Wednesday, June 11, 2014

3 Tips for ensuring a PowerPoint Presentation Goes Smoothly

As a full time corporate trainer I see and hear a lot of presentations. Most go smoothly however there are some common mistakes that people make that are avoidable. I recently wrote a blog post with tips for giving a keynote presentation. Here are three more tips.

1. Check your presentation
At a recent awards night, we were involved in playing a PowerPoint presentation as people received their awards. You would think that the order of slides matched the order of awards being presented. It looks bad for everyone when an award is announced and a photo of a different person appears on the screen. So check and double check that the order of slides matches the run plan.

2. Don't embed videos into PowerPoint
PowerPoint allows video to be embedded into the presentation however this can be a problem. I am not sure of the specific technical reasons why it causes the program to crash but it is a common occurrence. When a presentation is being outputted through a data projector it requires additional resources from the computer's video card. So a presentation that looks and plays fine in your office may not work once a projector is connected. In my experience, Quicktime is an ideal program for showing videos and whilst it requires someone to hot key out of PowerPoint, if you know how to do it, nobody will notice.

3. Now hear this
Most people are nice. They are patient, considerate and tolerant. However, it is important that if you are showing video clips they need to be recorded so that they can be heard and understood. Even the world's best audio system will struggle to output a poorly recorded video. Remember garbage in equals garbage out. So make sure that videos are recorded with minimal background noise and with people talking clearly into the video camera.

Check your presentation, don't embed videos into Powerpoint and make sure that your video clips have clear sound.

By Daniel Cohen