on the viewer’s brain and which ones less so? Can different layout variants generate certain emotions? Smavicon uses the latest scientific findings to achieve an even better effect in presentations.

Do I start with the perfect PowerPoint presentation?

Every entrepreneur who wants to have a professional PowerPoint presentation created will probably ask himself the following question: How can the effect of a presentation on the audience be determined exactly? Because if an external PowerPoint service provider is commissioned, the result should of course be as good as possible. The effect on the audience can of course only be checked exactly when the presentation is being held. There are a number of quite banal methods for this. For example, you can observe the audience closely during a presentation. Do the audience listen attentively, or do they check their mobile phones and gossip with their neighbours? Do they signal interest and approval? Or do the audience tend to show pinched mines, perhaps even accompanied by a shake of the head? How is the applause? Rather polite and restrained, or possibly thundering with enthusiasm? These are the first, very simple means of analysis to examine the effect of a presentation. There is also the possibility to send questionnaires to the participants, or to randomly question individual participants after the end of the event. This provides you with important information to better assess the effect of your presentation. However, there are two drawbacks to these methods: they are only conditionally precise and they can only be applied AFTER a presentation.

Can I determine the audience impact before the presentation?

Good PowerPoint agencies have a wealth of experience and can design a presentation in advance in such a way that the best possible effect on the audience can be expected. When you work with PowerPoint experts, you have a lot of security on the one hand because of the enormous knowledge, but many unknown factors can affect the final result. Smavicon, together with the research institute Neuromarketing Labs, has searched for scientifically sound factors for the perfect presentation. The agency considers itself an expert in creating emotionally appealing PowerPoint designs. The aim of the scientific study is to investigate the extent to which the agency’s layout optimizations are effective. Are Smavicon layouts really better received by the audience than the classic initial layouts? The results show that the audience success can indeed be planned to a large extent.

A model for the perfect presentation

During the research work, test persons were examined with the help of brain scans. It was noticed that the rational statements often deviate from the actual behavior, since their actions are strongly controlled by unconscious factors. Emotions were the decisive factor. The scanning of the brain regions in which decisions are made has been successfully applied in the field of market research for quite some time now in order to determine the highest level of emotional approval among potential customers for offers. Smavicon had set itself the goal of designing emotionally appealing PowerPoint layouts for the experiments. Above all, emotions such as curiosity, surprise, trust, desire or joyful expectation were the focus of the experiments. A good layout arouses and maintains the attention of the viewer and addresses him or her personally.

Emotions are the key to a successful presentation

Successful layouts must appeal emotionally if they are to be successful with the viewer. Smavicon examined the emotional impact of improved PowerPoint layouts before and after their optimization. Which PowerPoint designs appeal to the listener’s brain and which do not? Which emotions do the different layouts evoke? The effect of the layouts was compared with typical brain reactions to popular and amusing commercials. Commercials that were awarded the Golden Lion in Cannes are an excellent benchmark, as these commercials evoke exactly the emotions that are expected from an ideal PowerPoint layout. Once it had been clarified which brain areas are particularly stimulated in successful commercials, it was necessary to achieve the same results with PowerPoint layouts. Smavicon tested a number of different variants to find out what appeals most to the test persons. Special animated layouts from Smavicon showed a significantly different pattern of neural activity than other layout variants. The code had been cracked.

Smavicon integrated the results of these scientific findings into their own work and was thus able to significantly increase the success of their clients’ presentations each time.

 

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Every beginning is hard. This is no different when preparing a successful presentation. There are important details to consider and many mistakes to avoid. To help you deal with the most important questions concerning your presentation, we have summarized the most important guiding questions for preparing a presentation for you in our small series. In the third part we present you with further important questions that will help you in the conception of a presentation.

You know what that is? You have spent a lot of time preparing an important presentation and in the end you ask yourself the question: Have I really thought of everything? An important aspect is quickly forgotten, and if you are unlucky, you only notice it when you are already standing in front of your audience. What is important and has some rule been broken? When you’re not working in a presentation agency, and creating presentations is part of your daily business anyway, you quickly lose track: How do I structure my presentation at all? How much text is useful in PowerPoint presentations? Which font should I use in a presentation? What should be on the first PowerPoint slide and what should be on the last PowerPoint slide? Unfortunately, there can be no static guideline, since every good presentation is individually designed. However, there are some important guiding questions that should always be considered.
In the third part, we will introduce you to further questions.

6. How? (Design)

Design your presentation media to suit your target group:

  • How should the content be conveyed?
  • How do you deal with the presentation media and how do you design them?
  • How do you relate to the audience?
  • Choose a method that suits the occasion, the time available, your goal and the target group.
  • Decide between free speech and a presentation with the use of media (PowerPoint slides, flipchart, pinboard, video, audio etc. – see also “With what?”).

