Creating a 30-minute presentation is easy! How do I know? Well, I’ve probably created hundreds by now, and am still learning new tricks every time I do it. There are two fantastic tools to help you create a dazzling, interesting and above all – engaging – presentation.
These two tools are: Microsoft PowerPoint and Canva
Using PowerPoint requires careful planning and effective use of your time. Here’s a step-by-step guide that I run through each time to create an engaging presentation – followed by two Pro Tips:
- Define the objective: Determine the main goal of your presentation. Identify the key message or takeaway you want to deliver to your audience. They won’t pay attention if they don’t know why they’re there.
- Outline the content: Create a clear and logical structure for your presentation. Divide it into sections or key points that support your main objective. This will help you stay organised and ensure a smooth flow of information.
- Keep it concise: Since you have a limited time frame, it’s essential to keep your content concise and focused. Avoid including excessive details or overwhelming your audience with too much information. Stick to the most relevant and impactful points.
- Plan your slides: Decide on the number of slides you want to include. As a general guideline, aim for approximately one slide per minute. This will give you enough time to discuss each slide without rushing. Use slide titles and bullet points to guide your audience through the presentation.
- Create visually appealing slides: Use an appropriate design theme and select colours that are visually appealing and consistent with your topic. Avoid cluttered slides and keep the text minimal. Utilize high-quality images, charts, graphs, or diagrams to enhance understanding and engagement.
- Craft a compelling opening: Grab your audience’s attention right from the start. Consider starting with a thought-provoking question, a relevant quote, a surprising statistic, or a compelling story. Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and what the audience can expect to gain from it.
- Present your main points: Divide your presentation into the key points or sections you outlined earlier. Allocate sufficient time to each point, ensuring that you cover them adequately without rushing through. Support your points with clear explanations, examples, or evidence.
- Use visuals effectively: PowerPoint offers a range of visual tools that can enhance your presentation. Incorporate visuals such as images, charts, graphs, or videos to illustrate your points and make them more memorable. Ensure that the visuals are relevant and directly support your message.
- Engage the audience: Involve your audience throughout the presentation to maintain their interest. Encourage participation by asking questions, facilitating discussions, or conducting brief interactive activities. This can help create a more dynamic and engaging experience.
- Summarise and conclude: Towards the end of your presentation, recap the main points you covered. Reinforce your key message and provide a concise summary of the insights or takeaways. End with a strong conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
- Prepare for Q&A: If time allows, allocate a few minutes for questions and answers. Anticipate potential questions related to your topic and be prepared to address them. If you receive questions that you cannot answer on the spot, promise to follow up afterward.
- Practice and time yourself: Rehearse your presentation multiple times to familiarise yourself with the content and flow. Pay attention to your timing to ensure that you stay within the 30-minute limit. Practice will also help you refine your delivery and build confidence.
- Remember to use PowerPoint as a tool to enhance your presentation rather than relying solely on it. Your spoken words and delivery should be the main focus, while the slides serve as visual aids. Aim for a balance between your verbal presentation and the supporting visuals to create an engaging and effective experience for your audience.
PRO TIP # 1 – Recently, I’ve started to use the ‘insert’ > ‘cameo’ feature to show my face to participants as I speak. It beats having my face off to the side or completely obscured by the slides.
PRO TIP # 2 – If you’re presenting virtually (Zoom/Teams/Google meet etc) – then consider using many more animations to keep your audience’s attention on the important points of your presentation. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for tutorials about this in coming weeks.
Canva can be an effective and visually appealing way to engage your audience. In addition to the basic preparation required for any presentation, here’s a few steps specifically addressing the features of Canva:
- Determine the objective: Just like using PowerPoint, there’s no ‘point’ if you haven’t got a clear message.
- Plan your content: Canva allows you to easily add, move and play through the slides you create. This is a handy feature as you’re trying to determine the best order for your content.
- Select a template: Canva offers a wide range of presentation templates to choose from. Browse through the available options and select a template that aligns with your topic and desired visual style. This will provide a consistent design throughout your presentation. We’re not all design experts – so utilise this feature and only change things you need to in order to maintain your organisation’s design philosophy/templates.
- Customise the template: Once you’ve selected a template, personalize it to fit your content and preferences. Customize the colors, fonts, and layout to match your branding or the overall theme of your presentation. Ensure that the design elements enhance readability and visual appeal.
- Create clear and concise slides: Since you have a limited timeframe, keep your content concise and focused. Avoid overcrowding your slides with excessive text. Instead, use bullet points, short phrases, or impactful quotes to convey your message effectively.
- Utilise visuals: Canva allows you to incorporate visuals such as images, GIFs, mp4 files, icons, charts, and graphs into your presentation. Choose relevant visuals that enhance understanding and engagement. The visuals are usually of a very high quality and are therefore visually appealing. Again, use the gifts provided by the experts!
- Present main points: Divide your presentation into sections based on the key points or sections you outlined earlier. Allocate sufficient time to each point, ensuring that you cover them adequately without rushing. Support your points with clear explanations, examples, or evidence. Canva allows you to set timings for each slide. This can help you plan how long each slide will be visible and hence, help you keep to the 30 minute presentation length.
- Use animation and transitions wisely: Canva offers animation and transition effects that can add a dynamic element to your presentation. This is vital in virtual presentations, but can be distracting in real-life deliveries. Balance the use of animations with your knowledge of the presentation environment.
As a professional, you only need tips and ideas to spark your creative flair. I hope this set of steps and tips has done just that! See you soon, and please help us out by subscribing to our YouTube channel : https://www.youtube.com/SpecTrainingPtyLtd