Presentation skills are paramount when it comes to making yourself noticed during a conference. Conferences are all about sharing knowledge and expanding your professional network. You won’t stand out from the crowd if your presentation lacks the required professionalism and structure. Moreover, good slideshow presentations always have a touch of your personal style.

Even though you have almost no limits when it comes to getting creative with the design and content of your presentation, you still have to respect several rules and principles that transform a normal presentation into a brilliant one. See them listed below:


Set the goal of the presentation

The first thing you have to do is set a goal for the entire presentation. A slideshow presentation that has no purpose will simply present information that may not stir the interest of the audience in any way. In order to make it interesting, you need to decide what you want to achieve through it. Set a clear purpose for the presentation and create each slide according to this goal.

You have to carefully build a story for the entire presentation to keep people engaged until the end of the presentation. Creating a sense of suspense will back up any goal that your presentation may have. Questions that make the slideshow interactive should be included in the content you present. Depending on the purpose of the presentation, you will select the appropriate content to include.

Generally, there are two different types of slideshow presentations – technical and persuasive. Technical presentations refer to teaching the audience about a certain topic. This type of slideshow presentations should be stacked with relevant ideas, but not too much information that makes it difficult to assimilate.

Persuasive presentations are meant to stir the interest of the audience in a certain product, service, brand and so on, maybe even convince them why they should invest in something. Yet there are also presentations that combine both technical details and persuasive techniques.  

Keep the order logical

The next step has to do with placing content in a certain order. To do that, you will have to plan the whole presentation out in the proper way. You can start by putting together a storyboard with the main ideas that you want to include in the slideshow presentation. Most slideshow presentations that are used in 10-15 minutes available time don’t have more than 15 slides. In just 15 slides, you need to convey the exact idea/s that you want to address the audience.

To sketch the basics of the entire slideshow presentation, start by outlining the main points, adding the necessary details to each until you figure out what is it worthy of inclusion on the slide and what isn’t and finally sequencing the slides effectively. Another important detail would be to put together the content in a logical order. Your presentation should follow a certain sequence that leads the audience to the main message you want to deliver.

Limit the content

Even though you may have a lot of things to say and to transmit to your audience, your slides should not include a lot of written information. Go back to your storyboard and only include the key words on the slide. You will start your speech ideas based on these words and your audience will remember what you presented by simply seeing these words. The fewer words are included on a slide, the more visually pleasing it will be. Some say that the best amount of words to include on a slide is 15.

Anything longer than that will simply bore the people that attend the conference, and it is the exact result you want to avoid. Limit your content strictly to what is essential for the participants. You can develop the ideas orally, through your speech. If any confusions are encountered, the audience members will surely ask you about them, which leads to a longer Q&A section.  

Use music

Some background music will make the ambiance during the conference presentation much more appropriate. You can find music for slideshows in various sources, so you shouldn’t worry about that. Just make sure that the music you use is not covered by copyright and it’s free to use however you like. Otherwise, you might encounter some issues with it in the future, especially if your slideshow presentation goes viral.

Make your own template

Templates that you download over the Internet are never memorable. They are generic, too simple and they encourage using too many bullet points. Instead of downloading these free templates, come up with a unique one. Is not difficult to create a slideshow template. You have to select the:  

  • Color scheme

The color scheme you choose for your slideshow presentation should contain 5 different colors that generally look good together. The color scheme also has to contain an accent color, which is the one that easily stands out from the rest of the colors you use. These colors need to match the purpose and the topic of your presentation. Each color generates an emotional response. Some colors transit passion, other transmit aggressiveness or power, while others are just mellow and modern.

  • Fonts

You should choose three different typefaces: one for the titles, one for the body and one for the accents. These fonts should go well together, otherwise, the visual effect won’t be pleasing. Again, typefaces can transmit different messages and generate different emotional responses. This is the reason why you need to choose a font that is appropriate for the topic of your presentation.

  • Content scheme

The layout of your slideshow should be well-thought, depending on how you structured your content. It is the detail that offers your presentation the needed cohesion and clarity. There are slides that you can use to make the transition from one idea to another, and there are other slides which are purposed for presenting content. Creating a different layout to separate these slide types will help your audience assimilate the information better.

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison