- Only 50% of a presentation is remembered after 10 minutes
- Only 25% by the next day
- Only 10% within a week (source: Jack Malcolm)
Even though you sweat and toil over a presentation, the facts indicate your audience quickly forgets most of it.
So what do you do to stand out? Make you audience remember? Achieve the goal of the presentation?
10 experts give their top criteria for killer presentations.
- FRAME YOUR STORY: There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about. Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward. – Chris Anderson, Curator of TED
- HAVE GOOD MATERIAL BEFORE GOOD PRESENTATION TOOLS: There are lots of fantastic presentation software options including Power Point, Keynote and Prezi. Whatever tool you use, do not rely on it too heavily. What truly matters is the content and your delivery. The best use of any presentation tool is to help organize your thoughts. Successful speakers know the material well enough to work from scribbled notes as much as a glitzy presentation. – Meaghan Edestein, Global Strategic Management Institute
- PUT THE BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: I’ve seen many presentations where the story is dragged out and tension is built, as if the person was trying to make a movie and build to the climax. But most people appreciate getting to the climax quickly without lots of buildup or foreplay. It isn’t a movie and it isn’t sex — people are busy and need to deal with the issue and then move on. – Mark McMillan, McMillan Leadership Association
- FIND THE PERFECT MIX OF DATA AND NARRATIVE: Most presentations lie somewhere on the continuum between a report and a story. A report is data-rich, exhaustive, and informative—but not very engaging. Stories help a speaker connect with an audience, but listeners often want facts and information, too. Great presenters layer story and information like a cake, and understand that different types of talks require differing ingredients. – Nancy Duarte – author of Resonate
- MAKE THE COMPLICATED SIMPLE: A confused mind NEVER buys, so focus on finding ways to make you the most OBVIOUS choice. – Michael Bremmer, Telecomquoates.com
- HAVE A CONVERSATION, NOT A PRESENTATION: No one likes being presented to. Fortunately, they do like engaging in conversations. Relationships are the heart of leadership. Further, relationships must be two-way, born of interactions. So, you and I should stop making presentations. Instead, we should engage in conversations with the people with whom we are communicating.- George Bradt, PrimeGenesis
- FOLLOW THE 10-20-30 RULE: I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting. You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes. In a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes, and you have forty minutes left for discussion. Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well. – Guy Kawasaki, Venture Capitalist
- CHUNK YOUR PRESENTATION TO CREATE PAUSES: Many people will advise that you talk slowly when giving a speech. Quite simply, chunking is forcing yourself to break your speech up into chunks of words, making pauses a necessary step before moving onto the next chunk. – Meghan Keaney Anderson, HubSpot
- USE A STRONG VISUAL ON EACH SLIDE: Fill the screen with a single, engaging photo or graphic that illustrates your point. Pop a word on top of it to alert the audience to what you’re about to discuss and to keep you on track. Images also increase retention and recall. – Karl Gude, Creative Process & Visual Storytelling Instructor at Michigan State University
- LEAVE THEM THINKING: A great speech is one that inspires the audience to think about a subject from a fresh perspective. As soon as you’ve gone, your audience is likely to turn its attention to other things — perhaps to presentations competitive to yours. Leave something to remember you by. – Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson, authors of Writing That Works
Presentations are a means to an end. If you’re presentation nails it, you’ll get there. If it doesn’t, you’ll be left wondering. Does this help you create your next killer presentation?