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Essay: Creating a successful powerpoint presentation

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  • Subject area(s): Miscellaneous essays
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  • Published: 12 October 2015*
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  • Words: 1,626 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 7 (approx)

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The author, Karen Friedman, begins the article by pointing out what the most common mistakes are when making a PowerPoint presentation. For example, most of the times slides are overloaded with information, and they are not really functional nor appealing (small font, lack of color contrast). To begin with, she explains that the slides should not be a script, instead they should reinforce what the presenter is going to talk about. I agree with her on the fact that slides should work to reinforce the presenter’s talk, and should not be the main center of attention of the presentation. Moreover, she refers to the relevance and amount of information that is appropriate to have on one slide. She says ‘(‘) less is more when trying to help people retain information.’ For instance, information should be presented in phrases not full sentences. The way I see it, briefness of information is paramount, that way the slides help people follow the presenter and retain the main points of the presentation. I think relevance and quantity of information are key to a successful presentation. She finishes the article by saying that presentations should not be boring, and she recommends the reader to engage the audience with a story or an example. In my opinion, beginning a presentation with a personal experience or a funny example is the best way to grab the audience attention. To illustrate, when I was in high school, I prepared a slide presentation about Spain for a history class, and I started it by talking about the time I was there with my family.
Presentation Paranoia: Prevention and Cure.
Graham Yemm talks about the fear of giving presentations in front of an audience. And he presents solutions to cope with that fear and boost your self-confidence. I agree with him when he says that being able to give good presentations is a ‘(‘) necessary skill for a good manager and leader.’ Graham considers the audience, subject and objectives to be key for a successful presentation. Plan and preparation are also key, that is why he suggests to start by asking yourself the following questions: What? Who? When? Where? How? . In my opinion, starting by doing this is a great way to start preparing a presentation. For example, if you take the time to think about the answers to these questions then you will feel prepared and ready to what will possibly come, and it will not take you by surprise. I think the most important areas to consider are to be well informed on the topic, keep the objectives in mind, and time yourself. He puts a lot of emphasis on the opening, and I absolutely agree with him. I think, it is paramount to start by engaging the audience with humor or a good story. For instance, a personal story is good option to start a presentation. Graham says that being nervous is normal as long as you use it to your advantage and do not let it take over. That is, in my opinion, completely true, nervousness can be used in a positive way. I also think that the more you study, prepare, and document on the topic, the less nervous you will feel.
Creating Presentations that Get Results.
Sally Williamson says that the secret to a successful presentation is to deliver a clear message, and I completely agree with her on this. According to Williamson, the key to a good presentation is a simple foundation: message, three main points and examples. I think that by having these three components in mind anybody can achieve a great presentation. Williamson says ‘(‘) opening and closing rely on the presenter to establish a warm, persuasive connection with the audience.’ The importance of examples, in my opinion, is paramount, because through stories and examples you can create a connection or establish common ground with the audience.
8 Ways to Improve your Presentation Skill.
First, Peter Bartram points out that preparing, rehearsing and timing yourself is vital, also is keeping it simple and having a clear and concise message. Second, Rob Brown says that having a one-dimensional style and being irrelevant should be avoided, and that the focus should be on the audience, the objectives and the delivery of the message. I believe that the most important step on preparing a presentation is to take the audience into account. Third, the presentation tools should not be forgotten; it is important to always have a plan B. It is also advised not to have long texts and overload the audience with information. In my opinion, the saying ‘less is more’ should always be kept in mind when preparing a PowerPoint presentation. Fourth, body posture will help get your message across. According to John Mclachlan, standing still projects authority and credibility. Fifth, it is important to stay calm and in control. I think that nervousness varies from person to person, but it is a feeling that people can learn to control; for example, it can be controlled through respiration exercises. Sixth, improve your presentation by having a strong start. A joke can be a good way to start, but it should not be aimed to laugh at others or take away your credibility. I think that it is important to remember that jokes or stories should be appropriate for the situation, they should have a thought behind them, a connection with the topic that will be presented, and not be randomly chosen. Seventh, a great plus to add to a presentation is a story. In my opinion, by using a story, the presenter can get the engagement of the audience and grab their attention to what the presenter wants to highlight. Finally, there are usually questions at the end of the presentation, so it is always useful to be prepared for them. I think that considering the possible doubts or questions the audience may have is as important as being well informed about the topic of the presentation, because then the presenter is prepared and not caught off guard.
What Makes A Good PowerPoint?
When choosing a presentation tool, PowerPoint is very popular. How to use it effectively? It is not recommended to use bullets everywhere, otherwise it becomes a document instead of a presentation. It is important to avoid too much text and overwhelm the audience with too much information in one slide, because it causes the audience to disconnect with the presenter. I think it is important to consider the audience every step of the way when doing the slides, and therefore, achieve a PowerPoint presentation that will reinforce the talk instead of distract the attention of the audience. Using just a few words and keeping it simple are, in my opinion, important tips to remember. Furthermore, images are great for telling a story and connecting to the audience. When choosing colors, what has to be taken into account is the contrast because that will help the slides to be readable. The way I see it, images are a great tool to engage attention and help people retain information; and the color contrast is very important for the readability and success of the PowerPoint presentation.
Aristotles and the art of a successful presentation
Matthew Tropiano Jr. explains Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric which states that for a good rhetoric the foundations are Ethos, Pathos and Logos. Ethos is the personal integrity of the presenter; Pathos is the empathy and connection with the audience’s feelings; and Logos is the logics behind the presentation. First, Ethos is conceived within the first 5 minutes of the presentation, and it might cause the audience to engage or not. I believe that presenting yourself in an appealing way will engage the audience more than if you say nothing, besides it helps the audience see the connection presenter-topic. Second, Pathos is related to the feelings the presenter projects and produces on the audience. The way I see it, emotions and feelings can be projected to other people; if the presenter shows great engagement with the topic, the audience will probably be drawn to that, and it will catch their attention. Finally, Logos is the words, the logic and the organization behind it all. In my opinion, clarity, simplicity and consistency are key words when making a PowerPoint presentation. Non-verbal language, such as body language, gestures, facial expressions, is a big part of the presentation as well.
While reading the articles, I realized how slides can work as a great asset to a speech or an oral presentation. Before reading the articles, I might have not completely realized how valuable PowerPoint presentations are and how big of an impact they might have on the audience. Of all the articles, I chose four that I found the most interesting and that were more innovative. The first one is ‘Aristotles and the art of a successful presentation’. In my opinion, the way Aristotle’s Art of Rethoric was simplified and explained on the article was very instructive and interesting. The second one is ‘8 Ways to Improve your Presentation Skill’. From this article, what I found the most instructive was point number 1 (keeping it simple and timing yourself), number 6 (tell a story) and number 8 (being prepared). It is very important to keep those tips in mind, having a concise and clear message is mentioned on most of the articles; one of them is ‘Creating Presentations that Get Results’. The last article I found very instructive is ‘Power up your PowerPoint Presentations: Rely on More than your Slides’, because it states how important it is to engage the audience on your presentation by telling a story, or a personal experience. Sometimes, it is not easy to grab the audience attention, so it is very useful to know how to do it.

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