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Five tips to planning a powerful presentation

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There are 3 P’s you should follow to create a powerful presentation: prepare, plan and practice. The 3 P’s will ensure the presentation is catered to the audience’s needs and compiled in a way that is captivating.

Know your audience.

Understand how your topic is relevant and how it will benefit their needs. Consider the audience’s level of expertise so you don’t lose their attention by speaking over their heads or insult them by presenting basic knowledge.

If you’re unfamiliar with the audience, speak to the meeting organizer before you begin planning your presentation. Ask who will be attending and what they hope to learn. If you are presenting to a client or prospect, research the company, leaders and organizational priorities online as much as possible.

Scope the topic.

Content is critical in making your presentation a meaningful use of time. Content must be correct, factual and well-organized.

Arm yourself with data that supports your message and helps provide answers to the most likely questions. Ensure your data is factually accurate and easily cited, especially if you are presenting to an audience that is well versed in your presentation topic. Nothing can undermine your credibility more than citing incorrect data as factually accurate.

Choose the method.

How you deliver a presentation is a critical piece of the message itself. Your goal must be to engage your audience and influence them to act upon what you have to say.

Design a captivating visual aid that is sure to hold your audience’s attention. Your slides aren’t meant to be front and center — you are. Keep the slides simple so your audience keeps their focus on you.

Your message is more important than the slides. Refrain from using too many bullet points when you can discuss the facts aloud instead. Keep animation to a minimum. Lastly, less is more. Don’t use 10 words if five will do. Keep the data on your slide short, and use powerful images to make an impact.

Organize the content.

Once you’ve set up your slides and begin practicing, you may find the content needs reorganization. Mindfully considering the sequence will also help you remember where everything is throughout the presentation in case you need to jump ahead to answer a question.

Protect time.

Nothing can lose an audience’s attention quite like that of a presentation running over time. When you practice your presentation, time yourself. One rule of thumb is to ensure your presentation can fit within 80 percent of the time allowed. If your presentation has an hour allotted, practice giving it in 45 minutes. This ensures there is adequate time left for questions.

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format to website development. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.