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Learn 10 Tips to Create Captivating Presentations



Presentations are a powerful yet often misunderstood communication tool. They set the standard for showcasing our work, used by students, educators, business professionals, researchers, investment bankers—the list goes on. Aside from managing this YouTube channel and doing public speaking gigs, I run a strategic consulting company where creating investor presentations and pitchbooks is a daily task.


According to a survey by Prezi, 79% of respondents claimed they have fallen asleep or lost interest during a presentation. That's why in this video, I'm sharing 10 tips to help you create presentations that captivate and engage your audience.


Tip 1: Plan Your Outline


First things first—let’s talk about having a plan. Think of making a presentation like planning a road trip. You wouldn’t start driving without knowing where you’re headed, right? So, grab a pen and paper, and sketch out your title, headings, main points, and the number of slides. This roadmap will guide your presentation from start to finish.


For example, my team and I created a presentation for a Chicago-based tech company on “Digital Signage Industry - Landscape and Competitive Analysis.” We divided it into three major sections: industry overviews, market segmentation, and competitive analysis, each further broken down into strategic mapping, company profiling, competitors matrix, and more.


Tip 2: Color Palette


Once your outline is done, the next step is choosing a template. But what ties it all together? The colors! A well-chosen color palette makes your presentation look elegant and professional.


In a presentation on the Ad tech industry, we used light blue, dark blue, black, and white. Consistently using these four colors throughout made the slides cohesive and visually appealing. If you're using PowerPoint, it comes with default color palettes, but you can also use websites like Adobe Spark for some color palette magic.


Tip 3: Use Powerful Graphics


Now, let’s make those slides pop! Instead of overwhelming your audience with text, use pictures and graphs to tell your story. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a well-placed image or graph can convey complex information quickly and effectively.


In the digital signage presentation, slide 4 features icons, images, and attractive graphics to illustrate key points. On slide 10 of the Ad tech presentation, a pie chart clearly shows the key market players. These visual aids engage your audience far better than text alone.


Tip 4: Graph Conciseness


When using graphs, show variation for improved visibility. For instance, start the axis with your initial data value rather than zero to highlight differences more clearly.

Look at this example: In one graph, the y-axis starts at 0, but in another, it starts at 4, where the data actually begins. The second graph captures larger variations and stands out better, making the data more engaging.


Tip 5: Control the Amount of Text


We’ve all seen or created text-heavy slides, and we know they’re a chore to read. Follow the 7x7 rule: no more than 7 words per bullet and 7 bullets per slide. Avoid paragraphs and use bullet points with concise phrases instead of full sentences.

Check out slide 9 of the digital signage presentation. Using minimal text, the ideas are conveyed clearly while keeping the slide visually appealing.


Tip 6: Incorporate Data-backed Insights


To bolster your presentation's credibility, integrate data-backed insights and statistics. According to Nielsen, presentations with data-driven content are 30% more persuasive.


For instance, when discussing market opportunities, include relevant industry statistics or market research findings. This adds authenticity and provides tangible evidence, making your message more convincing. Slide 22 of the digital signage presentation includes a graphical image with a source, showing data-backed authenticity.


Tip 7: Leverage Visual Consistency


Maintaining visual consistency is crucial for a polished look. According to a survey by Visme, 94% of respondents agreed that consistent visuals are essential for effective communication.


Ensure fonts, font sizes, and formatting are consistent across all slides. Use the same style of graphics and icons to create a cohesive visual identity. This consistency enhances the overall aesthetics and helps with information absorption. Slides 16 to 20 in the presentation demonstrate this consistency beautifully.


Conclusion

Creating a great presentation isn't just about the slides—it's also about delivering them effectively. So, make sure you not only prepare a good deck but also present it in the best possible way. If you want a separate video on presentation delivery, let me know in the comments, and I’ll prepare it for you.


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