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How to make a presentation: Tips + resources

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Meghan Ryan June 29, 2022

Making a presentation might seem like a daunting task, but when you have the right advice and resources at your fingertips, you can create a presentation that makes you feel confident in front of a crowd. At Prezi, we’ve worked with countless creators and presentation experts to create some of the best presentations out there. Here are our tips for how to make a presentation.

How to make a Prezi presentation

Let’s kick it off with our bread and butter: how to make a presentation on Prezi. You can make a stunning presentation using Prezi Present , a software that helps you create interactive presentations that pull your audience in and get them invested in what you have to say. Use Prezi’s unique zooming feature to add movement to your presentation. Prezi’s non-linear format allows you to jump between topics instead of flipping through slides, making your presentation feel more like a conversation than a one-way speech.

Getting started is easy. Watch this video to learn how to make a presentation with Prezi:

Discover more great resources for making a great presentation on Prezi:

  • Over 200 professionally-designed presentation templates catering to a good variety of use cases, roles, and design preferences. Find a template that suits your topic and helps structure your presentation in an engaging way, including several specifically made for online video meetings.
  • Presentation examples curated by Prezi’s editors. Prezi works with keynote speakers, influencers, and content creators to make some of the most memorable presentations out there. View our favorites here to find inspiration, or you can reuse any presentation with a green symbol by adding your own content and making it your own.

6 tips for how to make a presentation

Learning how to create a presentation doesn’t happen overnight, but even the best presenters are constantly practicing and improving their craft. Read to see how you can make a good presentation with these 6 tips.

Structure your presentation so that it’s easy to follow

If you’ve attended a presentation and left feeling inspired or informed, it’s probably because the presenter did a good job structuring their presentation so that you could follow along and understand key take-aways. There’s research to back this. Studies show that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.

On top of that, structuring your presentation allows you to organize your thoughts and plan what you’re going to say, helping you feel more confident going into your presentation.

To structure your presentation, you need to first choose the purpose of it. Presentations typically fall into four main types: persuasive, informative, motivational, and instructive. Consider what you want your audience to do when you finish your presentation and structure your presentation around that.

Next, start writing the content of your presentation. We recommend using the same narrative framework as a story (a beginning, middle, and end). The storytelling framework allows you to set up conflict that needs to be resolved and show what could be. This is a particularly good framework for persuasive presentations, but it also creates a compelling narrative for any other type of presentation. Here’s how writer, speaker, and CEO Nancy Duarte charts out the storytelling framework :

Here’s how to think about each part of the story:

  • Beginning – Describe the status quo and what the audience is used to (they might be nodding their heads in recognition of what you’re saying). Once you’ve set that baseline, introduce your vision of what could be. The rest of your presentation will bridge the gap between what is and what could be.
  • Middle – Keep describing the differences between what is and what could be. As the audience learns more about your ideas, they will sound more alluring.
  • End – Describe how much better the world will be with your new ideas and provide a call to action. Your ideas shouldn’t just benefit you, they should meet the needs of your audience, as well.

Remember to speak your audience’s language. That means understanding their knowledge base and point of view, and meeting them at their level. For instance, in a data-driven report, don’t include a lot of technical jargon if you’re presenting to people new to the field or from a different department.

To learn more on this topic, read our guide on storytelling in your presentations .

Do your research

The best way to feel confident going into your presentation is to know your topic inside and out. When you’ve taken the time to understand your topic fully, it’ll be easier for you to answer questions on the fly and get yourself back on track if you forget what you were going to say. It also allows you to provide bonus information if you end up having extra time at the end of your presentation.

The best way to do your research is to read up on information on the internet and at the library, or by reaching out to experts to weigh in (this would be a great way to pull quotes or sound bites).

If you’re an expert in your field, that’s perfect. Review your findings and pull from your past experiences to build a rich, information-dense story for your audience. Don’t just wing it, even if you know the topic well. You want the audience to walk away with a clear message, and that takes focus.

Pro tip: get in touch with your audience ahead of time and ask them what they want to see in your presentation. Researching topics that they’re interested in is how to make a presentation that clicks and keeps them hooked. 

Design your presentation

The easiest way to watch your audience’s eyes glaze over is to feature heavy blocks of text in your presentation. It doesn’t matter if the information you’re presenting is all important, you don’t want to overload your audience with too much visual stimuli.

Presentation design is one of the most important parts of making a presentation that keeps your audience engaged and interested in your topic.

