How to Make a Presentation


Presentations can be nerve-wracking to give. You’re far more likely to walk into a board meeting with confidence if your writing and visuals are compelling. Take time to carefully compose your story, practice and make a slideshow that will impress your audience. Thankfully, there are plenty of modern tools and programs that provide beautiful presentation templates.

Part 1
Writing a Presentation

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Follow the traditional outline of introduction, evidence, insights and conclusion. Imagine you are writing a story and need to map out the plot.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Structure your report to respond to three aspects of the thing you are presenting or answer three questions, such as “what,” “why” and “how.” The human mind is set up to respond positively to three things in a list or in a presentation.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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This will help evoke a mental image and get them thinking critically about what you’re saying.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Balance that and then tell them why the data is important in each of your three sections. Remember, most of the data can be shown with visual aids, so don’t over report.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Instead of telling them the trends you see in the data, challenge them to find what the trends are telling the company. Build interaction into your presentation to avoid boring lectures.[1]

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Adjust your writing for each new audience you have. Research your audience so that you can better customize your presentation to their needs.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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Practice it in front of a colleague or friend so that you can ask them what they’ve taken away from the presentation.

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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The audience may only leave with this impression.[2]

Writing a Presentation on How to Make a Presentation

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A shorter presentation is likely to be memorable. If the presentation is over 30 minutes, you should consider cutting it back or breaking it up into several chapters.

Part 2
Creating Visual Aids

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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If you don’t have a projection screen or you’re outside in full sunlight, a PowerPoint won’t be the best way to present your data. PowerPoint presentations are still the gold standard of the business world; however, you might be able to employ a laptop, a projector or even cell phones to ensure you are reaching your audience.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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There’s very little reason to design your own template when so many slideshow programs give you compelling templates to choose from.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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Consistency allows the listener to notice the information, rather than the way it’s presented. Don’t change colors, fonts or structure unnecessarily.[3]

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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Use white space so that the audience’s attention is focused on particular data.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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Your speaking will provide the insights, so give the data in the most straightforward way.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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This is a chart or graph that incorporates pictures with data and words to form a coherent, and very attractive, story. You may need to use an infographic service or hire a graphic designer.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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Make sure you don’t simply use stock imagery. Any way you can tie in company or emotional images will create a better response.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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These things can detract from a presentation, rather than add to it. A no frills approach is usually best.

Creating Visual Aids on How to Make a Presentation

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Ask someone else to proof them. Including typos or incorrect data will reflect poorly on you.[4]

Part 3
Using Presentation Tools

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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PowerPoint is best if you are in a Windows-centric office and you need to share the presentation with others. Keynote is best in an Apple-centric environment. There are many more web-based services that you can use to develop your presentation. Some of these allow you to make and edit the presentation from a tablet or phone.

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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If you want to be able to pull your presentation up at any time, post it online for easy access. Use capabilities like Apple’s Airplay to push a YouTube clip to a large Apple computer.

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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Services like Knovio allow you to add narration so that your presentation can be posted in its entirety.

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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The newest presentation services allow you to use a more natural, story-like flow, so the presentation feels like navigating a website, rather than moving through slides.[5]

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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You will reach more people and your presentation may even go viral. Make sure you have your company’s permission before doing so.

Using Presentation Tools on How to Make a Presentation

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If you want a wider reach, then a good presentation can be shared using Facebook, Twitter and other outlets.