Presentation Must-Haves: Rules of Engagement

Kristian Olson

Engaging an audience is one of the most important aspects of being a successful presenter. When an audience is tuned in to what you are saying and what you are presenting, they’ll retain much more after the presentation has concluded. So, how do you get an audience locked into your presentation? Let’s look some rules of engagement and presentation must-haves.

Data Visualization

When presenting a large chunk of data, you are best served creating a visualization rather than just bullet points and text. Data visualization, simply put, is the process of organizing numbers and data into visuals that quickly convey the information. It should simplify the information and make it easy to understand. Use it whenever possible to make your points clear and visual.

Graphs as Infographics

Graphs are a critical part of most presentations. You’ll need to use them to show a variety of trends. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be cookie cutter. There are many ways to spruce up graphs that turn them from ordinary to extraordinary. Instead of using that simple bar graph, use icons or illustrations to represent your data. Check out some more fun graph ideas here.

Purposeful Typography & Layout

Typography is about more than just font choice—although font choice and pairing are important as well. Good typography creates order using visual hierarchies, which helps your viewers know what to look at first, second, third, etc. The way in which you display text influences how readable it is and how important it is.

The standard hierarchy for most western societies is top to bottom, left to right. Then, and this goes for everyone, you have a slew of other hierarchies. To name a few: big/small, bold/thin, high contrast/low contrast (think bright vs subdued).

Pro Tip:

Use columns instead of your normal, boring straight-down list. And ditch the bullets. Take a look at figures 1.2 and 1.3. Notice how much more professional figure 1.2 looks? That’s because we are using both top to bottom and left to right hierarchies to very clearly differentiate the key points. We also got rid of the bullets.

Stick with Short and Simple

Even if you are presenting a very complex subject with lots of data, you still have the ability to simplify it with good editing and minimal text. Keep a structure to your presentation making sure it has a beginning, middle, and end. Set up your main points in your introduction. In the middle, insert supporting points to backup your main points. Then end with a compelling closing that cements your points and leaves the audience with an action to take.

Engage with Relatable Content

Sometimes, you’ll lose your audience with lots of numbers, graphs, and abstract ideas. Get them back on point by telling anecdotes that draw comparisons. This will simplify your ideas for them. By making things sound simple, your audience can digest your ideas more easily, and draw connections between your message and their own goals, struggles, etc.

Engaging your audience is the most important part of presenting. An audience that cares about what you’re saying and showing is one that responds. To get there, you’ll need a presentation that is built to engage. That’s not always an easy task. It’s easier when you partner with a presentation agency whose only focus is on creating appealing presentations. Choose KO/AD to be your presentation specialists. Learn about what we offer today.

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