You know you have to give a presentation. You cringe just thinking about it. Between coming up with a unique way to present your information, engaging your audience, and keeping yourself engaged, it’s enough to make you scream. Not to mention that sometimes all the knowledge you’ve garnered from presentation courses previously might seem to not give you enough of an edge in such circumstances.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can supplement your presentation with various branding tools to make it more exciting for both you and the audience.
After all, the whole point is to make sure the audience learns and retains the information you present to them.
Furthermore, these branding tools are very useful if you want to build a strong brand identity. These tools are an extremely important factor since it can help build your reputation, make you stand out from your competition and project your values and unique selling propositions (USPs) which help to attract future prospects.
Hence, check out these 5 branding tools to give your presentation a boost!
A great way to open your presentation is with a video, and you can use it to introduce the audience to your brand. Include your logo at both the beginning and end, and incorporate your color scheme and typography throughout.
Do keep it short, as you still have a presentation that will follow up. You can consider using catchy music to keep the audience engaged. In addition, include imagery that illustrates the points you plan to discuss and appeals to the audience in a way a simple slideshow might not. This will help you build an emotional bond with them. If you aren’t confident in your ability to make a high-quality clip, work with an expert to edit your video and add other post-production elements to make it stand out.
Just like the video, you should design your slideshow to match your branding, including colors, typography, imagery, and logos. Keep your presentation to three key points so that it doesn’t become too lengthy, and your audience will have an easier time remembering your topics.
Remember, the slideshow is a supplement of your presentation, so do not read directly from the slides. This will put your audience on the fast track towards boredom (you may even see them fall asleep)! Instead of using it as a substitute for your notes, the slideshow should help tell your story or highlight facts and figures. Be creative and keep it simple.
3. Brochures and Infographics
It’s easy to direct the audience to your website and social media, but it’ll be good to send them home with something too. A professionally designed brochure will help build credibility with your audience and illustrate your key points. Be sure to use images and charts to break up the text and make it easier to follow.
Your brochure should pique audience members’ interest in your products or services. It also has a longer shelf life than the other elements of your presentation as the audience can take it home and use it as reference material. Leave a few extra behind for people who might have missed the presentation.
Alternatively, if you prefer keeping things digital, you can create an infographic that the audience can refer to after the presentation has ended. A good infographic design should contain the main elements of your presentation or summarize the information in key points. You can distribute it via email if your audience registered their attendance, or place a link to it in your slides.
Another way to get the audience’s attention is to bring along a mascot. Of course, this does not work for every business and is more effective for industries that are less serious. However, if your brand allows for it, a professional in a fun, colorful suit is a great way to get audiences excited.
A mascot will not only break up the monotony of your presentation, it’ll also help create more brand awareness. You’ll probably want to wait till you approach the end of your presentation to bring out the mascot, and make sure it can help illustrate one of your key points. Otherwise, it could be more of a distraction and end up backfiring.
Mascots add a fun element to your presentation while making your brand as a whole more personable. The audience can hang around after the presentation for photos with the mascot, which could create a buzz on social media and get you more followers.
An effective way to engage your audience is to have a competition with the promise of prizes at the end. Create a three-question quiz to reward the people who paid attention. Alternatively, include a few special Easter Eggs throughout your slides that audience members can keep a lookout for, and award prizes at the end. You could even have your mascot hand them out!
As for the prizes themselves, this is where your brand comes in. Giving out items such as custom T-shirts, tote bags and keychains with your logo and colors on them will build more brand awareness when the winners take your swag out and put it to use. You can also include gift cards or coupons for your products or services.
Developing a presentation can be rough. You want to make sure your audiences walk away with more knowledge about your products or services and hope that they are as excited about it as you are.
Coming up with ways to get your points across and integrate your brand without giving the impression of a sleazy salesman is the hardest part. Using some of these tools will help you create an exciting experience for your audience, and make you feel like you’ve knocked it out of the park.
Do you have other cool branding tools to boost your presentations? Let us know what they are in the comments below!
If you want a plant to grow, you would never just stick a seed into the dirt and hope for the best. Plants also need water, sunlight—maybe even a bit of conversation if you’re feeling quirky.
