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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