Alright, so we've started out with a plan, written out our presentation into a cohesive story, now it's time to start applying the clearcoat and waxing out the scratches. Now, you may have the kind of presentation that doesn't require a whole lot of videos, graphs, or that sort of malarky, but there are still stylistic elements to consider. The best presentations in the world today, such as the keynote presentations given by Apple or Google, all make judicious use of various types of media, and each multimedia element of that mix is carefully selected.
Now, however, there's a second aspect to add to the mix. The wePresent wireless presentation gateway enables you to use collaborative tools like you've never been able to before. Your viewers, now freed from the role of passive observer, can interact with your information, peruse it at their own pace, or even share feedback live. We'll some suggestions on including collaborative efforts in your presentation.
Remember to always keep your objective, outline, and narrative in mind when adding multimedia. So many good presentations go wrong when the presenters feel like they have to press every button in PowerPoint. Keep it simple, keep it elegant, and keep it moving.
Pictures, Graphs, and Other Images
Alright, we've all been to that guys meeting, where you sit there and look at a clustered bar chart, and then a pie chart, and then a stacked bar chart, and maybe he'll mix it up with a scatter plot. The point is, you sat through that, the entire time wishing you hadn't, and yet for a lot of people it seems like they can't keep their fingers off that "Create Graph" button in Excel. So starting with charts, we'll get really broad and say "don't." However, there are exceptions to every rule, and the exceptions to this one should be obvious. The real reason you want to avoid it is because once one chart sneaks in there, it's easy to add another and another, and this disrupts your narrative and prevents your audience from absorbing information. Graphs and charts should be clearly labeled with larger, bolded fonts, and should only include whatever numbers are absolutely necessary. Remember, the graph is there to paint a picture for you, so when used correctly, you shouldn't even need numerical labels in most presentations.
Regular ol' photos, though? Well, that's a different story. A good photograph can make a nice background, or even just serve as a talking point by itself. As a rule, try to use one photo per slide, and remember that you need to find the highest resolution photo possible. Your pictures will be huge when projected, even on a smaller screen or display, which will excacerbate any pixelation or artifacting in your image. If you use a photo as a background, make sure not to use a color that is rendered invisible over the top, but don't make it too garish, or else the entire slide will appear unbalanced. Avoid collages, animations, and other cutesy effects, and look to magazine ads to instead draw the eye with skilled visual composition.
Technical drawings and other illustrations should follow similar rules. Try not to crowd or overlabel, and make sure to use the highest resolution images you have available. And as always, keep your themes and your narrative in mind when adding images or graphs. Try to keep a consistent style throughout all your slides.
Video is one of those things that can either keep your audience enthralled while relaying information, or it can derail the flow of a good presentation, so be judicious with its use. We're entering an era of technology where the ability to stream video is ubiquitous, but there is too much of a good thing. Remember that you are the one in the driver seat here, and you are controlling the flow of the narrative. Try to keep videos short, five minutes at maximum, but three is a better number to shoot for, especially in a 20-30 minute presentation. Include a link with your embedded video, or better yet, take advantage of the 30 FPS streaming capabilities of all three wePresent units and stream directly from a mobile device, laptop, or even an inserted USB drive. This way, you can be certain that even in the event of internet outages, you'll have the media you need to make an impression.
While it's tempting to include an "icebreaker" video, such as an amusing clip of someone getting hurt, a short video of kittens playing, or a blurry video of what some people say is Bigfoot's dog, remember to try to keep it topical. Making too far a digression, especially in the beginning of a presentation, is an easy way to lose your audience. Try to relate your topic to videos such as these and use them as a launching-off point.
Any regular tutorial about building a presentation would end there, but wePresent is no ordinary machine, so this is no ordinary tutorial. We feel that we have one of the best toolboxes for wireless presentation on the market, one that pushes the envelope for collboration in the classroom and in the board room alike. But what kind of collaborative tools are available, and how can we use them to improve a presentation?
A few suggestions...
- Request live feedback via annotations on data you are presenting.
- Display slides from other users in the room, up to 64 at a time.
- Open a blackboard or whiteboard to outline problems.
- Enable up to 4 users to display at once to compare and contrast data.
Now typically, collaboration like this has been more the realm of the classroom, but it's becoming more of a standard in the working world as well. Managers who are tired of their employees zoning out during meetings are turning to collaborative solutions such as this to fight slideshow fatigue. Science shows that interacting with data makes you more likely to absorb it, so get out there and get someone's hands dirty.
Including multimedia in your presentation is a great way to add flair and style, while at the same time increasing the likelihood that the information you're presenting will be absorbed. Yes, too much can go a long way toward making a great presentation into a garish presentation, but as you get practice, you'll absorb more and more tips and tricks. Nobody can cover every aspect of presenting in one series of blogs, so make sure and remember part two, and practice, practice, practice.
In the mean time, if you've got nothing to practice or just want to put it off, think about scheduling a demo with us. We'd love to show you the wePresent in action, and we think you'd like to see it. Follow the button below to find out more.