It’s the same with creating presentations for your business. You can’t just focus on one single thing, ignoring the big picture, and expect the company to grow.
Delivering a presentation is one of the most essential and fundamental methods of cultivating your business. But there’s more to creating a great business presentation than just including all of your most persuasive statistics and testimonials.
If you really want to attract clients, you have to consider every single aspect of the presentation—both on the screen and off.
With that in mind, here are 4 simple presentation tips you can use to help your business flourish to its full potential.
1. Consider Your Audience
Before you even begin writing your presentation, go over any relevant prospect data or market research about your audience that you have access to. Who are they, and why specifically might they use your product or service? Be sure to tailor your presentation specifically for them.
For instance, if your company specializes in cookware and you were presenting to a group of restaurant owners, they would most likely want to hear about how your products can be best used in a restaurant’s kitchen.
You wouldn’t present those products in the same way to an organization of outdoor enthusiasts; they’d be more interested in how the cookware could be used on a camping trip.
Trim your presentation down to the elements that will be most relevant to the people you’re speaking to. This way, you’ll get higher engagement and it’ll be much easier to ask for a sale or action.
2. Don’t Skimp on Visual Design
Seeing people use the same old PowerPoint themes over and over is enough to make me cringe. A premade template is a fine place to start, but if you want your slides to stand out, you have to add your own personal touches to make them fresh and original. Imagine going into a venture capitalist meeting with your investor pitch deck wholly made from a default template.
Pick out a color scheme that complements your brand; a few contrasting colors are usually pleasing to the eye. Use plenty of white space so that your slides won’t appear cluttered and difficult to digest.
There are a couple of ways to quickly get your presentation looking great:
a) Using Photos
A good photograph can go a long way; don’t rely too much on text. When you’re looking for photos, try to stay away from ones featuring subjects who are obviously posed in an unnatural way; these can make your presentation feel cheesy and artificial. Not sure where to look? Check out our compilation of 33 free stock photo sites for your next presentation.
b) Using non-default fonts
We’ve all been to presentations where Arial, Times New Roman and Comic Sans (blech) make their constant appearances. If allowed at your workplace, why not try some non-default fonts? Head over to fontsquirrel.com where you’ll find commercially available non-default fonts that you can use for your next presentation without any legal consequence!
Picking a couple of fonts that stand out for headings will give your presentations that extra pizazz as well as help it stand out in a sea of sameness if you’re at a conference presenting along with other speakers.
Sometimes audiences engage better with information if they have something tangible they can hold in their hands. Printed handouts are an excellent way to capitalize on this, especially when you’re explaining a particularly complicated subject.
One tactic is to have a printed copy of your digital presentation that audience members can take home with them. This acts as a lasting reminder of your business (especially if you use binders custom printed with your logo) and gives prospects a visual aid that will help them explain your concepts to others later. You won’t necessarily want to include every single slide; it’s not like you’ll be there to
You won’t necessarily want to include every single slide; it’s not like you’ll be there to explain them after the presentation is over. Adapt your presentation into a format that your audience can easily comprehend on their own. A great way to do this is to create your own handouts that don’t necessarily repeat what’s on the slide, but instead adds depth and elaboration on the pointers that you make within your presentation.
Alternatively, you could create binders full of materials that supplement your points and hand them out before the presentation starts for corporate settings. Just be careful with this strategy; you don’t want people looking down at a binder when they should be focused on you and your words. Don’t overload the recipient with text; stick to simple visual aids that reinforce the things you’re saying.
4. Don’t Just Talk, Listen
The worst thing you can do in a presentation is read off your slides word-for-word without ever actually engaging with your audience. The most effective presentations aren’t lectures where you simply dictate information—they’re conversations where you tell your audience a story and respond directly to their questions and concerns.
This doesn’t mean you should tolerate audience members constantly interrupting you with irrelevant comments, or force them to hold off all of their questions until you’re finished speaking.
Even better, consider asking them questions as part of your presentation. Their answers might give you better insight into the direction your presentation should go and you’ll be able to engage with them on a deeper level.