Are there any guidelines that you have to take into account? If so, which ones? As a presenter, you sometimes have requirements from the company you work for or are employed by. The creative freedom can be limited, for example, if a corporate design has to be taken into account.

Think about it:

  • Which type of design is suitable for your presentation?

7. Where? (Location)

You are often not free to choose the place and the premises. Depending on the location and equipment, the venue can support or hinder your presentation. If you have the possibility: Choose a location for your presentation that suits you, your topic and your audience. Ask concrete questions:

  • What are the environmental conditions at the presentation location (accessibility, parking spaces)?
  • Does the furnishing style fit the theme? Does the size of the room match the size of the group? Can additional chairs be brought in?
  • Which media can be used in the room?
  • Does the intended room offer sufficient space, light, ventilation and freedom from noise? Can it be assumed that there will be no disturbances?
  • Does the room have an appealing atmosphere?

Think about it:

  • Where should your presentation take place?
  • Can you alternatively switch to another location?

8. When? (Time)

If possible, place your presentation at a time when your audience is at a peak performance level. Ideally, your presentation should take place during the times of highest performance: for early risers between 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning, for late risers around 11:00 or in the evening between 18:00 and 21:00.

Think about it:

  • On what day and at what time should your presentation best take place?

9. How long? (Duration)

An important aspect is the duration of the presentation. The time window influences the duration and structure of your presentation. Important questions:

  • Can you yourself (co-)determine how long your presentation will last?
  • If yes: What do you think is reasonable considering your topic, your goals and – most importantly! – your target group?

The trend today is towards ever shorter and more efficient presentation formats. Regardless of the topic, presentations to senior executives are often limited to 20 minutes. Content must then inevitably be brought directly to the point. Let’s take a presentation as an example where the budget for an internal project has to be determined. If you have 20 minutes at your disposal, you must convincingly convey to the decision-makers what it’s all about, what the goal of the project is, what the benefits are, and what the benefits are for the company.

So think about it:

  • How much time is planned for your presentation?
  • What is the appropriate duration?

With the guiding questions presented, you have a solid basic framework that you can expand with detailed questions according to your needs. Allow enough time to cover all the important questions and answer them comprehensively.

 

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What do you need to pay attention to when preparing a presentation? Before the first slide can be designed, you should carefully consider how you want to create your presentation. However, the right preparation can only succeed if you can answer the key questions. In the second part, we will introduce you to other important questions that you should consider when preparing your presentation.

Before you start a presentation, you will almost automatically ask yourself a series of questions. For example: What exactly is my presentation topic? How do I start the presentation? Which font should I use in my presentation? What should the structure of the presentation look like? How long must the presentation be? It is easy to lose the overview and overlook important questions. For this reason we have compiled the most important guiding questions for your preparation.
Here are the next ones:

3. From who? (Target audience)

As a presenter, you must understand exactly how your audience thinks and feels. A clear goal is important and good, but without taking the target group into account, your presentation success is in question. The word presenter means of course that you have an audience. And you should know about this audience as well as possible.
Think about it:

  • What characterizes your audience?
  • What do you know about your target group?

Try to gather the following information in advance:

  • Who will you present to?
  • To which age group and gender do the audience predominantly belong?
  • What professional group(s) do the audience belong to?
  • What are the functions of those present or in which company divisions are they active?
  • What level of knowledge, expertise and practical experience in the relevant field are the listeners likely to have?
  • What interests, convictions and expectations do the listeners have?
  • What drives the people in the audience? What moves them?
  • Where are their priorities?
  • What is used to create trust with you?
  • What are they afraid of?

Try to include people in your preparations who know your audience better. For example, you could ask your own sales or service staff. If you have to give a presentation for an external organizer, try to get the necessary information through this channel.
The answers to all the questions listed provide you with the basis for your decisions regarding the content and structure of your presentation, the design of the media, the presentation framework and the presentation style.

4. What? (Contents)

Address your target group with your presentation content:

  • What is your topic and what do you have to say about it?
  • What is your core message?
  • What are the main points of content?
  • What could be a catchy, easy to remember title? What ideas do you have for subheadings?
  • What are your arguments for or against something?
  • What facts and evidence help support your message?
  • What examples and stories can you cite?
  • What aspect could be a good introduction to your topic?
  • How can your content be summarized at the end?
  • What could be effective closing words?

Think about it:

  • What is your topic?
  • What are the most important statements of your presentation?

