This is the final chapter of our Holy Grail: 50 Tips for Speaking Up: Speaking to Decision Makers.
In this chapter we look at visual aids. What are your three essential slides? How can you make your slides communicate the messaging? Why is it important to have back-up slides for data-dense material? We have combined all 50 tips together for your quick reference.
Make your case with 3 essential slides. Also have back up.
- The short version of your proposal can be presented with few slides. Go to your backup slides to support answers to questions as they come up.
Set up your laptop as a Confidence Monitor.
- Set up your laptop with the screen facing you, so you can stay oriented to the audience while you glance down to the screen to see your slides. Turn off the mirror function in PowerPoint so you can see the slide currently projected and the next one in the deck. No need to turn toward the projected image (away from the audience) to check.
Remember: Your slides are not your notes.
- Notes to yourself go in the notes field in your slide deck. Aim for fewer words and plenty of white space on your slides, so information is easily accessible.
Separate your display deck from a deck to be archived or distributed to be read.
- Slides meant to be read when you are not present can be text heavy. But slides that complement your speaking should be image-laden, so people will not be reading as you speak. Prepare two different decks.
Limit animations in your slides.
- Here’s how you know if your animations are overdone: someone comments on them, but not on your message. Builds are good for step-by-step explanations. But keep transitions between slides simple and clean.
Use the remote to advance your slides.
- Untether yourself from your laptop. Give yourself the freedom to move around the room. Own your own remote control. Get one with a very strong laser light and a button to blank the screen, as well as to advance your slides.
Label slides with a Sentence Headline Assertion rather than just a title.
- Research indicates people understand and remember more if you label each slide with a sentence rather than a title. Ask yourself: what is the point of this slide? That is your Sentence Assertion.
Face the audience, not the projection screen, when pointing to slides.
- Walk back to the screen, point your feet toward the audience, get your back on the same plane as the screen, and then point to the image.
Related Blog Posts: 10 Tips on Confident, Credible Delivery, 16 Tips For Improvisational and Listening Skills, 16 Tips For Creating A Winning Organizational Framework, 6 Strategies for Surviving Executive Presentations, and Avoid Slide Misinterpretation