Rather than just talking at them, you’ll be talking with them.
Keep these 4 handy strategies in mind, and your next business presentation will be a hit!
Do you have more tips for creating a solid presentation that will attract business? Let us know in the comments below!
In our line of work, we hear different words being thrown around all the time. Whether it’s slides, slide-pack, presentation decks, PowerPoint slides… It looks easy to do, but to really take it to the next level? Not so much.
Yet more often than not, executives are tasked with developing quality presentation slides quickly and then find themselves stuck, wanting the presentation to leave the audience visually enthralled, yet racing against a looming deadline.
If you’ve got your presentation’s story and structure locked down, great. The next hurdle is to buff up (or in this case, simplify) your slides.
Here’s the thing. The biggest problem that executives face when it comes to putting a presentation slide deck together is: Trying too hard to do too much. Worse, because most us aren’t visually inclined, the challenge is compounded.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 simple techniques you can use to have your audience’s eyes glued to the screen each time you press the button on your clicker. Leave your colleagues jealous…even if you’re a beginner with no design experience.
Tip #1: Select a Few Contrasting Colors for Your Presentation
Too many colours on a slide deck can be confusing, and may even end up being a distraction.
Avoid trying to turn your slide into something that resembles a rainbow – that’s when you’ll know you’re on the wrong track.
By picking fewer colors, your slides will be less cluttered, and you’ll be able to bring across clearer messages enhanced with visuals that aren’t buried under Skittles!
It’s fair to say that most people aren’t really that good at picking colors anyway. The best way I’ve found to teach beginners to do this is to start from one of these areas:
a) Use your company’s corporate colors
Certain organizations have strict brand guidelines and colors to choose from, but this may not always be a limitation. Using these colors ensure that you’re on-brand, and the color palette is usually kept to only a few colors.
If you don’t have a guideline in your company, an easy way to create a palette is to pick colors directly from your company’s logo. If the logos are designed well, most of the time the colors should contrast really well on both light and dark backgrounds.
b) Trawl the internet for color palettes
When in doubt, the Internet is your friend. Visiting sites like Behance or Dribbble lets you find plenty of good work from some of the world’s best designers. My tip is to not endeavour to do anything close to that, as it will take up a lot of your time (which you probably will not have). Instead, pay attention to the colors they use, and let it serve as your inspiration.
Notice the background and foreground colors that they’re using, and try those out for yourself. Or if you run out of ideas, our friends at Venngage put together a post on 101 different presentation ideas to help you get started.
c) Decide on an accent and a neutral color
Notwithstanding all the advice so far, the rule of thumb here is to just decide on a single ‘accent’ color (which is anything other than white, black, grey or brown) as well as a neutral color (white or dark grey). This is also known as a monochromatic scheme – not like the name really matters, right?
With that alone, you’ll suddenly have ease of access to an array of simple combinations to use on your presentation.
In summary, if you have guidelines internally, use those. If not, pick your own colors, but always try to stick to a single accent and a neutral color to make life easier for yourself.
Tip #2. Less Text On Your Slide
Another thing that’s pretty common in corporate presentations is text vomit (this isn’t actually an official word), and by that, I mean: Too many words that can be verbalized.
If your presentation is going to be delivered live by you or someone else, you don’t always need all the words up there. As long as the messaging is clear enough, you’re good to go.
This might fall more into the realm of effective storytelling, but it’ll make all the difference when you start designing your slides. This is simply because you can only do so much to enhance what’s already broken, or in this case, overwhelmingly cluttered.
Here are some quick ways to reduce your word count:
a) Reduce text in bullets and headlines
Here’s a quick example, if you had a sentence like: “Singapore’s housing prices are at all-time highs, making it difficult to afford for graduates who intend to get married at a younger age. This results in delayed marriages.”