5. With what? (Media)

Choose the media that are right for your target group:

  • Which visual or multimedia aids, which technology, do you want to use in your presentation?
  • With which medium(s) do you want to convey the content in addition to your speech text? Think also about the reusability of media.

First of all, it should be clear whether you are presenting digitally or in analogue form. Analogue media include, for example, flipchart, pin board, posters, banners, props and demonstration objects.

With digital media we differentiate between the presentation medium and the playback medium. Representation includes beamer projection on a screen, the use of an LED wall or a TFT flat screen. The playback medium in turn consists of hardware and software, i.e. the device and the presentation program. Devices can be: laptop, notebook, tablet (iPad, Android tablet, Windows tablet), smartphone, touch monitor (known from television for election coverage) or visualizer (a high-end overhead projector with built-in camera and many additional functions). PowerPoint, Keynote (MAC) and PDF reader can be used as presentation programs, for example.

The technical requirements at the presentation location are particularly important. Any technical limitations on site must be taken into account. Find out:

  • What about the power connection (extension cable, multiple socket)?
  • Are there loudspeakers in the room if you want to show a film?
  • Are beamer and screen available?
  • Can you connect a laptop?
  • Is a presenter available?
  • Does the room have darkening facilities (roller shutters)?

So think about it:

  • Which media can be used?
  • Which will you use?

In the third part, we will introduce you to further important questions for the preparation of your presentation.

 

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The correct preparation of your presentation is just as important as the presentation topic, the design of the contents and the performance of the presenter. In a small series we want to deal with the essential guiding questions that you should answer if you want to give a successful presentation.

Questions are sometimes more important for a project than answers. Questions give us the direction in which we think, analyse and work. With the right questions you can solve problems better, develop strategies and prevent mistakes to a certain extent. Have you ever heard of the seven journalistic W questions? I don’t know what it looks like now, but in the past the W questions were part of the tools of every serious journalist’s trade.
They are:

  • Who (did something)
  • what (did he do)
  • where (did he do it)
  • when (did he do it)
  • how (did he do it)
  • why (did he do it)
  • from where (is the information)

By applying these questions, journalists can gather the information necessary to write an informed article. What applies to the writing guild is very similar in other industries. In almost every profession it is important to ask the right questions. Especially for the preparation of presentations, we have compiled nine guiding questions that you can use to prepare and subsequently elaborate your presentation.

1. Who? (Presenter/s)

The point here is to identify which type of presenter is giving the presentation:

  • Who will present?
  • What personality does the presenter have?
  • Are rhetoric, voice, language and body language convincing for the target group?

Is the intended presenter the right choice for the topic and the target group? Could there perhaps be a candidate who would be more suitable? Sometimes it can also make sense to have two presenters, for example a salesperson and a technician or a product manager and a product developer. In this way the different personalities and competences can complement each other in a meaningful way. This increases the credibility and persuasiveness of the presentation. A team presentation can positively enhance the effect. It also symbolizes an appreciation towards the audience.

Please consider the following points:

  • Who gives the presentation? You alone?
  • What kind of person are you?

What for? (Targets)

The more clearly you have formulated your concrete goals, the more focused you can work on your presentation. What goal(s) are you pursuing with your presentation? What should be different after your presentation than before? What do you want to achieve with your presentation in the short, medium and long term? It may also be a very important question: What is the goal of your client? Is your presentation a persuasive or informative presentation?

The immediate goal of your presentation can be:

  • to inform (information presentation)
  • trainings (information presentation)
  • training (information presentation)
  • push, for example decisions, processes (presentation of convictions)
  • change feelings and attitudes, for example (presentation of convictions)
  • implement, for example projects (solution presentation)
  • motivate, inspire, convince (persuasion presentation)
  • sell (presentation of conviction)

Higher-level goals could be for you:

  • impress with professional competence
  • establish or consolidate expert status
  • be remembered as a thought leader, influencer or admonisher

The presentation goals can be formulated very specifically: After the presentation should/should:

  • the interested party should be convinced that I/we are the right partner.
  • the project should be approved in the amount of 4.000.000 €.
  • the audience changes its opinion in my/our favour.
  • the client grant the timeout for the project.
  • the team members have all the information they need to continue working.
  • the majority of the decision makers support the project.

The presentation goals can also be less concrete. For example, the wish that after the presentation:

  • the board receives all important information about the project.
  • the audience to inform themselves in more detail on our homepage.
  • the listeners have become aware of the project’s purpose.
  • the participants have learned something.

Note

Clear objectives have the advantage that you can more easily separate the unimportant from the important, the relevant from the irrelevant and concentrate on the essential.

Think very specifically about what you want to achieve with your presentation.
Further important guiding questions for your next presentation will be discussed in the second part.

 

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