Most of us have had to go through oral presentations at some point in our lives accompanied by a visual or audiovisual aid. For a good handful of decades now, both at a teaching and professional level, it has been very common, if not indispensable, to practice presentations with Microsoft’s powerpoint platforms or, more recently, Prezi . At the heart of the matter, this tool is a great explanatory support for our talks and presentations.

However, many students and teachers recognize that they have serious difficulties in making a good presentation, and those who are already accustomed to the use of these technologies do not always use them optimally. This is due to the skill of synthesis required to make a better story before the target audience, to not leave the most transcendent ideas or themes in the dark, and to other problems that we often do not think about. In this article we will focus precisely on how to improve our presentations in talks in front of an audience or in project exhibitions .

Improving a Project Presentation with Slides

Here are some points to improve your next presentation.

1. A hook introduction

In our first slides, we must correctly introduce the topic to be discussed, expressing it in a direct and clear way. In addition to naming the authors involved in the project and proposing a title that summarizes the main idea of what is going to be seen , we must take into account that if after the first minute we have not yet said exactly what the presentation is about and why it is interesting, possibly the attention that the public will devote to us will fall quite a lot.

2. Consistent use of colours

Let’s remember that the visual impact is very important. Choosing the right colours and shades helps to give meaning and coherence, as well as having aesthetic values. The size of the font and its style is also very important, as well as the degree to which it contrasts with the background of what is seen. In this sense there are no magic formulas: you have to think about the surface on which these images will be seen, the distance from the audience, and the way the whole thing looks.

It is important not to use any photograph with a text background, unless it has very little color variability and the part to be read has a very homogeneous tonality that contrasts with the letters .

3. Quality images

Graphic support with quality illustrations or photographs gives a lot of life to a presentation, although it is not advisable to obsess about including many of them , since in addition to wasting time, saturating everything with them will probably be too distracting. It is important that these images are not pixelated and that they do not interfere with the rest of the content, overlapping each other.

4. Size of slide parts

It is surely one of the pillars of a good presentation. The size of the slide is important, both in terms of content and decoration. Usually the title is made with big letters, and the points to explain should be sentences of no more than two lines. Remember that we have to be brief but concise.

5. Emphasis on the important

The slides are a support, and we should not rely on everyone in the audience examining them in detail to understand what we are saying in the presentation. When a piece of information is relevant, we should highlight it visually, either by bold, by font size, or by directing the attention of others by using graphic elements from the periphery.

6. Time limit

To improve our Power Point or Prezi presentation, or even PDF, we have to be scrupulous about time. The time limit needed to explain each slide. The ideal is not to spend more than one minute on each slide , unless it is a “directory-slide”, a “map” to understand much of the content of what we explain in the presentation.

Furthermore, taking time into account will help us to ensure that the minutes we spend on each of the sections correspond to their real importance, without creating imbalances.

7. Attractive Narration

As we have pointed out before, the simple fact of using visual support to a lecture responds to the need to make a session much more didactic than a traditional presentation or class. Therefore, an effort must be made to keep the attention alive, making what we say go hand in hand with this philosophy.

Without going too far into informality, we could offer a narrative by means of metaphors and anecdotes with which the public can identify, although the amount of this element must correspond to the subject matter to be dealt with and the nature of the project presented . In a presentation where there is a lot at stake, it is good not to detract from the seriousness of the event, so one or two of these references is normal, while if it is a class or training workshop presentation, more can be included.

Keep in mind that it will be easier to attract attention and communicate clearly the more narrative the presentation is. This means that we must avoid limiting ourselves to “describing” a set of concepts that we want the audience to understand: what we must do is explain a story that, regardless of whether it is simpler or more complex, must have an introduction, a node and an ending. In this way, the overall message we want to give will be easier to understand and, as people will be less lost, they will remember better what we say.

8. Bibliographic references

It’s the finishing touch to a good presentation job, so you should never forget this section. Some users often miss the reference element, the sources consulted or the bibliography used, which serves to support our message . Adding in the last slide the recommended books, the articles consulted and the support websites from which resources have been extracted projects a very professional image of our work.