Try to do your pointers in ‘mini-headline’ forms like: “Singaporean graduates delay marriage due to high housing prices” This example isn’t a whole lot shorter, but it helps to make the message you want to get across as succinct as possible – if you want to elaborate further, do it verbally.
b) Convert text to visuals
Visuals are processed 50,000 times faster than text. Just look at the symbols below:
You don’t need text to tell you what those are because visuals have implicit meanings attached to them. Use this to your advantage by shortening your paragraphs and headlines by replacing them with visuals. Here’s an example:
If you convert some of the wordings into visuals and verbalize the text instead, you’ll get:
They key is not to replace everything with visuals, but to reduce as much as you can while ensuring that the message does not lose its essence. Some questions to ask yourself after you simplify are:
Does my main point still come across adequately?
Can the nuances here be understood with visuals instead?
Will people get confused?
Based on the answers, you can decide whether to replace a paragraph of text with a visual.
By reducing the text on your slide – you instantly get a better-looking presentation overall even if you haven’t yet touched on the design and aesthetic aspects.
Tip #3. Proven Layouts and The Rule Of Thirds
If this isn’t your first article on presentation design, you might have heard about the rule of thirds before. I’ve written about this extensively in other articles but I think it’s important to mention it again below to give you the full picture.
The goal should always be to get your presentation done efficiently and effectively. With proven layouts and guides like the rule of thirds, you’ll get it right every time without too much guesswork.
Take a look at these 3 slides below – they all look pretty different, but actually follow the same grid layout:
This is not by chance; if you build good layouts from the get-go, you’ll be able to copy-paste them into new decks whenever you make them.
A simple way to get used to grid layouts is to split your slide into equal parts like thirds, halves or quarters. That way, you’ll always know how much space or slide real-estate you have to play around with. If you’re unsure of where to place your photo, you’ll know once you find empty spaces that require balancing.
As you go along following these layouts, building them for presentations will start to become second-nature, and you’ll know instinctively where to layer elements when appropriate.
Another quick way to look like a ‘pro’ without too much effort is to use full-bleed imagery wherever possible – you might have seen this used by more notable presenters such as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, where they use high-resolution evocative photography to enhance their presentations.
Using the rule of thirds, you’ll almost always know where to place text when using full-bleed backgrounds. Basically, insert your text or any other element into the empty space where the lines intersect. Instantly, you’ll get a decent looking slide that looks way better than anything the rest of your colleagues can put together in a minute.
The only instance that might be challenging is when you have a busy image that does not have sufficient contrast to ensure your text can be seen. The fix for that, however, is pretty straightforward: Add either a gradient or solid fill shape – this can be done with a couple of clicks on Keynote or PowerPoint.
Many resources online, including some of our SlideShare content on presentations tout using custom fonts for your presentations – basically ones that aren’t installed by default on your machines.
If you have the prerogative to do that, awesome. There are plenty of great sites that offer really high-quality fonts that you can use in your presentations: Font Squirrel, LostType, f just to name a few. Using large san-serif fonts will help you get your message across boldly and sometimes, the beauty of the typefaces alone are enough to constitute the whole slide.
Problem is, if you can’t use your own personal computer when presenting, or you have strict corporate guidelines on the use of non-default fonts, you’ll be back to square one. How does one get past this?
Designers that work heavily with fonts use these terms to describe the space between them: tracking, leading and kerning. Respectively, these represent the horizontal spaces between letters in a sentence, vertical space between paragraph lines and space between single characters.
The only thing that you need to worry about is the tracking – which known to few is controllable in PowerPoint and Keynote but makes a huge difference to how your drabby old default fonts look:
For sentence-cased fonts, reducing the space between the letters makes them more aesthetically pleasing at larger sizes and the best thing is it only takes 2 clicks to do this!
If you have words in all-caps for fonts like Century Gothic, you can even try to space them out wider to have a really clean, premium style for your headings.
It’s a really quick trick that we use a lot in our business, and I’m sure that this one simple tweak will help you make a big impact.
Tip #5. Using Gradients
Here’s where it’ll start to get a little technical. It’s one of my personal best-kept secrets when we design presentation decks, but it is slightly more difficult to execute.
Gradients have long been a feature in presentation software such as PowerPoint and Keynote, but in my opinion, it’s been grossly under-utilized. Here are a number of ways you can easily start using gradients to boost your presentation slides easily:
a) Using a gradient background
Don’t you just hate seeing that plain, white slide with the placeholder ‘Click to add text’ on it? A quick way to give your slides an extra punch of sophistication is to add a radial gradient as a background – lighter center, darker edges.
