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From Boring to Brilliant: How to Make a Presentation That Stands Out

If you have never made a presentation before, it can be challenging to make a structured, clear, and appealing presentation. Below are some tips, tools, and examples to make things easier for you. In this article, you can find free design tools for presentations. Follow the steps and rules of the game, and you are guaranteed to create an excellent presentation.

What does a good presentation have to be like?

Regardless of the audience, the content, and the structure, every presentation must have a core message. What is it that you want to get stuck in the listener's ears? Without having this goal and this core message clearly in mind, it is almost impossible to make a coherent presentation.

  1. TIP: Before you start your presentation, formulate your core message in 1 sentence.

7 Steps for a catchy presentation

To make a logical structure for your presentation, you can use the steps below. Many people want to have beautiful pictures or a good story first, but it is advisable to start with the structure first. Then the story follows almost automatically.

Step 1 - The structure of the presentation

Write the chapters of your presentation among each other, starting with the chapter INTRO and ending with the chapter CLOSING Don't ask yourself what I'm going to tell you in which way, but ask yourself what topics you're going to talk about.

  1. TIP: If you have this list of chapters, check if the order is logical.*

Step 2 - The sub-topics of the chapters in the presentation

Now that you have an overview of the chapters, you can name the sub-topics per chapter. To understand the main topic, ask yourself which topics you need to talk about.

  1. TIP: Be careful not to think in detail. It's not about the content yet but about the sub-topic.

Step 3 - Timing of your presentation

One of the most challenging parts of giving a presentation is to do it within the time agreed with you. Most people can estimate how long a minute will last. But hardly anyone can estimate how long an hour or more will last during his or her presentation.

The trick is to give a time indication for each main topic and sub-topic. It is done by writing down the maximum and minimum time you want to spend on a topic. For example, between 5 and 15 minutes.

  1. TIP: The most crucial topics are generally given more time than less trivial ones.

Make sure you know what time it should be for each chapter closure. If you run out of time during the presentation, you may decide to present the shortened version until you are back on time.

Step 4: Anecdotes and examples in your presentation

Helpful anecdotes and examples (preferably from your own life) always work well in a presentation. Try to find as many anecdotes and examples as possible that reinforce the core message and/or a specific chapter. Then choose the best from everything you have and place it in the chapter where you want to use it.

Step 5: Movies and images for your presentation

Many presenters don't recommend the use of movies because it distracts from your message. If you still want to use movies, put the name of the movies in the corresponding chapter.

If you want to present visually, now is the time to find the right photos and place the name of the photo behind the chapter or subchapters.

Step 6: The content of your presentation

After previous preparation, it is time to work on the content of your story. One of the success formulas for a good presentation is to use the success formula. SUCCESS stands for the following rules

Simple - Your audience often knows less about the subject than you think.

Unique - Tell your own story and let others tell their own.

Concrete - Use very concrete language and examples.

Compact - Less is more is a rule that always applies.

Emotion - If you can't feel your emotion in your presentation, the audience won't do it either.

Surprising - Preferably make a surprising statement, trivia, or perspective.

  1. TIP: Most presenters create a slide in PowerPoint or Keynote per chapter and place the sub-messages, anecdotes, photos, and movies on the slide and then work them out from slide 1 to the last slide.

Step 7: The design of your presentation

When all content is present, and the structure is complete, you can start designing the whole. Make sure that the layout is clear so that the attention is focused on you instead of an overwhelming slide. Read this article for tips about free tools to build presentations.

  1. TIP: The impact of images with a well-spoken story is many times more effective than a list of bullet points. Avoid bullet points at all times!

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