TechSmith: How to Create Engaging Presentations
Written by Kelly Turner, TechSmith
While public speaking may not be everyone’s cup of tea, creating engaging presentations can help you feel more confident. Presentations provide an authentic, personal experience that content like text, graphics, and even video can’t quite achieve.
Say More With Less
Presentations allow you to illustrate a topic visually and vocally. You are able to tell a story aloud to your audience that they can recall later. The best way to keep your viewers engaged is to include great visuals that emphasize and enhance your points.
Design, Not Distract
It’s important for each slide to be accessible and legible to everyone. Pay attention to color use, fonts, font size, image placement, and amount of text. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Colors. Contrast is key. Try not to use bright colors for your background or font color, to make viewing easy on the eyes. Also, pay attention to color pairings. Remember that the most common color blindness, red-green, often leads to confusing shades of reds, greens, browns, and oranges.
- Fonts. Be aware of the font you use and make sure that it’s readable. Sans Serif fonts like Arial or Calibri are good choices. Also, as a rule of thumb, use at least 20pt font to make sure the text is big enough for people to read from across the room.
- Text. Don’t overload your slides with text. Use only the amount of words you need to get a point across clearly – no more, no less. That way, your audience can spend more time listening to you than reading.
- Images. As you read in the last post of this series, Incorporating Graphics in Your Content, graphics and images are essential to informing, engaging, and sparking interest among your audience. Use images often to emphasize your points and drive home your message.
With Snagit, you can capture the user interface of an application or website for your audience or you can create a quick graphic from scratch like the ones above and below. Regardless of your skill level, you can create valuable imagery to add to your presentation.
Anchor Your Audience
Have you ever watched a presentation that completely lost you after ten minutes? Don’t let this happen to you! Keep your audience engaged and focused with these quick tips:
- Tell your audience what they can expect. They might know why they’re watching your presentation, but it’s important to give them an outline of what you’re going to cover so they know what expect.
- Change slides often. Even if this means spreading information across multiple slides, your audience will be more engaged when your slides change more often.
- Avoid PowerPoint themes. Make your presentation unique. Try your hand at creating your own, even if it’s simple. Use repeating, hierarchical elements in your slides like banners, numbers, or shapes (all of which can be created in Snagit and directly exported to PowerPoint). This will help your audience keep track of where you are in your presentation.
From formal presentations in front of hundreds of people to informal, smaller presentations in front of your coworkers, presentations help you explain your ideas thoroughly. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that being able to break down tough content and relay it to others in an engaging way showcases your valuable communication skills.
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