4 Presentation Tips Worth Sharing

After staring at a blank computer screen, struggling to find the inspiration I needed to start writing a blog post, I walked away from my computer and went outside. I assumed that if I got some fresh air, my mind would clear and some helpful pieces of wisdom would float to the surface of my mind, inspiring my blog post topic. I stood on my front porch, waiting for insights to rise to the forefront of my mind, however nothing happened. Feeling temporarily void of inspiration for a blog post, I turned to go back inside when I noticed a cluster of daffodils poking through the ice and snow that lingered from the recent winter storms.

presentation tips

The green and yellow daffodils growing in my yard because someone else got their hands dirty before I moved into the house, sparked the light bulb moment that I needed for this particular blog post. Because of the daffodils, I was inspired to gather and share ideas that bring beauty into the world, thanks to the efforts of someone else. That is why this particular blog post features 4 powerful presentation tips from other thought leaders. Hopefully these 4 tips will help you grow your presentation skills, even if your creativity feels temporarily frozen.

1. “Always start with a message.” – Richard Feloni, BusinessInsider.com

Before you start creating your presentation, identify a clear, singular message that you want your audience to takeaway from the presentation.

This is one of my all time favorite tips because I believe it is the secret to delivering impactful presentations. I often tell speakers to identify their core message by writing a one-sentence summary of their presentation topic. Then, I advise presenters to reference their one-sentence as they develop the rest of the presentation. The one-sentence summary helps presenters stay focused on the main point of their presentation. Think of the one-sentence message summary as a lighthouse that keeps your presentation from drifting along aimlessly in the ocean of possibilities.

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If you start writing your presentation content before you have a crystal clear idea to communicate, your presentation will likely include unnecessary tangents that will confuse the audience, and make your presentation more difficult to recall. To create memorable presentations, you need to know what you want people to remember.

 2. “Use photos that enhance meaning.” – TED staff, TED Blog

When I write about the importance of creating visually interesting slides, I often cover a range of visual elements that can be utilized, including illustrations, icons, typography, graphics, and video. Use photos that enhance meaning is an inspiring tip because it clearly directs readers to a single visual element: photos.

powerpoint tips

Photos transform bland slides into compelling slides that tell a story, spark emotion, and linger in people’s memories. In addition, photos are one of the most accessible visual elements for presentations. With a rapidly growing list of sites that offer gorgeous stock photos that are free of charge and void of copyright restrictions, creative photos are just a few clicks away.

3. “Spend time in the slide sorter.” – Garr Reynolds, Garr Reynolds Official Site

I love this piece of advice because it is not commonly mentioned, yet it is incredibly valuable when finalizing the content and design for each of your presentation slides. Looking at your slides in the slide sorter will change your perspective on your presentation because you will be able to see your slides as a collection instead of individual pieces.

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When you view your slides as a complete series, slides that need refinement will catch your eye. For example, you might not notice that a few of your slides have more text than the rest of your deck until you step back and view your presentation as a whole. Similarly, you might notice a slide that does not match the look and feel of the rest of the design.

As you create your presentation, remember to view slides in the slide sorter to ensure that your deck has a logical flow, and consistency in approach to content and design.

4. “Give them a break.” – Eric Markowitz, Inc.com

If your presentation cannot be delivered in 20 minutes or less, insert breaks into your presentation at least every 20 minutes as a courtesy to your audience.

creative powerpoint
This is an important tip because if you don’t let your audience relax during your presentation, they will become mentally fatigued, and struggle to pay attention to your material. To give your audience a break, you can tell a lighthearted, but relevant story, show an entertaining video that relates to your message, or even declare a 5-minute intermission so audience members can stretch their legs. Whatever you do, don’t ask your audience to suffer through a lengthy presentation without any breaks from mental exertion.

Conclusion: If you experience a creative block like I did when I started this blog post, I encourage you to take a walk, listen to music, or even peruse the Ethos3 blog for more presentation tips and tricks. Whatever you do, don’t just stare at your computer screen, hoping for inspiration to strike. Be inspired by the world around you, and you will be on your way to developing a creative and meaningful presentation.

Additional Resources: 

How to Brainstorm Creative Ideas: 33 Tips, In 140 characters or Less

13 Inspiring Quotes about Design

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