Applying modern presentation design & delivery principles will make a presentation more impactful. I have grouped these basic presentation design elements into four categories: Structural, Visual, Emotional and Theatrical.
An audience will more easily follow a presentation that is carefully structured rather than one that was created by “throwing some slides together”. The basic structural components of a presentation include:
the opening, the message, the content and the closing.
Once you have developed the structure of your presentation you can begin creating the visual elements. While the structural elements lay out a basic framework for your presentation (like the outlines in a coloring book), the visual elements add a lot of the ‘color’. Whether you use a visual presentation software like PowerPoint to produce slides or an actual product as your visual component/aide, your presentation visuals are all about amplifying the main points of your presentation.
Based on their emotional content, presentations (plus speeches & talks) fall somewhere on a spectrum between purely informative to purely persuasive events. It’s the difference between ‘I have a dream’ and ‘I have a plan’. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech still resonates around the world. Do you remember any politician’s 10 point plan? There are techniques that can help you make your presentation be more persuasive, techniques that can help you humanize your sales pitch.
Presentations are also a bit of theater. Presentations share some common elements with a performance. There is an audience, a presenter and a “stage”. The theatrical elements include the things that we would often classify under the subject of presentation delivery. We divide the theatrical elements into three broad concepts: be polished, be present and be prepared.