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June 16th, 2011

PowerPoint PresentationCRE helps you make the most of your presentations with fabulous plasma rentals and everything else you need to look good. Of course, your presentation is only part visual – a PowerPoint “deck,” an Apple Keynote document, a slide show – and the other part is verbal. So, what’s the best way to cook up a persuasive presentation with these ingredients?

Listen to the audience

As with other challenges, it may be easier to tell you what not to do. Professional speaker and presentation guru David Paradi surveyed audiences about presentations. Following each negative comment is the percentage of agreement:

• Speaker reads slide copy (69.2%)
• Text unreadably small (48.2%)
• Sentences rather than bullet points (48%)
• Colors unreadable (33%)
• “Busy” graphics, special effects (27.9%)

It’s impossible to list all the good ideas and tell you what you should do, but there are some agreed-upon basics for creating effective presentations. Start here and stay teachable as you look around for more help.

Five steps to a better presentation

1. Successful slides are supportive, giving your message impact and making it memorable. A slide must clarify, reinforce, make an emotional appeal, take the audience to a different “mental location” and/or portray complex concepts simply. Using graphics sparingly maintains their power. Using too many dilutes it.

2. Establish a powerful presence by making your slides readable from the back row. Keep copy simple and follow the “Rule of 66” – six lines of text per screen with six words maximum per line (minimum 24-pt type). Viewing screens with white backgrounds, whether you use monitors or CRE projector rentals, can be like “like staring into headlights” for audiences. Use light text on dark backgrounds.

3. Make your point with “bullets” using the absolute minimum verbiage. Full sentences, if you must use them, should be memorable, brief (15-20 words) and clearly superior to shorter alternatives. Audiences typically remember things with impact, like quotes.

4. Simpler is better for graphs that grab and charts that clarify. Do your fancy effects add to audience understanding? If not, they likely cloud meaning while cluttering the screen. Making clear points is hard enough without annoying people.

5. Show a “map” so your audiences know where you’re headed. You can divide your presentation into sections, using different background colors or icons to show progress and position. Explain the agenda in your opening and never leave your audience guessing.

Don’t dilute your message

Remember, visuals must add power and/or clarity to your presentation or you shouldn’t use them. Used wrongly, they will dilute your message and can even alienate your audience. You should consider one of CRE’s audience response system rentals so you can get real-time feedback on your presentations, in-house and at conferences, for ongoing improvement.

From PCs, displays and office equipment to specialized gear like render farm rentals, CRE is your one-stop solution. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive, or tell us what you need with the Quick Rental Quote form. We’re ready with your solutions right now!

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