Do your presentational skills need some finessing? Check out 15 ways to improve your delivery, slides and imagery to effectively engage your audience and convincingly communicate your message. What tips and tools would you add? A version of this post first appeared on the MPI CAC blog.
2014 Speaker Resources: 15 Ways To Improve Your Presentations
Get Inspired by Professional Speakers
1. Attend events to watch top speakers in action. What events are you planning to go to in 2014?
2. Check out speaker presentations on SlideShare.
3. Study masters by reading books about them like “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.”
4. Watch TED Talks, starting with Nancy Duarte’s “The Secrect Structure of Great Talks.”
5. Subscribe – and contribute – to SpeakerNet News, a weekly newsletter with tips for speakers.
Power Up PowerPoint
6. Upgrade to the latest version for Windows  and Mac . Don’t have the latest version? Check out what’s new and see what you’re missing. Nothing dates a presentation more than a dusty PowerPoint template.
7. Ditch the fussy templates and go with a minimalist background to bring the information forward, front and center.
8. Delete the bullets and use words on their own. Try floating the words on the slide and mixing up fonts and colors.
9. Think singles, couples and triplets – that is one, two or three words.
10. If you must use more words, limit it to 25 per slide: five words on five lines.
Illustrate with images
11. Borrow a slice from an Infographic [a graphic image that mixes information and images] and credit the source. You’ll save time, look like a graphics wizard and give the source some additional exposure.
12. Include photos of people and the place you’re at to bring the audience into the presentation.
13. Liven up your presentation with imagery; look for free images on flickr’s creative commons at http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
14. Use the Over app http://madewithover.com/ to add text to your photos in place of bullets.
15. Don’t have photoshop? Use PicMonkey or Fotor, two free photo editing tools. Good luck and break a leg!!!
Image: Simon T. Bailey speaking at MPI-CAC EdCon by Barbara Rozgonyi.
About the Author: Barbara Rozgonyi leads CoryWest Media, a strategic marketing consultancy that attracts attention, builds brands and connects communities around meetings, associations and events. In 2013, Barbara presented a session on networking in 3D and led the social media safari at Zoofari and will be presenting two LinkedIn workshops at TechCon.