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Preparing a great PowerPoint presentation can be a daunting task mainly because you are required to pay attention to all the small details on the slides.
Following on from a series of sonic presentations and talks on different forums and platforms, we thought we’d comment about presenting………specifically with powerpoint.
Have you ever noticed how some people hang up their personality on a virtual coat-peg, the minute they take centre stage – to present.
The best presenters always make their audience feel part of the process – communication is everything.
When we use Powerpoint (actually we use Keynotes which we feel is far more pleasing aesthetically), we make absolutely sure that any slides used have engaging content (generally movie clips, images or music – with even rational information presented iconographically), We then make sure that whatever we announce alongside, balances out the rational or emotional overall output.
Frequently we don’t use Powerpoint at all – in fact recently we were presenting at a conference and the video projector broke.
So in conclusion, why not try experimenting with just audio backing next time you have to present?
Here is a link to what we consider to be a fantastic presentation, that certainly reflects the point of this Blog. It should be noted that a PowerPoint presentation is not just about typing text on the slides but it should be prepared in a way that the message is conveyed to the audience. A professional PowerPoint presentation should never include cartoon style backgrounds or animations as this will make you look stupid in front of your audience. After preparing your presentation, simply go to the File Menu and Print, selecting the type of handouts you would like to print.
Their “presentation” consists of reading statistics off endless slides, often augmented by actually looking at the slides, standing halfway-on to the audience.
If you can relax into your own personality on stage, your performance will be natural and most of all have integrity.

The basic premise being that we thought that a commercial would be more memorable if the music that was used in it reflected the Brand’s personality – as opposed to music that didn’t (I’ll do a separate Blog about this on another occasion). We tend to move about when on stage too – that’s because of research proving that different messages can have more impact depending on what side of a stage you stand when making them!
There is no denying the fact the content on PowerPoint slides is extremely important but a great presentation will require you to talk about other factors as well. Being on stage does accentuate one’s personality which is why we think it’s even more important to reflect on how Powerpoint impacts on one’s “performance”.Public speaking can challenge even the most extrovert personalities and leave those of a nervous disposition – complete wrecks. In communication, it is really important to appeal to both the rational and emotional parts of the brain.
The results were very revealing with Brand and Product recall far higher with the “Fit” music.
Afterwards a number of people seemed amazed that the talk had gone so well, despite not being able to use Powerpoint. More importantly you will have to focus on the human and emotional elements of communication! Even after preparing a great presentation, you can fall flat if you forget the most important aspect, that it is you who will be communicating with the audience and not your slides. You may also choose to include sound in your presentation depending on the size of the hall and your viewers. However, you may choose to print five to six slides per page if you want to give a quick overview to the viewers. However there seems to be an increasing trend for speakers to seek refuge and comfort in the Powerpoint security blanket!
The reason top presentations contain moments of humour is to break any pattern of monotony and form. What was fascinating however was that the same ad (just the bare voiceover) with no music scored higher than the “Non-Fit” music. People like to talk, like to be engaged with and like to look into the eyes of the people talking to them.

Use simple computer speakers if you will be interacting with the people in a boardroom setting. Whilst appreciating that this means of communication is excellent to augment certain points – it comes at a price.
The act of laughing actually forces people to breathe deeper, which in turn helps wake them up too!
Meaning that unless you appreciate communicating the correct balance of emotional and rational information, you risk losing memorability and stand-out. It means you will have to practice your presentation a little more as you can’t rely on visual clues or prompts, but it could well be perceived as far more natural and engaging.
Often the process of reading rational information from a screen dilutes the emotional proposition. The presenter’s narration frequently becomes one-dimensional, lacking variation in timing, intonation and expression. Therefore if you want your presentations to have stand-out, then you need to consider the balance and order of your content and how you use your own personality to convey this. If you are using a coloured background for your slides then do not forget font colours that is in high contrast with that background. Similarly, consider formatting the pictures to make the text more visible if you plan on using a picture background.
Think how many times you have observed a person who was life and soul of the party (the night before), undergo a personality transplant the minute they click on their first PP slide!

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