A professional presentation speaks about ourselves from the moment we stand in front of an audience. It is a staging. The audience present will be the receiver of our message, and the presenter will be the sender of it.
And whether this message is well received or not will depend on all the elements present. Therefore, it is essential to consider all the details in play to learn how to use them so that our presentation becomes a high-level staging.
Basic elements in a professional presentation
Before talking about the experts’ recommendations, it is pertinent to refresh our memory of when we were children, and we were in elementary school.
In elementary school, we were taught for the first time to identify all the elements involved in communication. The sender, receiver, message, channel, code, situation, or context. That is to say:
- The sender will be the one in charge of emitting the message.
- The receiver, who receives it
- The message will be the content, whether it is an email, a WhatsApp, or a slide presentation.
- The channel is the medium through which the message will be transmitted. This can be the cell phone, the computer, or a video beam, among others.
- The code corresponds to the language (English, Spanish, French…) or the images we rely on to transmit the message.
- Situation or context corresponds to any situation of daily life or an elaborated and planned situation such as a conference, an exhibition at work, or an academic type.
If we analyze carefully, the message is the protagonist of the communication elements. Everything immersed within the communication is to transmit the message well, and whether or not we make good use of the elements will depend on whether that message is well transmitted or arrives distorted.
Therefore, if we want to make a professional presentation, we must remember that the message is the protagonist from the beginning to the end. There may be the most sophisticated templates for a PowerPoint presentation, but if we use this tool improperly, our presentation may be super cool. But did the message get through?
So, everything included in the professional presentation, from the suit we wear and our tone of voice to the type of font we will use on the slides, will be key elements for the message to be well conveyed, whether it is a face-to-face presentation or a webinar.
Principles of a professional presentation
Throughout these principles, we will explore the message, non-verbal communication, and of course, the most appropriate ways to make use of the PowerPoint tool in professional presentations.
The message in the professional presentation
That preparation is a fundamental point to transmit what we want; that is to say, although the art of improvisation is a resource to which we will have to appeal in case of an unforeseen situation, this does not mean that we can afford not to prepare in advance our professional presentation if we want it to be successful. We must keep in mind the objective, that is to say:
- What do we want to show the audience?
- What do we want to convince them of?
- What is the idea we want to convey?
Structure of the information
The structure of the information said by the author is not only what you want to convey but the structure you give to that information. That is to say, the solid arguments you use are reliable and allow you to develop the message in the right way, like wowessays create their articles. It must have at least the three main points of all information:
In the introduction, it is recommended to make clear the objective you intend to demonstrate.
In the development, you should be clear about the quantity of information (neither more nor less), the quality (reliable information), and the manner that it is an unambiguous message.
This corresponds to the lesson learned from the presentation. Here it will be determined whether the objective has been achieved.
The voice in the professional presentation
The voice is our main communication tool; whether it is a face-to-face presentation or an online presentation, we must take care of our voice for that day. In this will play certain elements, such as:
The tone is one of the main elements; this can not be strident but not too low, the words should carry their appropriate tone as these have their own emotionality, so they can not sound stiff, meaningless, and without any kind of spirit, as these also have their own life. We must respect the meaning of what they say.
Fluency is another important element when expressing yourself; you can never run over words if you want them to be understood. It is best to express yourself clearly, simply, and naturally.
The correct pronunciation of words
Another very important point is if there are words that are very complex in their pronunciation and definitely can not be replaced by others, then you have to practice them in advance, do not leave it to the last minute, and remember that the attention is focused on the speaker.
The image in the professional presentation
At this point, two elements of great importance come together, the body and the clothes. What you wear and your body expression will be determining factors when it comes to expressing yourself.
The clothes in the professional presentation
Have you ever heard, “if you don’t know what to wear, wear a black suit”? Well, this has always worked. The simplicity of black and its natural elegance allows you to perform easily on stage.
It also gives you the power to express yourself without any visual distractions from your audience. Simplicity is elegant, and sometimes less is more when dressing well, as the experts say. So, when it comes to making a professional presentation, remember, no extravagance or flamboyance unless that’s what the presentation is about.
The body in the professional presentation
The body expression of your body will speak at the time of your professional presentation. It cannot be a very rigid body, but neither with a careless posture. Remember, the posture will give you power or subtract it.
Also, the freshness and naturalness of your movements. Allow your body to be as free as possible as much as possible. When you are natural and authentic, it comes across and allows your audience to connect with you. Remember, the people sitting in front of the speaker are as human as the speaker themselves.
But for this to be possible, the speaker must have self-confidence, which is not an easy path, but not impossible either. The most important thing is to be clear about the message you want to convey, a message well studied, meditated, and congruent with your own values. If you have this, you will be more than halfway there.
Now, as far as self-confidence is concerned, there is a lot of nourished bibliography on the subject and authors who are a reference in it. Emotional intelligence is a beautiful path for gaining humanity and connecting with others. Remember, the body is a reflection of what you carry inside.
The Powerpoint presentation in a professional presentation
At this point, you have to be very careful because unless your professional presentation is about technology or other products where strident colors are allowed or advertising, among others, if so, obviously, you can afford certain extravagances.
But not so when what you are selling is another type of product, information is a product. Therefore, you must be clear about the product you want to take to your audience. As we said in previous points, the message is the protagonist, and we can never lose sight of that. All the other elements converge around the message.
Remember that PowerPoint presentations will be in charge of carrying the message you intend to convey or sell. Therefore, a good PowerPoint presentation will depend on the achievement of the objective.
The font and the background
This author recommends the use of black background with white letters on some slides. Based on his research, black brings statements to the foreground.
And every four or five slides, he introduces a red background, which makes the brain wake up. Since it is a color of strength and activity, it is very good for highlighting ideas.
After a series of slides with a black background, he follows with others with a white background, which, as the author says, will be like speaking softly, which will convey a kind of rest and tranquility.
The author emphasizes that it is important that there is, at the same time, high contrast between the background of the slides and the typeface. That is, the lower the contrast, the less legible the statements will be. Remember, dark backgrounds with white letters and white backgrounds with black letters. In addition, he makes a series of recommendations:
Red letters read poorly, and if you put them on a red background, they fade.
Combining colors of equal intensity is not advisable, such as red with green or green with blue. Likewise, it is not recommended to use similar colors.
Helvetica is one of the preferred fonts since it is a neutral typeface, that is to say, without ornaments. According to experts, it is minimalist, has white spaces, and is free of unnecessary ornaments.
On the other hand, Arial is a variant of Helvetica; Microsoft ordered it at the time with some variations, allowing it to have its own version of the font without paying for its license.
Use of infographics
In his book, the author recommends not to saturate the slides too much with data and images that will load the brain at a certain moment, disconnecting it from the information, either by mental fatigue or visual stress.
Therefore, he recommends keeping them as simple as possible, with all the above principles. He says in his book that the brain disconnects when it sees slides with Excel or graphs full of figures and percentages.
Therefore, he recommends the typical pie chart, which consists of selecting a graph representative of the data being discussed and dividing it according to the percentages to be presented.
Use of metaphor
According to research carried out and put into practice by the author, metaphor is an essential resource in the use of language, which cannot be abused too much. Still, when used well, it will lead us perfectly to the objective, which is nothing more than conveying the message.
There is a whole study behind the use of metaphor; many prominent authors have been able to make use of it and have been able to express their ideas through this tool.
To conclude this article, it only remains to say that professional presentation is part of the universe of public speaking, and, therefore, if professional presentations are or will be part of our life, it is convenient to start this learning path rich in knowledge.