5 Essential Components for an Extraordinary Presentation

What makes a presentation extraordinary?  It helps if you are a strong, confident speaker but there are also important elements that can go a long way toward delivering a compelling presentation.  These elements can turn even the most mundane topics into interesting, memorable presentations.

Clear Structure

Think about the last you cooked a delicious meal.  Chances are you planned ahead to make sure you had all of the ingredients and you prepared the meal one step at a time.  You had everything nicely organized so you could cook with ease.  A presentation is much the same, in the sense that organization is key to pulling off a flawless presentation.  Make sure you have a clear outline of what you are going to say so audiences can easily follow along.  Think of it as a recipe.  Everything makes sense and can be nicely delivered if you follow a structured order.  Also, at the beginning of your presentation, tell the audience what they can expect to learn from the presentation.  Clearly state your objectives and make sure your content supports these objectives.  Recap these important objectives at the end of your presentation so it is all fresh in the audience’s minds when they leave.

Engaging Visuals

Flat text on a solid white background is certainly not going to keep your audience’s attention.  Your visuals should focus attention on what you are saying while providing creative ways to help the audience retain the information.  Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.  There are times when a compelling image can replace an entire slide full of text.  When possible, use charts and graphs to present information.  These images are much more memorable than slides of bullet points or a table full of numbers.  You can even include video clips or props to convey a message to your audience.

Relevant Content

Many speakers make the mistake of showing lengthy slideshows filled with so much text that it is difficult for audiences to follow along and decipher the main objectives from all of the extra “fluff.”  Your content should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.  Consider clean, minimalist slides with less clutter.  Don’t distract audiences with too much visual debris.  Remember to stay focused on the main objectives and stick to content that is relevant.

Impeccable Technology

You don’t want your audience to remember your presentation for its technical flaws.  Poor connection, video clips that take a long time to load, and other technical glitches can be distracting and take away from the content you are trying to present.  Always makes sure your software is working properly and that all technical components are up and running prior to your presentation.

A Personal Touch

We have all experienced sitting through a presentation that bored us to tears.  Even business presentations can become more exciting when they are delivered with a personal touch.  Introduce yourself by sharing an interesting story.  Don’t be afraid to use a little humor.  Be yourself and be authentic.  This personalization allows you to engage with your audience and build a connection.  When audiences feel connected to the speaker, they are more likely to remember the content and take something away from the presentation.