Visual aids in PowerPoint presentations

by ltconsulting on July 17, 2011

Our presentation courses are planned to significantly improve presentation skills to allow delegates of all levels to be able to make powerful presentations.  The presentation seminars that we provide are packed full of presentation tips and techniques that demonstrate strategies which will show delegates how to reduce nerves in presentations and to allow them to present confidently when presenting to clients or colleagues. Our presentation skills workshops are designed not just to show delegates how to make a simple presentation: they are designed to show delegates how to create a successful presentation also maximising the applications of PowerPoint to make great presentationsPresentation training will allow delegates to build on their presenting skills; make better presentations; enjoy making presentations and teach delegates how to present successfully.  Delegates who have taken our Presentation Courses have expressed how much they enjoyed the variety in our presentation skills training and now feel confident to present in any situation.

Why use visual aids?

Research has shown that visual aids:

  • increase your persuasiveness – Presenters using visuals conduct meetings in 28% less time; increase audience retention up to five times and get proposals approved twice as often.
  • heighten retention – When visuals are added to an oral presentation, retention increases by about 10 percent. Students learn vocabulary twice as well when the instructor uses visual aids.
  • improves understanding – People comprehend about seven percent of information delivered verbally but they comprehend 87% when the information is delivered both verbally and visually.

Tips for successful visual aids

  1. Try to limit visuals to about 40 words and use large, bold letters that can easily be seen from the back of the room. Sans serif fonts such as Ariel and Comic Sans MS are more readable than serif faces such as Times New Roman. Feel free to use italics, boldfaces and colors to embellish points. And remember, consistency counts.
  2. Your language should be punchy and concise with “you” appeal. Try “Opening Your Own Business” instead of “How to Open A Business.” Condense paragraphs into sentences, sentences into phrases and phrases into key words. Use bullets to highlight key ideas. Avoid using a full stops at the end of your bullets except at the end of quoted statements.
  3. Use a pictures or designs to quickly and colourfully convey an idea. The advent of clip art has made conceptual visuals commonplace but don’t throw in clip art just to have clip art.
  4. Charts and graphs are useful to show relationships among variables at a glance. Whether you use a line, bar, pie, organisational, flow or table chart, remember to focus on the message, not the numbers. A descriptive title such as “Sales results show significant rises” will be much more effective than “Sales 2000.” Using action words such as “grow,” “decline” and “trend” effectively show change over time.
  5. Once you have compiled your presentation, check it and double-check it. Little undermines your credibility faster than typos, misspellings and factual errors.
  6. When your presentation is finished, it’s time to start practicing. Pace yourself. The average time a slide should be on screen is 40 to 90 seconds. And keep in mind, the average attention time span of an audience can be as low as 8 minutes.

And one final way to ensure your messages leave the meeting room – have hard copies of your presentation available as handouts.

Helpful Hints

  • Keep your visuals simple. Avoid clutter. Use large, bold fonts.
  • Check your presentation room beforehand.
  • Use clip art judiciously.
  • Proof-read and edit with care.
  • Have hard copies of your visuals available as handouts.

When making a PowerPoint presentation, have a backup of your visuals printed on transparency film to insure against unexpected equipment problems.

Excellent presentation skills give you a platform to demonstrate your sales skills, leadership qualities, communication skills, influencing abilities and promotion potential. Our objective over the two days is to teach you the skills and techniques that will give you both the confidence and competence to enjoy making presentations in all situations. We will be giving action points to sharpen your image; reduce nerves; allow you to appear both confident and competent and increase your credibility in the eyes of colleagues and clients.

PowerPoint presentation skills, Advanced Presentation skills and Presentation skills are three of the courses trained by Total Success Training, a training consultancy specialising in communication training and management skills in London and throughout the UK. Other related courses include sales presentation skills, training the trainer, assertiveness skills, selling skills, negotiation skills and communication skills for managers. Click here if you need more information regarding presentation skills course information or contact Total Success who will be delighted to talk to you via e-mail.

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