Presenting or pitching is an art form anyone in a corporate work environment should know. It requires many skills, including the ability to speak confident in public, good communication skills, good English, memory and the ability to engage your audience. And the classic tool to accompany this is a good old PowerPoint presentation.
But in more recent years the technique of putting everything you want to say into some PowerPoint slides and reading them out has fallen out of favour, and I canâ€™t say Iâ€™m surprised. For the most part they are dull, monotonous and all incredibly similar â€“ no matter how many pretty pictures or graphics you put in.
Now Iâ€™m not saying PowerPoint is dead. Far from it â€“ I still use PowerPoint daily. But I am saying that the dynamic is shifting, and itâ€™s important to know when you should use a PowerPoint and when you should use something a bit more modern.
Thatâ€™s where Prezi comes in.
What Is Prezi?
Prezi is something that has been around for a few years now, yet is surprisingly underused in business. Software that can make your presentations dynamic and interactive, bringing them to life at the touch of a button. Itâ€™s free and easy to use, and you will never run out of ways to have fun with it. Features like zoom, photo integration and new visual techniques will help enlighten and educate a newly captivated audience, all with minimal effort on your part.
Itâ€™s also fantastic if you are trying to explain a new concept or chain of events. Say you are a scientist trying to explain how particles react with each other when they come into contact. You can design your entire presentation to be in the shape of a particle â€“ or a particle cloud. You can use the particles themselves to house information about the particles, the strings in between to explain the experiment and methodology, and another particle (an a reaction graphic) to describe the reaction. Starting to get the picture?
Why Should I Change The Way I Present?
Quite simply because if youâ€™ve not been successful with your current method, you should try something new. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and that is exactly what continuing to use PowerPoint when it doesnâ€™t work for you is doing. But just changing the medium isnâ€™t going to cut it. Try a few of these too:
Drop the stiffness â€“ walk around the room! Interact with your audience and bring their attention to you â€“ not your slides. leave the mic on stage (if you can be heard while speaking normally) and treat it like a friendly business chat. Keep it professional, but remember your audience are all people just like you.
Lower the number of words per slide. Fairly self explanatory. The more words there are on a slide, the less likely your audience is to read them all. Put up bullet points or key information on your slides â€“ save the really important bits for yourself to say. That way, your audience has to listen and engage to understand whatâ€™s going on.
Bring on the clown! Let your sense of humour loose â€“ people will remember you more for it. Have fun while youâ€™re presenting, crack a joke or two and donâ€™t be afraid to laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. Youâ€™re only human after all â€“ and laughter is the most powerful tool â€“ so why not use it?
For more information on presenting with prezi, check out http://prezi.com/ and bring your presentations to life! And backup that quality Prezi presentation with a printed version in a presentation folder for your audience to take away.