  • Limit the amount of text on each slide to only the essentials. If you’re worried you might forget something important, just use presenter notes that only you can see. More on these later in the article.
  • White space is your friend. Don’t cramp content.
  • It’s best to stick to just one thought per slide.
  • Use images and a lot of them. Images grab people’s attention and are infused with more emotional meaning than text alone. Make sure your presentation images support your message and don’t seem out of place.
  • Don’t use more than three types of fonts. Find the best fonts for presentations in our guide here.
  • Visually highlight important information by bolding it, making it larger, or by using a different color.
  • Keep the background the same or similar throughout your whole presentation. Prezi’s presentation templates make this easy, as they’re already styled with consistency.
  • Add movement to grab attention.

Remember to keep the medium of your presentation in mind. If you’re presenting online, use a video presentation tool like Prezi Video that optimizes your presentation to the virtual format and allows you to share the screen with your content.

Grab your audience’s attention right at the start

First impressions matter, and in an era when there are so many distractions right at your fingertips, it couldn’t be more important to get your audience’s attention quickly to get them interested in what you have to say and hooked for the rest of the presentation.

The opening of your presentation is when your audience forms their impression of you. Telling a bad joke or a long, rambling story is an easy way to lose their interest and see their focus fade away – and you might not be able to get it back.

How to make a presentation interesting starts with an attention-grabbing hook. Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Share a shocking statistic
  • Ask a rhetorical question
  • Begin with a problem statement
  • Show an eye-catching visual
  • Tell a story

For a great example on starting your presentation with a story, watch this video by Elena Valentine , speaker and CEO of Skill Scout. She kicks her video presentation off with a compelling story. You’ll want to watch till the end, not just because she has you hooked, but because she shares tips for grabbing and maintaining audience attention throughout the presentation.

End on the emotional value for the audience

There’s no question that starting your presentation off with a hook is essential in getting your audience interested, but ending it with a strong conclusion is how you can ensure your message remains with them long after you’ve finished speaking.

Think back to the original goal of your presentation – what do you want your audience to do now that they’ve heard your piece? This is when you want your audience to have a clear understanding of what to do and how to feel.

Try these ideas to end your presentation on a strong, memorable note.

  • Tell a compelling story
  • Provide a call to action with clear next steps
  • Reiterate your opening message
  • Ask a question
  • End with exactly three points – the rule of three is a pattern that makes things easy for people to follow and remember

Use presenter notes

A person can only absorb a certain amount of information at a time, so adding too much text to your presentation can be overwhelming for your audience (and is just bad design). Make sure to include the most essential pieces of information as text in your presentation. For everything else, use notes that only you can see.

Presenter notes help you to keep track of information and reference key points throughout your presentation. Having these available allow you to provide a more well-rounded experience for your audience, giving them the opportunity to absorb the essential information in your content and listen to you for more context. Presenter notes also act as a cheat sheet, should your audience ask questions or probe for more data.

You should practice delivering your presentation before the big day. Make sure you practice with your presenter notes to get the hang of referencing them without reading them verbatim. You don’t want your eyes to be focused too much on your notes and not on your audience.

You can access presenter notes on our presentation software Prezi Present and our video presentation software Prezi Video . Read our guide on using presenter notes to learn more. Note: presenter notes are available to users on Prezi Plus plans, so please contact us if you’d like to learn more about this feature.

How to make a video presentation

Even as people are returning to the office and working in person, there are going to be a fair number of virtual meetings on your calendar. Hybrid office workers and in-office employees have to meet with people working remotely. That means that it’s good for you to brush up on your online presentation skills.

Many of the tips that we’ve covered in this article are going to help you present in an online video setting, but there are a few nuances to get used to. Consider the following:

  • Your background and home office setup
  • How your voice sounds on a computer or home microphone
  • How you’ll record and share your presentation
  • Your audience’s mood and attention span in a remote setting

Get everything you need to succeed in a virtual setting with our guide to how to make a video presentation .

There are so many ways you can make a presentation interesting for your audience and leave them feeling inspired and informed. Contact us to learn more about the presentation and collaboration solutions that Prezi can provide your business.

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5 Better Alternatives To Google Slides

I f you're looking to create a compelling presentation to showcase a new idea or persuade others, Google Slides may be the first option that comes to mind. But with few built-in templates, basic themes, and a limited graphics collection, you'll likely have a hard time making your presentation stand out against others.

If you want to make your presentation truly stand out, there are several alternatives to Google Slides that offer extra perks and features to give your presentations an edge. While Google focuses on integrating Slides with its other work-based apps like Sheets and Docs, other presentation apps focus more on design elements, transitions, and themes to help you convey your brand or personal image throughout your presentation.

We've tested these Google Slide alternatives to give you an idea of other available options to deliver impactful presentations. If you're looking for a way to make boring information more fun and engaging, here are the best presentation apps to replace Google Slides.