That way, if you have any headlines or images in the center, the focus is literally ‘drawn in’ to whatever is placed there. At the same time, it leaves your background looking less monotonous than just a solid color.
Once done, just place it in your ‘Master Slides’ and all your newly created slides will sport the same background! Neat, right?
b) Use gradient boxes to frame text
As mentioned earlier in Tip #3, when your text can’t be seen on a busy background, adding a shape behind it can work great.
If you’re looking to have a more subtle shape, using a gradient is a great way to have contrast but not have it steal the attention from the background image.
Simply select one of the color anchors and turn it to 0% opacity, this creates an effect where the gradient gradually becomes transparent from your first color. This way you get legibility without sacrificing the background image.
c) Light to dark gradient shapes
Flat solid shapes in your presentations can look dull after awhile. Using different shades of gradients in your shapes can add that extra bit of interest and also be used to draw the eye to different parts of your slide.
As mentioned earlier, if you keep gradients within the same color but different shapes (monochromatic style), it’ll naturally look good without too much guess-work.
I’ve just given you 5 quick ways to look like a pro in presentation design drawn from our experiences working with our clients.
Did I miss anything out? Leave us a comment below to let us know!
Talking is easy, but presenting? Not so much. Regardless of whether it’s a business presentation, an internal discussion or a meeting with a potential client, we all face the same challenge – Persuading the listener to achieve the desired outcome.
Here’s a scenario, you’re trying to sell your company’s services to a prospect that has shown interest. You feel you’ve hit all the right notes in your presentation, but they still are not biting. What’s going on exactly?
Try thinking of presentations as a journey, where you need to bring the audience to the goal. Of course, there will be obstacles getting in their way, like gaps that prevent them from crossing over, and it’s your job to bridge those gaps.
In most presentations, these gaps can be sorted into three categories – Knowledge (how they think), Feelings (how they feel), and Capabilities (how they do). When you recognize the gaps, you can then identify relevant and impactful solutions that will help them ‘get over the hurdle’ to improve your chances of obtaining their approval.
As a presenter, you probably have an in-depth knowledge of your topic. In a business context, you’ll have information such as the history of the company, the products it’s selling, and the benefits. However, when it comes to sharing with an audience, not all that data is necessary.
A common misconception many presenters have is that the more data you put on your slides, the better it will be. After all, having more data should make you sound more credible, right? Not exactly. In fact, unnecessary data may serve as a distraction from your core message(s) instead. With so much to process, your audience will have a tougher time focusing on the key points of your presentation, which are overshadowed by non-essential information.
By identifying the gaps in the audience’s knowledge, you can then prioritize the content to put in your presentation, and remove those that are irrelevant or unnecessary. This is a fundamental part of your presentation that sets the stage for the rest of the ‘gap-fillers’. You need your audience to believe that your idea is necessary and that they need it.
What you can do: Ask yourself three important questions.
What is the audience’s current perception / thinking / knowledge that I want to change?
What should they be thinking after my presentation?
What information should I give to help them move from A to B?
Take an internal business presentation for example. You’re looking to convince your management to upgrade the office computers.
What could they be thinking right now? You can take a guess, that they believe an upgrade would be unnecessary or too costly.
What would you like them to think after your presentation? You’d want them to leave feeling like the upgrade would be worth the cost, and it is a necessity for the team’s productivity.
Now that you’ve answered both questions, you can decide on the information that is relevant, such as the cost breakdown, the benefits of upgrading, and other details that are essential in persuading your audience.
Facts and data help your audience understand what you’re sharing, but it is not sufficient. More often than not, the most successful business presentations rely on appealing to the audience’s emotions by making it relatable to them.
An example would be the winner of the World Championship of Public Speaking, Darren Tay (who coincidentally is also from Singapore). In his speech, he uses a pair of briefs to illustrate the shame caused by childhood bullying, before throwing them aside to emphasise that we do not need to live with it.
