Nobody wants their slide presentation to be the kind that makes people doze off during meetings. In order to effectively convey the information you want to present, planning and preparation are key. The more time you spend preparing your slides and the manner in which you present the content of the slides, the more engaged your audience will be during your presentation.

There are several important factors to keep in mind during your slide preparation. When these methods are utilized, it’s possible to produce an artful presentation that will capture the eyes and ears of everyone in the room. The more you incorporate these key ideas into your Keynote creation, the more practiced you will eventually become in the art of creative presentation.

1. Connect with the Audience

There’s more going on during a Keynote presentation than just you reviewing information on a slide. There is an audience who needs to be interested in the images and words in front of them, as well as in what they’re hearing. To generate interest, enthusiasm is needed on your end as well. Make your passion known to those watching.

This can be accomplished by working on some general public speaking skills. And have no fear — this isn’t something you have to figure out on your own. There are many companies and websites out there that will help you with public speaking presentation and PowerPoint.

Ask Yourself: What do they need to know?

The content of your slides and verbal presentation should only include what matters to the audience in the room. Focusing on what is important to you and your audience can help with your own personal enthusiasm and their interest level. In order to maintain their interest, make sure you’re addressing their needs.

This may involve reading the audience. Be sure to focus on their response to what you’re saying and what’s on the slides. Paying attention to their response helps ensure maximum understanding between you and your audience.

Build Rapport

Building a rapport with the audience involves small gestures such as smiling and making frequent eye contact with the people in the room around you. Doing this will better help the audience connect with you and what you’re saying. Feeling a connection with the people watching may help you feel less nervous as well.

Since eye contact is important, do not dim the lights to the point where it is difficult to see the faces of the people in the room. You need to be seen just as much as the slides do.

Another great way to build rapport with the room is by asking questions. Posing a question to your audience can spark their curiosity and engagement. Don’t be afraid to ask frequent questions. Give time for your audience to ponder over the question, then reveal the answer on the next slide

2. Prepare and Plan Your Story

Narratives help people understand data. This means that an effective presentation should involve stories, either multiple to flesh out a point or one over-arching story that runs from beginning to end. They also help with building connections between your audience and the content of your presentation. People much prefer to listen to a story than to facts rattling off.

Story preparation involves choosing what information is necessary for the narrative. Cramming too much information into your slides can overwhelm or confuse your audience, ruining your connection with them during your public speaking presentation. If you’re worried about rambling or losing focus, consider using a source for public speaking presentation training.

Body Language Matters

A big part of storytelling and public speaking is body language. Excessive swaying or side-to-side movement can distract from your message and also is a sign of nervousness. Frequent hand gesturing can help, as well as walking around naturally, but it’s also important to not let this get too distracting either. It’s best to keep your movements minimal with occasional hand gestures.

Avoid Reading and Repetition

The point of a public speaking presentation with Keynote is not to read the information to the audience. Even if you’re relaying a story, you need to tell the story, not simply read it off a slide. Reading the words off a slide is a form of repetition because the audience could always just read it forĀ  themselves.

Other types of repetition to avoid are repeating the same words and phrases over and over again on your slides, as well as repeating bits of information. The more times you repeat something, the less interesting it becomes for your audience

3. Spend Time on Design

The way your Keynote slides look is just as important as how you personally look and sound. There are many ways to tackle your design and template. First, there are companies that can help you as a Keynote presentation designer, providing templates and ideas. Even if you’re working with a basic template available on Keynote, it’s important to customize each slide in order for your story to run smoothly, your information to be conveyed clearly, and visuals to appeal to the audience.

There are several customizing options available on Keynote to utilize to your advantage.

Include Objects and Shapes

Be sure to include objects beyond text boxes on the majority of your slides, including charts, pictures, and shapes. After designing a slide filled with multiple objects, check to see if everything on the slide is aligned evenly on the page. An even and aligned look will appear much more professional than images arranged helter skelter on a slide.

Keynote offers many options when it comes to including shapes and 3D charts, which allow you to create flow charts, diagrams, and other useful objects. There is also an option to use the “Shape” option to crop existing photos into shapes by clicking “Media > Photo” to drag a picture into a certain shape. Images of web pages can even be embedded into a slide directly, allowing you to avoid clicking an external link. After all this is added to the slide, Keynote also offers a feature to make the text match the colors of an image. All of this can help make a creative presentation.

Include Multimedia

Text, bullet points, images and flow charts are fine, but multimedia is what really spices up a Keynote. This can involve linking to external video and audio, but there is also an option to embed media into the presentation slides, allowing for a much smoother visual. Clicking to a new slide and showing a quick YouTube clip can help engage the audience.

Speaking of multimedia and the extra features offered by technology, Keynote also has an option that allows you to control your presentation from your iPhone. This little detail can help add to your presentation’s innovative look.

Avoid Clutter

There are many options of what to include in a slide: music, YouTube videos, a homepage, a chart, text box, and timeline, just to name a few. With all of this at our fingertips, let’s keep in mind: excessive objects on a page will create a cluttered look that will distract the audience and take away from the information you are trying to communicate or the story you are trying to tell.

Make your presentation interesting to look at, but do so with simplicity in mind. Too many images might have the same affect of excessively swaying from side to side.

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