Best Practices, Instructional Design, Self Improvement

Presentation Points

What makes a good presentation?  Is it the speaker? The content?  The visual aid?

What about all of it?

Everything matters and contributes, but it’s the little things that will elevate your presentation to the next level.

The speaker can detract from the content, just as poor/inaccurate content can take away from a good speaker.  A poor visual aid (PowerPoint) can be detrimental as well.  Just as an unprepared speaker can make the audience uncomfortable, a thrown together presentation is off putting to an audience. 

Compare it to viewing property for sale. 

One home has consistent fixtures throughout, antique bronze light fixtures, faucets, and door handles. The flooring may have tile in the kitchen and bath, hardwoods in the common space, and carpet in the bedrooms. The color selections complement each other.  Walking through the home is pleasant.

The other home has stainless steel faucets, with antique bronze light fixtures, and gold door handles. The kitchen is tile, but the living room is dark hardwood that meets thin light hardwood in the entry way. Carpet in the master bedroom is a thicker shag than the smooth, cheaper, carpet found in the other rooms. The hall is hardwood, but it is neither the dark of the living room or light of the entryway. Each room is a different color, and not part of an overall theme.  While each room may be nice, the overall viewing experience leaves one a little confused.

Consistency and/or complementary is pleasing to the viewer. Everything doesn’t have to be the same, but there needs to be a common theme.  While the viewer may not be able to put their finger on exactly what left them with a little angst they will feel as if something is just not right.  Take the time to work on the little things.

A few little things:

  • Keep headings similar in size, placement, and spacing.
  • Use consistent bullet points.
  • Use consistent fonts, and sizes, for headings and content.
  • Use consistent imagery. Don’t mix and mat photographs and clipart.
  • Colors should remain consistent or complimentary throughout.
  • Stay within your template. Do your best to work within the content real estate that you have.

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