To bridge the emotional gap, you need to create an image as a motif as well as a story for your audience. Clarity is essential here, and they’re more likely to remember what you say if you are able to stimulate their imagination. Scientists agree that using imagery and visuals help increase recall.
These are techniques not meant just to entertain, but to build common ground and trust. Your audience or prospect might be in a situation where he/she is aware that they need what you have, but they might not want to work with you.
What you can do: A common way to reach out to your audience is to share something personal, such as anecdotes and analogies. Dozens of articles have been written on how to create powerful beginnings and endings, with devices to evoke an emotional response being one of the frequently suggested ways.
For example, if you were sharing about a program, talk about how it can be so frustrating dealing with manual work, and how big a relief it would be if your audience had the software to deal with it. You can even use an analogy, calling it ‘the Panadol to their headache’ (it’s cheesy, but you get the idea).
There are times where the audience has bought into your idea, but they’re not able to make it work. Let this sink in… They need it, they want it but they are physically unable to take action. In most scenarios, you may encounter either or both of these problems:
Your audience is not the main decision maker.
Your audience does not have the resources to do it.
To ensure that your presentation is a success, you need to figure out the problems that they’re facing, and offer solutions to counter their objections.
What you can do: Increase the ease of execution for your audience by reducing or removing the barriers.
If your audience is not the one in-charge, ask for a follow up with the decision maker. Even if you do not get a face-to-face meeting, a phone call or email is better than nothing. If you can’t contact them, provide a tool kit (such as a credentials deck, a detailed document, etc) for your audience to pitch on your behalf.
When your audience lacks the resources to accomplish the desired outcome, you can provide alternatives to solve the problem. If your business presentation is about a product, and they have a low budget, can you offer alternatives? Are you able to scale back by reducing the price and features proportionally?
Make your audience’s experience a smoother one by helping them eliminate the barriers they face in moving towards your common goal. This includes outlining the path of action that they’ll have to take.
There’s no easy way out when it comes to a business presentation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do well at it. The first step to success is always to understand your audience, and it starts by identifying what your audience needs to reach the same goal as you, be it knowledge, envisioning the possibilities, or easy execution of ideas.
“I’ve come to the end of my presentation. Any questions?” you ask, hoping to hear a response from your audience. Unfortunately, you get nothing but an awkward silence.You think you pulled off a pretty great presentation, but then find yourself falling flat at the end. In this article, we endeavor to de-mystify how to end a presentation with style.
Let’s face the truth. Unless you present like Steve Jobs, the likelihood of an audience remembering your public speaking performance from start to end is extremely low. But this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to make a lasting impression. Studies have shown that when an audience is given a series of information, they have a tendency to remember the first and last items best. So use this to your advantage, and make an impact with your closing statement. Not only will you create a memorable moment, but your audience will also have an easier time retaining the message you’re trying to bring across.
We’ll show you 5 proven ways on how to end your presentation.
1. Inspire Your Audience with a Quote
Quotes are one of the most commonly used methods and with good reason. It has been a tried-and-tested way to reach out to your audience and connect with them on a deeper level. But here’s the thing: You need to figure out what resonates with them, and choose one that fits the presentation theme. If you’re up to it, you can round off the quote with your own thoughts as well.
For a great example, take a look at Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk, ‘How to escape education’s death valley’. When he was concluding his presentation, he used Benjamin Franklin’s quote:
There are three sorts of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don’t get it, or don’t want to do anything about it; there are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it; and there are people who move, people who make things happen.
However, instead of ending it there, he then continued, “And if we can encourage more people, that will be a movement. And if the movement is strong enough, that’s, in the best sense of the word, a revolution. And that’s what we need.”
Not only did he use the quote to inspire the audience, he also added his own thoughts to provide perspective and illustrate his point further.
The quotes you share do not have to be from well-known authors. In fact, unusual quotes that have been rarely used can work in your favor by providing a different perspective. Just remember, it pays to exercise caution, as an inappropriate quote in the wrong situation may backfire instead.
