Present it right

Making a presentation is an art. It’s the mirror with which you reveal yourself.

Published - November 16, 2014 05:00 pm IST

The most important thing while making a presentation is having a clear idea of the topic.

The most important thing while making a presentation is having a clear idea of the topic.

Whether you are in college or appearing for an interview, knowing how to make and deliver presentations is a skill that will always come in handy. Anyone having the basic knowledge of Microsoft Powerpoint can make a presentation. But making a powerful and effective presentation which can carry the audience with you is a challenge. By following some simple tricks and keeping a few things in mind, your presentation can become your first step to success.

Starting off

The most important thing while making a presentation is having a clear idea of the topic. Only then will you be able to present all the facts clearly and concisely. Sort your data systematically, so that it is easily accessible. The best way to present the content is in the form of bullet points instead of a long paragraph.

Design elements

When you start designing a presentation, there are certain rules you can follow to make it look neat. “Keeping the font size between 24 to 44 points is ideal. This ensures good readability. Also, the slides should be kept as simple as possible. Using too many sound effects, art work, transitions and animations can distract the audience,” says Deepika Mandal, a senior graphics designer working for ECHT, a business services term. Adding too many colours, fonts or styles should also be avoided. “Don’t keep more than six lines per slides or more than seven words per line. This will ensure that the slide does not look cluttered. To enhance readability, sans serif fonts can be used over serif fonts,” says Deepika. Using underline should be avoided since it could signify a hyperlink. Instead, to emphasise a point, colour can be used.

“Always use contrasting colours, for example, light on dark or dark on light.

Keeping the design on the slides consistent makes the presentation look efficient,” says Devendra Sharma, founder of DesignEra, a graphic design company.

On the stage

Your work does not end with preparing the presentation. You then have to present it, and this is what makes several students go weak at the knees.

“Giving a presentation requires a lot of confidence. Lots and lots of preparation is the key. This includes practising not only for what you’ll present during the presentation, but also for what follows it. The speaker should be ready for a question-answer round that takes place in the end,” says Ruchi Gupta, a business development associate at CRISIL research.

Another important factor to consider is the audience. Customising your content to the level of your audience is a smart thing to do. “Maintaining eye contact with the audience helps. This keeps them in the loop and gives them a feeling of inclusion,” says Ruchi.

While giving a presentation during an interview, how do you know what your employer is looking for?

“The body language, command over the subject and language skills matter a lot. Also, the content should be crisp and the speaker should present the points concisely,” says Bhavna Gupta, HR manager at The Smart Cube. “To me, the starting and ending matter a lot. The presentation should start and end with a bang,” she adds.

In the end, remember to provide a summary. This should just be a short point-by-point description that will help the audience recollect and assimilate all the points you made during the presentation.

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