A presentation is a form of presenting information using text materials, photographs, drawings, diagrams, graphics, slide shows, sound design, video fragments, animation, three-dimensional graphics, etc. The main difference between presentations and other ways of presenting information is their special content saturation and interactivity, the ability to change and respond to user actions in a certain way.
The presentation created by IT professionals is always based on verbal, auditory, and visual support; contains a script at its core and has a certain structure; involves knowledge and analysis of the audience for which it is being prepared; has certain priorities and precisely formulated goals and objectives; is maintained in a single graphic style. Key benefits of the presentation include:
- The visibility of the material presented, ensuring accessibility for visual perception by the entire audience;
- Attracting the attention of listeners to the material presented through the use of animation elements, video, and audio fragments;
- Emphasizing the most significant points of the report;
- Preservation of the logical sequence of presentation of the report;
- Aesthetics and expressiveness of the information;
- Ease of preparation of slides, compactness, and transportability of material.
The main purpose of a presentation message is to share an important idea with the audience. Therefore, it is important to know the top 10 best practices for presentation based on the psychophysiological features of human perception of information.
Recommendations for Creating Effective Presentations
Find below simple guidelines and rules that will help you to use best practices for presentation slides and develop the most effective presentation materials.
Formulation of the Presentation Topic
Formulate the theme of the presentation not for yourself but for the audience. It should be clear, concise, and understandable for listeners.
Determination of the Purpose and Objectives of the Presentation
Think about the main idea you would like to convey to the audience. If it is difficult for you to determine the goal of the presentation, give yourself the answers to the following questions:
1. What is the essence of the presentation? What are its main goals?
2. What should your audience remember?
3. Why should listeners listen to you until the end?
Having received answers to the above questions, you can move on to the questions “What?” and "How?". Start by preparing the future slides. A storyboard is needed to draw slides — it's a rough version of the presentation.
The below exercise will help you organize your presentation and sequence its elements:
1. Take stickers, cards, and colored markers;
2. Define the key points of the presentation by writing them down on flashcards;
3. Build them in the right sequence. Make connections and group ideas. According to the principle of mind mapping (from narrower to wider), write down everything that will strengthen your thoughts. Use free Photoshop 3D text effects;
4. Gather facts, figures, infographics, tables, illustrations, and images to visualize your ideas.
Creation of Presentation Design
Each slide should have the same pitch deck design, including color scheme, font size, type, etc. A presentation in which slides of the same type are formatted in the same way as a neat appearance and do not distract from the point.
Use sans-serif fonts, for example, such as Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Helvetica, Fira Sans, etc. These fonts are easy to read on screen. Pairs of fonts are usually used (headings - main text), and the fonts should be well combined. The font size of the title should be at least 32. The main text should be at least 24. The font size on different slides should remain the same. Otherwise, your presentation will look messy.
Determine the presentation's color scheme in advance and stick to it when creating each slide. It is appropriate to use no more than two different colors on one slide. Colors can improve the perception of the presented material. Therefore, pay attention to pairs, opposites, and sequences when highlighting individual elements with specific colors.
Use of Illustrative Material
Your slides' main thoughts or ideas can be illustrated with pictures, drawings, photographs, and icons. Use them for visualization if they are closely related to the crucial points of your presentation. Choose high-resolution content, and make sure you're not infringing on the rights of creators or owners.
Diagrams and Schemes
Present important data using charts and graphs. They allow displaying of information in a visually appealing way. Choose the data that most vividly illustrate the main ideas. Pay attention to the following tips:
- Horizontal histograms should be used to compare values;
- Vertical bar charts better show quantitative changes over long periods;
- Line graphs demonstrate trends;
- Pie charts represent percentages. They should include no more than six segments.
General Principles of Creating Slides
There are fonts with serifs (TimesNewRoman, Tahoma) and without them (Arial, ArialNarrow, Verdana). It is better to use fonts without serifs in the presentation. Headings should be bold. Italics can be used for logical emphasis, particularly in formulating basic provisions, definitions, etc. A straight regular font should be used for basic information.
It is recommended to avoid using more than two-three futuristic fonts on the same slide. It is advisable to use a single font style for the entire presentation. The smallest font for presentation text is 22. The researchers concluded that the correct font choice contributes to visual acuity preservation. The typeface of the font depends on the type, background of the presentation, and projection equipment.
Thus, a presentation is a set of slides on a particular topic stored in a special format file. Any text, graphics, video, animation, stereo sound, etc., can be placed on slides. When creating presentations, it is advisable to take into account the best practices for presentation without PowerPoint that were described above. This will allow you to create a high-quality presentation in the shortest possible time.