How to deliver
an effective PowerPoint seminar

How to deliver
an effective PowerPoint seminar

Digital | August 25, 2019

Seminars are one of the perfect ways to interact and convey the message to the target audience. This has been a great method to put the message across in an effective way. Public speakers are always in great demand and people follow them. This cult following is not easy to achieve. It comes only when one is a perfect speaker and a person who leaves an everlasting impact on the audience.

A good PowerPoint seminar contains efficient planning and impeccable delivery. Efficient planning is required for an awesome presentation. A good presentation is a constitution of various elements. The different elements which make a good presentation are namely, the content of the presentation, designing the PowerPoint slides, and the delivery style.

The Content of the Presentation

The Topic: Prior to jumping on what should be the content of the presentation, it is important to arrive and narrow down to an interesting and appealing topic, which is relevant to the audience. The speaker should give value for time to the audience. He should make it a point that the audience should learn something by investing their time listening to him.

Research: Proper research is required even before framing a structure for the seminar. It gives the speaker a grip over the language, and the confidence to deliver and answer the questions that audience might ask. It also helps the speaker in framing new ways of depicting the information.

Outline: An outline or a structure gives a definite direction to the presentation, the presenter, and the audience. A proper outline if made, saves a lot of time whereas improper planning at this step can be a burden later, and the presenter has to re-align and redo the entire structuring. When you make the structure it can be included in the second slide after the title slide (which typically contains the topic, presenter name, and date). This helps in providing the audience a direction of what is to come next.

Introduction: This is a brief introduction of the topic and can be started with quotes, any interesting data, or questions. Ice breaking techniques can be used here to make the audience participate in the discussion.

Body: This is the most lengthy part of the presentation and carries the theme. It is mostly recommended that the presentation should not be text-heavy and should make use of the important points in a clear manner. The use of relevant images that are high in resolution can enhance the look of the slides.

Conclusion: The conclusion sums up the entire presentation. It can be either a quote, an interesting question which makes the audience ponder, a recap of what has been discussed, recommendations or suggestions, or some learning and action points.

Designing the PowerPoint Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent tool to make a powerful presentation. The easy features of Microsoft PowerPoint help even a novice to build his own presentation. Below are outlined the points that one should take into consideration while designing a PowerPoint presentation.

Fonts: Using the font type like Times New Roman and others which are already installed in Microsoft PowerPoint, gives the presentation a monotonous look. Free and attractive fonts available on the internet can be easily downloaded and used for making a beautiful PowerPoint presentation.

Color: You can use color schemes to make the slides look attractive. Make sure you use a good color combination. Make sure that the text is readable and the colors are not too harsh on the eyes.

Alignment: The alignment of images and text are equally important. It should look pleasant and not disconnected.

Text: If you use more text the slides start to look clumsy and unattractive. Hence, it is advisable that only the major points should be laid out in bullet format, and used in the slides. Another disadvantage of this is that the audience loses focus of the speaker and they start reading from the slides. If it is important to use the text it should be broken down into smaller sections and parts, and proper paragraphing should be made.

Images, Graphs, and Table: Care should be taken not to use copyrighted images without appropriate approvals. The images should be of good quality when shown on a large screen and hence images that are high in resolution, are preferred. The source of the graphs and the tables which are taken from external sources should be quoted.

Animation: Lot of text and images flying all over the places does not give the presentation a clean look. This is a distracting factor too. Hence one must take care while using animation and should not overdo it.

Cohesiveness: This is a crucial factor in designing the presentation. Grouping similar topics and categories help. Then you can look to set up different font styles, background color, theme, font styles, and font colors for the groups to make them look coherent and similar and to give the presentation a structured look. This will not make the presentation disconnected into different parts.

Delivery Style

Dress: The speaker is advised to wear formal and clean clothes.

Body Language: The speaker should be confident. He should use open hand gestures and should not be clumsy in his look or attitude. The speaker should take care of his loudness, clarity, and pitch. He should make sure that he is clear and audible to the last person seated at the last row of the hall. Eye contact with everyone in the hall is a sign of a good speaker. Use of stage is immensely important. The speaker can choose to use the stage freely but should be careful that he does not stand in front of the screen to obstruct the slides that are being projected.

Resources and the Setup Phase: Resources are the tools, equipment or any other stuff that the presenter needs. These include projector, clicker, flip charts, or laser pointer. After arriving at the stage, the presenter should make sure that he is all set up.

Connect with the audience: The audience should feel connected and should pay attention to what the speaker is saying. This can be achieved if the speaker interacts with them and find ways to make the session interactive, give relevant examples, which seem connected to their lives. Small activities, games, questions, and quizzes help to connect with the audience.

The dos and don’ts discussed above can help even a novice speaker. The key to delivering a fantastic presentation, of course, comes with experience and practice, and the speaker should continuously practice his research skills, designing, and delivery skills to enhance his overall presentation ability. It is obvious that delivering a good presentation is not an overnight skill but is an art to be learned, honed, and developed with time. With the help of the above pointers, a speaker can look to deliver a presentation that is relevant and interesting.

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