2. End with a Compelling Image
We all know the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It’s pretty cliché, but true – Images do help to bring your message across in an impactful way. Ever heard of the ‘The Burning Monk’? In 1963, photographer Malcolm Browne captured a stunning photo of a monk who self-immolated in protest against the persecution of Buddhists. That award-winning photo sparked outrage around the world, and brought the situation into focus for many who were previously unaware of the situation.
Image Credit: rarehistoricalphotos.com
If the news had been reported without this image, would it have the same impact? Unlikely. Of course, information can’t be shared without text, but ultimately, images are the ones that leave the biggest impression.
When you’re selecting an image to put on your final slide, ask yourself these questions to guide you along.
What do you want to show your audience?
What are you trying to illustrate?
How should they feel after looking at the image?
3. Leave With a Question
While it is not often encouraged to leave your audience hanging, suspense can be a fantastic way to create a memorable ending if you use it appropriately. Round off with a question that they can reflect on after the presentation, to keep them thinking about what you’ve shared. Keep it closely related to your topic, and use it to put the spotlight on a point you which to bring across.
Take a look at Scott Dinsmore’s TEDx talk, ‘How to find and do work you love’. In his presentation, he talked about discovering what matters to us, and then start doing it. For his conclusion, he ended by asking the audience, “What is the work you can’t not do?”
This ending can also useful if you know that you will be following up with a second presentation that will answer the question. Pose a thought-provoking question, then hint that you will be answering it in your next presentation, to give them something to look forward to.
4. Encourage Action
Sometimes, it’s great to be straightforward, and tell the audience what you’d like them to do. Would you like them to try doing something? Buy a product you’re selling? Commit to an event?
When you’re inviting the audience to act on something, be sure to make a clear statement. Ensure that your words are not vague or misleading, and bring your point across in a confident and firm manner.
Don’t make it tough for your audience to do an action. Who likes to leap through dozens of obstacles to get things done? Get your audience moving by starting slow. For example, if you’re presenting about environmental protection, don’t ask them to cut out all wastage immediately, that’s an impossible task. Instead, ask them to start by recycling whenever they can.
Alternatively, if you’re daring enough, make a bold statement. Share your belief in something, and involve the audience in it.
Not sure how you can do it? Watch Kakenya Ntaiya’s talk, ‘A girl who demanded school’. In her concluding statement, she passionately declared:
“I want to challenge you today. You are listening to me because you are here, very optimistic. You are somebody who is so passionate. You are somebody who wants to see a better world. You are somebody who wants to see that war ends, no poverty. You are somebody who wants to make a difference. You are somebody who wants to make our tomorrow better. I want to challenge you today that to be the first, because people will follow you. Be the first. People will follow you. Be bold. Stand up. Be fearless. Be confident.”
5. Reiterate Your Message
You’ve spent a lot of time preparing the message you’re sharing, and now it’s time to reinforce it. To do that, summarize the key points of your presentation, and repeat them so that your audience remembers it once more.
A great technique to use when you’re repeating your message is the Rule of Three, a rule that suggests that people generally tend to remember concepts or ideas presented in threes better. Some commonly used examples would be ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and ‘Mind, Body and Spirit’. Think of your presentation, and distil your key message into three words, phrases or sentences, before structuring your conclusion.
Neil Pasricha’s TEDx talk, ‘The 3 A’s of awesome’, is a fantastic example to learn from. In it, he talks about 3 secrets to lead an awesome life, i.e., Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity, which form the message for his entire presentation. But to further strengthen his message, he then repeats it at his conclusion by saying:
“And that’s why I believe that if you live your life with a great attitude, choosing to move forward and move on whenever life deals you a blow, living with a sense of awareness of the world around you, embracing your inner three year-old and seeing the tiny joys that make life so sweet and being authentic to yourself, being you and being cool with that, letting your heart lead you and putting yourself in experiences that satisfy you, then I think you’ll live a life that is rich and is satisfying, and I think you’ll live a life that is truly awesome.”
Sounds great, isn’t it? Not only did he reinforce his points, but he also captured his audience’s attention with a positive statement.
As presenters, we always hope that our presentations will end off on a high note. So now that you know how to end a presentation with style, take some time to prepare and practice, and you’re good to go. All the best!