by Garr Reynolds

1. Keep it Simple


des-1PowerPoint uses slides with a horizontal or “Landscape” orientation. The software was designed as a convenient way to display graphical information that would support the speaker and supplement the presentation. The slides themselves were never meant to be the “star of the show” (the star, of course, is your audience). People came to hear you and be moved or informed (or both) by you and your message. Don’t let your message and your ability to tell a story get derailed by slides that are unnecessarily complicated, busy, or full of what Edward Tufte calls “chart junk.” Nothing in your slide should be superfluous, ever.

Your slides should have plenty of “white space” or “negative space.” Do not feel compelled to fill empty areas on your slide with your logo or other unnecessary graphics or text boxes that do not contribute to better understanding. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become.

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1         Before You Plan The Fun, Plan The Basics.
  • As obvious as this might sound, caring about your presentation topic is important. Be sure that you understand why you are presenting, and what you want to be achieved at the end.
  • Ask yourself the important questions to help you understand. Why is this presentation important? What are you going to tell your audience that they don’t already know? If you were in the audience for this presentation, what would make it worth your while to hear it? New information? New ideas? The more thought you give to these questions, the better your presentation will be.
  • If it’s an undeniably dull topic, one of the best things you can do for your audience is to admit it. You’ll often see them visibly relax as a result. You could do this with humour: “I know you’ve all raced from your desks to hear me present on the marvels of correct filing procedures…” or by simply saying: “Trust me – I know this isn’t a very exciting topic, but I’m planning to make this time enjoyable for you.”

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What do you do when an audience member’s phone rings? Can your smartphone help you give a better presentation? Here are the answers.


By Kevin Milsap

The advice is to picture the audience in their underwear. However, in the days leading up to your presentation, you dreamt the audience took pictures while you gave a presentation in your underwear.

There are better ways to stay calm and avoid distractions.

Put on your clothes, and consider these tips for keeping the audience focused, even when phones start to ring. When you stay focused, the audience will, too.

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