At some point in your life you have probably had the unfortunate happenstance of sitting through a dull PowerPoint presentation. After all they happen every minute, of every hour, of every day and have made a habit of sucking the life out of conference rooms across the country. To avoid becoming part of the problem we have included three PowerPoint presentation tips (in TED talks) that you can use for your next pitch or sales meeting.
3 PowerPoint Presentation Tips in TED Talks
1. Be More than Your PowerPoint
If you don’t find science lectures very interesting, you’ve probably never seen John Bohannon speak. With some extraordinary flair and some very-outside the box techniques Bohannon can even make a topic as dull as particle physics look and sound interesting (check out the video above). While he probably will not use our PowerPoint presentation tips (because he claims,” bad PowerPoint presentations are a serious threat to the global economy.”) there are concepts from his TED talk that you can apply to your next sales pitch. Check out the PowerPoint presentation tips below.
- Identify your audience (if they’re clients or customers you can use buyer personas)
- Identify any problems they may be having
- Find a medium that is best suited to reach your clients
2. Don’t Just Tell a Story, Tell Your Audience’s Story
There are three basic elements to any great story; a strong premise (the answer to the question you are asking), an active protagonist and catharsis at the climax. In Takei’s talk, we see an unlikely hero, trying to make sense of an interment camp that is at the very center of a nation that supposedly stands for freedom. After all, can you accept and be proud of a country that will not accept you? Most would say no, but Takei guides us through the chaos with a series of emotional queues that help us arrive at a cathartic conclusion. In Takei we see our own struggle against adversity as well as a figure who we may aspire to be. Audiences love stories that make them feel important (and we do too). Stories that make you feel as though you aren’t restricted by the confines of your own character. So, let them dream a bit through your presentation. With your buyer personas in hand and a clearly defined target audience you should be able to generate a story that reflects your clients goals or aspirations (improved search engine optimization, better online lead management, more conversions, etc.) and improve the effectiveness of your presentation. But, to be truly effective we’re going to have to move on to the third-tier of our PowerPoint presentation tips.
3. Put Time into Design
While your story should be a reflection of your audience, your PowerPoint’s design doesn’t have to be. Your presentation design should be a reflection of who you are and how you are different. Your making this project personal will help you not only create a unique aesthetic, it will improve your chances of delivering a thrilling presentation. “The ego is not supposed to be involved in graphic design,” says Marian Bantjes, “But I find that for myself, without exception, the more I deal with the work as something of my own, as something that is personal, the more successful it is as something that’s compelling, interesting and sustaining.” If you’re not comfortable with your own graphic design there are some stylistic PowerPoint presentation tips and themes you can use to make your project stand-out. Check out this post on unique themes from Hubspot. With a little outside the box thinking, a firm understanding of your audience and some impressive visuals you are well on your way to delivering a memorable sales pitch. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even launch your career as a public speaker and start writing your own guide to PowerPoint presentation tips. Best of luck!