How Technology Start-ups Can Create More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
Updated: Apr 27
Regardless of where you are in the tech world, from start-up to seasoned professional, you’ve given at least one PowerPoint presentation in your career. With COVID-19 protocols making virtual meetings the new normal, chances are your presentations are carrying a lot more weight now.
Follow this advice to make sure your presentations are the best they can be.
Planning Your Presentation
Know Your Audience
The first step in creating an effective presentation is planning and creating an outline of your content. To do this you will need to have a good idea of exactly who you’ll be presenting to and why.
Who will you be presenting to?
What information do they already know?
Why are you presenting this content to them? What is the main purpose or what do you hope to gain from the presentation?
Make note of all these answers before beginning to plan your presentation. They will help guide you in the right direction as far as how in depth you need to go and how you should be speaking. The language you use in a presentation to your engineering staff will be vastly different from the language you use when presenting to board members. You need to ensure that all content can be accessed by everyone in the meeting.
Plan Your Content
Create an outline detailing what information you want to cover and lay it all out in an order that makes sense. Similar to an essay outline from your school days, you need to cover the main areas and points you want to address.
Keep this brief and concise, gauge how much detail is needed depending on your audience.
Who you are. Why you’re here. What you’ll be talking about. What order the presentation will follow. Ask the audience to kindly keep their questions until the end of the presentation.
Break down your information into broad categories and then further divide into subcategories within the individual slides.
Category – The new app you’ve designed.
Subcategories – Why the app was designed. What the technical specifications are. What the user experience will look like. What the beta test results are.
Similar to the introduction this can be kept short. Summarize your presentation and the main points. Restate the statistics you want your audience to recall and why they are important. Finish your presentation with a call to action or a final remark about the content. Open the floor to any questions your audience may have.
You also want to make your presentation relatable; encourage your audience to think of your product or offer as something that they need. You can do this by adding stories and case studies to your presentation. Share a time when your technology saved time or resources. Does it offer a solution that you can connect to your audience and touch on a pain point that they need to be resolved?
Designing Your PowerPoint
Once you’ve created a solid outline and taken into account your audience, you’re now ready to begin laying out your slides and putting the information in the logical order.
Have you heard of death by PowerPoint? It’s an unfortunate side effect of information overload on the slides. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how painful it is to sit through those presentations – you don’t want that to happen to yours.
When designing your presentation keep that in mind; do not put too much content on each slide. You want to have the main points on the slide and then you will speak to and elaborate on each one verbally.
There is no need to put everything you’ll be saying on the slides. If you do this, what is the point of you being there to present? The audience could just read the slides on their own.
Invest in a corporate template for all employees to use. Doing this will ensure that your branding is kept consistent across all departments and your presentations always look professional. You may even want to create a branded guide for employees to follow when creating content to show to clients. The more structure you have pre-programed into presentations, the easier it will be for anyone to follow your lead.
Use bullet points as a clean way to display the information and use simple transitions (or none at all) to keep the focus on what matters.
Use an easy-to-read font and keep it the same throughout the presentation.
Do not fill blank space with images or designs. Keep it simple and clear.
Keep the wording to a minimum. Your audience came to listen, not read.
Technical Diagrams and Statistical Graphics
Including these diagrams is often a big part of the presentation and need to be addressed properly. When you present any visuals, you need to be sure that they can be explained easily enough to be understood by each member of your audience. Take a look at the audience as a whole and what kind of language you’ll be using to help inform the presentation materials. If you cannot explain the diagrams or charts simply enough you will lose your audience and make them feel inadequate – neither of which is good for you or your company. Aim for about 1 minute to explain a graphic; any longer and it may be too complicated for your presentation audience.
Delivering Your Presentation
Make Notes and Practice
You’ve created an outline, designed your slides and are now ready to begin the process of mastering your delivery.
In order to deliver a powerful presentation, you need to be adequately prepared. This includes making notes for talking points during your presentation. You can write these in point form or you can even write down your whole presentation like a speech. Whatever works best for you.
Go through all your slides and make sure that you have accompanying notes and that you have touched on everything you want to mention. You can even print out your slide frames to keep yourself more on track with your visuals.
Open up your camera and see what you look like on screen. Check out the lighting, the background, and the picture window. You don’t want to have one of those Zoom mishaps we all heard about.
Time yourself giving the presentation. If you have an hour time slot, make sure there’s enough room for technology delays and questions at the end. You don’t want to keep people in your Zoom call for too much longer than they had planned for.
Most importantly, connect with your audience. You may have to glance at your notes from time to time, but you need to be aware of your (virtual) eye contact. Look at the camera and smile, show your audience you are happy to be there and excited to present your information. This is another reason to get on camera before your presentation, know where to focus so that you don’t look distracted during the meeting. Tell engaging stories that will draw people in, make them see how your product or service will be a benefit to them. Tie stories and personal anecdotes back to the audience, allow them to see themselves buying and using your product. Remember that people buy from people they know, like and trust. Your presentation is building a relationship.
Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is easy when you have the right steps to follow and put yourself in the audience’s shoes. If you would be bored – so would they. Everyone can create and deliver an effective presentation, even if you’re a bit hesitant in doing so. Keep your focus on the goal you want to achieve through the presentation and let that guide you in your decisions.
At Creativly we have developed PowerPoints for all occasions, including keynote speeches, sales pitches, and highly technical presentations. Enlisting the help of professionals to create your presentation does make a difference. You will get one-on-one support, premium designs, cohesive branding, and feedback on the presentation. In the technology sector, you’re in a highly competitive space; show your edge by presenting a sleek, efficient presentation that resonates with your audience.
If you’re ready to see how Creativly can help your business rise to the top, contact us to go over the variety of services we offer.