Last week I was delighted to attend Marketing Week Live at Olympia Centre, London. The exhibition and conference programme was split into 5 zones addressing the key insights and challenges in marketing today.
I managed to attend some interesting talks as well as visiting various exhibitors at the event and found one session particularly insightful-“Improve your presentation skills: Simple ideas on how to shape design and deliver a great presentation”, presented by Spencer Waldron from Prezi.
The seminar began with Spencer Waldron explaining how a presentation is all about storytelling, making your story heard and engaging with your audience. Waldron also highlighted the importance of time, caring about the presentation and focusing solely on the presentation.
Waldron went on to give his opinion on the three key focus areas to make a presentation successful-planning, designing and presenting, which I will detail below.
Planning is firstly about the audience- you need to understand why they are interested and what they want to hear and see. Every audience is different, some want to see more visual presentations and some like a lot of data; you need to know the background of your audience or if you don’t, have a balance of both. The structure of all presentations is important so the next thing you need to plan is the objectives, problem, solution and evidence that will form your presentation template. Waldron explained that in order to create a successful narrative the presentation structure needs to create an interesting story which engages with the relevant audience throughout.
The next key focus area is the design of the presentation. Typeset, colour, image and data were the key variables highlighted at the event. Waldron explained the importance of typeset used in presentations, “big is better, less is more, spacing is good and try to use capital letters on the text you want to stand out.” Colour is also important but needs to be used in the right way, rather than using colour constantly, think about using accents of colour to denote important points or themes in your presentation. For example, if you use a bar chart on a slide, grey all the bars and only use colour on the one bar with the necessary information. Images were also given focus during Waldron’s talk- he noted that images in all presentations should be good quality and should support the overall message of your presentation. To make an impact using an image, use the full image across the page with clear space for text. Finally, Waldron noted that when using Data in any presentation it is important to clearly highlight what you want the audience to see, you don’t want the audience having to work out which information is most important,
Presenting is the last stage to a successful presentation; your start, voice and movement are the most important things to remember. Start off with preparing an impromptu speech and remembering champions from the presentation. If you decide to start your presentation with a joke, make sure it’s good and works well with what you are about to present. Your voice is the most powerful part of the presentation, your tone, volume, and enunciation- try repeating the important points and the pausing to make you audience stay engaged. Only move around if you have a purpose, have good eye contact and use your hands and gestures and this will keep your audience engaged throughout.
This was a great event and I look forward to attending again next year.