9 tips for better presentations

#01: Why are you doing this presentation?

The “obvious” answer is this: to win the project. However, experience has taught us that this is not the only case. We have done presentations because we only wanted to amaze the client with our abilities and not to “simply” win the project. We have done presentations solely because we felt it was better to send a well-designed PDF file than a boring email. In other cases, we have prepared a presentation to share a story that inspires our audience.

#02: Set the stage

To warm up the audience and manage their expectations, it has proved helpful to open the presentation with something they are already familiar with: the brief you received and worked on. If your understanding of the brief is correct, you will instantly win a couple of sympathy points from your client.

#03: Blow their mind

Now that you have captured their attention and they got a taste of what they are about to see, show them something that will blow their mind and will make them engage with what you are presenting.

Pro tip: always tell a story. People rarely care about technical presentations.

#04: Make it clear

For better or worse, you will not always be there to deliver the presentation. You will probably send the document once your meeting is over. Someone will go over the deck to see the ideas again as they were not fully paying attention because hey, zoom fatigue. The junior brand manager will forward the deck to the senior brand manager. Even the decision-maker, might not be in the room. In due time, you will want to go back to your deck.

#05: Don’t let slides tell your story

People have been trained to read a text the moment they see it, long before the brain gives an order. To avoid losing your audience’s attention, ensure you don’t show slides that include information you have not talked about.

Pro tip: remain silent for a couple of seconds, after having changed your slide. Let people read your slide and regain their full attention right after.

#06: Build bridges

When delivering a presentation, you are telling a story; one story. Your slides are not standalone stories, they work more like chapters of your story. Going from one slide to the next, it is necessary to find a way to connect verbally and/or visually the slides.

#07: Ask what you want

Make sure that you have clear “asks” in the presentation. What are you looking for once the meeting is over? Do you need feedback on the design proposals? Do you need approval on the budget? Do you seek feedback on your approach? Do you want the audience to pitch you with their ideas? Let everyone know.

#08: Let’s sum it up

Probably the best thing since sliced bread is summary slides. They give you -the presenter- the opportunity to go through what you have presented and showcase how your ideas complement each other to meet the initial goal.

Pro tip: if your presentation is extensive enough, remember to have summary slides after each section.

#09: Practice

Like anything else. The more presentations you build and deliver, the better you become. Simple as that.

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