Read more: Major Graphics Card Brands Ranked Worst To Best

Microsoft PowerPoint

There's a reason so many businesses around the globe use Microsoft PowerPoint. Building its reputation as the go-to option for delivering high-quality presentations, the software generated $100 million in annual sales only three years after its initial release in 1990.

Microsoft PowerPoint may be Google Slides' largest competitor, but there are plenty of unique features that can add an extra flourish to your slides. PowerPoint excels in its impressive library of custom animations and slide transitions, which are fairly limited in Google Slides. Another unique feature is its AI-powered Designer tool. This provides professional design schemes that mirror the words used in your slides. For instance, if your title slide is named "Basketball Team 2024," Designer will automatically suggest pictures and slide layouts associated with basketball.

As PowerPoint has been in development longer than Google Slides, it naturally offers more nuanced features if you're looking for something specific. For example, you can save individual slides as an image file (using .png or .jpeg formats) or as a separate presentation file. There's also a large library of free PowerPoint templates designed to speed up your workflow. Moreover, PowerPoint integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Teams with its PowerPoint Live function, allowing you to easily share your presentation with your co-workers.

Prezi offers an innovative approach to showing presentations with its unique canvas feature. Unlike traditional presentation software, Prezi lets you zoom and pan around a flexible canvas. The canvas may feel distant to something of a presentation program, but there is still some linear order provided thanks to the Timeline view.

Finding ways to visualize data is one of the biggest challenges when dealing with presentation software. Prezi resolves this struggle with the help of its Story Blocks: a series of infographics available in multiple designs to visually represent data. You can easily edit infographics and even add animations to individual shapes. This can help add a story to your presentation and help you emphasize key points.

To further enhance your presentation visually, Prezi offers several topic path settings, which let you change how Prezi transitions from one topic to another. These options include subtopics, which are super helpful for breaking large chunks of information down. If you're looking for a unique, modern approach to presenting information, Prezi is a top pick.

If you're looking to create a professional presentation to convince potential clients about your business idea, Slidebean is a popular choice among professionals with plenty of customization options. One of the issues with Google Slides is its fairly limited template library, which is filled mostly with basic designs. Slidebean offers a better alternative with a broad selection of innovative templates split into categories for convenience.

The app's user interface is easy to navigate so that you can create slides in less time. Each slide has a dedicated Design and Outline tab. You can use the Outline tab to quickly edit the information on each slide without being distracted by all the visual elements. Another productivity-enhancing feature is the ability to generate a presentation theme from your website. Simply enter your URL, and Slidebean will automatically apply the theming to your presentation.

Slidebean is another presentation app to take advantage of AI. Using the Auto-Design feature, you can generate recommended slide layouts based on your existing content. It also features AI text suggestions designed to suit different industries. Overall, Slidebean offers a quicker, more efficient method for creating stunning presentations compared to Google Slides.

Canva is a well-known app among graphic designers, but it's also capable of making stunning presentations. The app also has mobile editions, so you can easily create and edit presentations on your Android phone , iOS device, or tablet. As long as you have an internet connection, you can modify your designs wherever you are.

To get started, head to Canva's online presentation maker . Canva offers a vast range of templates categorized by topic, which easily surpasses the simple templates in Google Slides . While some of the templates are only available to Canva Pro members, there is an ample amount of free templates to help you get started. You'll also find a large selection of stock photos, shapes, and illustrations to create beautiful customized slides.

Because Canva is built for graphic designers, you can access several features to give your presentation consistent theming. These include color palettes, font sets, and even a brand kit that allows you to add your company's fonts (available to Pro members only). One time-saving feature is Canva's Uploads tab, which lets you access recently uploaded media files. This offers a convenient way to copy content between different presentations.

Visme is a powerful visual design tool able to create videos, infographics, and presentations. One of the perks of using Visme is the company's free educational content, which offers advice on how to create impactful content to boost your brand. After signing up, the company also asks whether you're using Visme for your business, education purposes, or personal use to offer personalized tips.

In terms of charts and graphs, Visme offers some of the most impressive features we've seen from a presentation app, so you can effortlessly convey important statistics. From the Data tab, you can access dozens of graph styles to visually represent your data. Then, simply double-click a chart inside your presentation to edit the values instantly in a simple table format.

Another area that Visme excels in is collaboration. You can either generate a link to publish your presentation on the web or share your presentation privately with others. For each team member, you can choose who can view, edit, and comment slides for a seamless workflow. There's also a Slack integration that lets you receive messages whenever changes are made to your presentation. Visme is free for all users, with limited features available in its premium plans.

Read the original article on SlashGear .

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