When you’re making a presentation accuracy is essential. Every typo, error or blurry image makes a statement about you and your company. Worse still, there is a subliminal message ‘this company doesn’t pay attention to the details’; not the message you want a potential client to get.
I was recently at an event where there were a number of presentations. The first one was clear, highly visual and made points effectively, but the second speaker stood up and kicked off by apologising that the presentation had not been created specifically for this event and he would skip over irrelevant slides. So, he had set the audience’s expectations very low and the message was ‘this presentation wasn’t important enough for me to create a bespoke presentation’.
As the slides progressed there was a note at the foot of each slide that said [add title]. Clearly someone had not edited the Master slides to remove this.
The next presenter used slides quite text heavy, so more chance of the audience reading the slides instead of listening to her. There were a couple of spelling errors and an incorrect statement (the slide creator had left ‘not’ out of a sentence, so reversing the meaning).
Yes, I’m a pedant – but when it comes to things that divert attention from the core message, I make no apologies.
Presenting your company to a new client can be as simple as a face-to-face chat with one person or a presentation to a whole team. If you use a slide deck to help to get your message across, there are a few things that you need to take into account.
- Check and double check for spelling, grammar and punctuation (should it be ‘its’ or ‘it’s’, discreet or discrete, your or you’re?).
- Pare down the text – it’s a visual aid, not a verbal one. Yes, you should include charts and stats, but let the images tell the story, with you as the narrator.
- Avoid whizzy graphics. Text that cartwheels is annoying and distracting. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.
- Ensure your brand is consistent throughout the presentation, the correct colours, fonts and logo.
Remember that your presentation is for your audience, whether one person or hundreds, not for you!