Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Presentation tips and 10-20-30 Rule for Presentations

When it is required to do a presentation either it is business related or academic, we always want to make it attractive and smart. Following are some of the well known methods that I have been using.

  • Use less text
We know that the audience will get board when you have a lot of text in your slides. If they do not get board, they will start reading the slides without listening to your talk. So you miss the change to emphasis what you want. Either way you loose :(
So if you feel that should have text for a particular slide to explain it easier, try point format and be precise. 3, 4 bullet points with up to 6, 7 words per each bullet will be ideal.

  • Communicate your idea with pictures
We know that "A picture is worth a thousand words". It is always easy and clear to convey your idea through a picture than having a lot of text. (This is a very well known fact)

  • Use simple animations
If some complex concept or an algorithm should be presented, make some animated slides which can explain it easily than trying to struggle with all Xs and Ys. You may feel that it will be clear, but believe me it will not. Just try to memorize the very first time you got to know about that concept. Even though you have mastered it now, for the audience it may be the first time :)

And of course you should not have these complex explanations in your presentation if you do not think that you MUST have them.

  • Less slides and good formatting
Have some attractive formatting, so your audience will not get board seeing it. But of course I did not mean 'fancy' :)

  • 10-20-30 Rule
This was a concept introduced by Guy Kawasaki who is a Silicon Valley marketing executive.
In brief it says
               10 slides only
               20 minutes presentation time
               30 font size
Here is his explanation on how it will be effective. 

And I have some final tip for the audience. If your colleague is doing a presentation for academic purposes and you are supposed to give feedback, please provide the real feedback you have. Do not say that it was amazing just because you think that your friend will feel bad if you didn't do so. I specifically mentioned academic because I believe when it comes to business, it is most probable to have the real feedback since it is business. :)

I personally had this practice of being nice and trying to avoid giving bad feedback and suddenly I realized that I am taking away the change of my colleague to further improve his/her presentation skills. This can be something simple like 'You spoke too fast' but if he improve that, it will help a lot to attract more audience next time. You can of course be polite and convey it nicely, so that it will really help the presenter to improve himself/herself. And may be you can give written feedback too.

So good luck with your next presentation :)