Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

9 Steps To Create Effective PowerPoint Slides

In Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Social Media, Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 at 8:09 PM

A properly designed slide is legible, interesting, and easy to understand. It contains one main idea and uses PowerPoint to add emphasis to the spoken word. Use these steps to design effective slides.

1    Identify a single objective for each graphic

What do you want the slide to show?

2    Reveal new information slowly

Use animation to show new data one piece at a time.

3    Determine the type of image you need

What is the best image to convey your point? Pick what is ideal, not what you have. You can find a picture of just about anything. Create your own graphs and charts rather than using an image created for another purpose or in another program.

4    Design the general layout

Place objects so the eye can flow left-to-right and then from top to bottom.

5    Use color to highlight your slide

Limit the slide to two or three complimentary colors in addition to black and white. Use bold colors to focus attention to your main point.

6    Select a font that is easy to read and reflects your message

Select a sans serif font (i.e. Arial or Comic Sans) which is easy to read from a distance.

 7    Use animations and special effects sparingly

Keep the focus on your talk. Save bold movements to add special emphasis and interest.

8    Check for design flaws

Project the image on the wall. Stand in the back of the room and see if it is readable.

 9    See if it works

Show the slide to colleague – then turn it off. Ask what they remember.

Use your imagination. Experiment

CLICK HERE for information on upcoming workshops including how to create effective PowerPoint.


© 2010 – All rights reserved. This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

PowerPoint Success Tips

In Attracting New Clients, Delivery, New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on May 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM

PowerPoint is a powerful tool allowing you to make your point in an interesting and dramatic way. Because it is frequently used poorly, we tend to hate talks with PowerPoint. Here are suggestions to help you increase your success with PowerPoint.

Design Your Show For Success

  1. Outline your presentation before you open PowerPoint.
  2. Use arrows, circles and highlighting to help key elements stand so you don’t need a laser pointer.
  3. Remember that you are the main attraction, not your slides.
  4. Develop your talk to have a clear message that can be delivered without PowerPoint.

Guidelines for Slides

  1. Multiple slides should be used to explain a complex topic.
  2. Animations and special effects should be used sparingly.
  3. Use different backgrounds to keep your show interesting, but make sure they are not distracting.
  4. Put a black slide at the beginning and end of your show – this eliminates that embarrassing slide that says “end of show -click to exit.”
  5. Include text sparingly: A picture is worth 1000 words.
  6. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs with a limit of 5 words per line.
  7. Graphs should show trends, not complete data sets.
  8. On complex slides, use the animation feature to allow information to display one at a time.

Deliver Your Presentation Like A Professional

  1. Start your talk with the projector off (or the black slide projected) and room lights on to give the audience time to know and like you.
  2. Stand in front of the room facing your audience the entire time.
  3. Turn your laptop so it faces you, not the audience. This allows you to see what is projected while looking at the audience.
  4. Allow your audience time to understand your slide (or read the text) before you begin speaking
  5. End your talk with the lights on. Project the final slide, turn on the lights and conclude your talk. This reestablishes you with your audience.

Prepare for success

  1. Have a backup plan in case you have technical problems.
  2. Ask some one to handle the lights for you.
  3. Scope out the room early and set it up so it works for you..
  4. Arrive early to set up and test your equipment.
  5. Set your show up before you are introduced
  6. Practice using the remote control (and always use a remote control).
  7. Sit in the last row of seats and look at your slides. If you can’t see them clearly, your audience won’t either.

You can build a sturdy house with a hammer or you can build something that will fall apart quickly. It is not the hammer that makes the difference, but how it is used.

iSpeakEASY offers workshops and individualized coaching to help you design and deliver effective PowerPoint presentations. CLICK HERE for information.

© 2011- All rights reserved.  -This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

Reasons You May NOT Need Help With Your Presentation

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, Organization, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on May 9, 2011 at 6:26 AM

Speaking Tip # 62

I hear a lot of reasons for why people do not want help with their presentations:

  • “I don’t feel nervous in front of an audience.”
  • “I am only presenting to my peers.”
  • “It is just a staff meeting.”
  • “I know my subject.”
  • “I took public speaking in college.”
  • “I use PowerPoint.”
  • “I don’t use PowerPoint.”
  • “I did not have time to prepare so I will just wing it.”

After their talk, speakers often justify why they are sure they did not need help:

  • “I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.”
  • “No one threw fruit “(yes, they really say this to me!).
  • “My friends said I did a good job.”
  • “They laughed and clapped, they must have liked it.”
  • “There were no questions.”
  • “It felt pretty good – I think I did okay.”

This is all good except nervousness is not a gauge of effectiveness, people don’t really throw fruit (at least in this country), your friends tend to say you do well, and not asking questions probably means they want the fastest way out of the room.

An effective presentation is one where you meet the objectives you set before you spoke.

In sales, this may mean an increase in closed sales.

In management, this may mean changing employee behavior.

As a scientist, this may mean increasing support for your project.

As a parent, this may mean a reduction in household tension.

In non-profits, this may mean more money and volunteers to accomplish your mission.

Before you plan your next talk, write down the answer to this question:

“When I am done, what do I want my audience to do?”

Plan the talk with this answer as your target and you improve the chance you will reach your objective.

The Speakers Academy is designed for professionals serious about improving their presentation skills. This five-part workshop focuses on the key elements of effective presentations: Organization, content, delivery, and visual aids. Graduates leave with increased confidence, are viewed as more credible, have noticeably improved skill, and enjoy greater success with their speaking. Click here for more information.

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

What Audiences Want From A Speaker: A Free Presentation

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Delivery, Increased sales, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on May 2, 2011 at 9:06 PM

If you knew what your audience wanted and expected from you, would that help you deliver a more effectgive presentation? Of course it would!

We make presentations every day – usually in the form of small, informal talks at staff meetings or conversations with co-workers, clients or family members. Developing a clear objective and organizing our thoughts enhances your credibility and increases your effectiveness.

“What Audiences Want From A Speaker” helps speaker’s improve their presentation skills whether they are making formal presentations to large groups or informal presentations to small groups.

The talk covers:

  • The three highly desired attributes of good presentations
  • The five fatal mistakes many speakers make
  • Steps speakers can take to improve their presentations
  • The value of good visual aids


This presentation will be offered as a part of the Marin Masterminds Networking Group monthy meeting on Wednesday, May 4th

This is a brown bag lunch networking group

Noon to 1:30 in the Community Room on the second floor of the AAA Insurance Building at 99 Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael, CA 

Here is what others say about this presentation:

 “On behalf of the Walnut Creek Rotary Club, I want to thank for an excellent presentation on public speaking. Good programs are important for the club to keep our members interested and attendance up! We all appreciated the well-prepared and informative presentation.”

John Gardner, Rotary of Walnut Creek

“You have been, in effect, a years worth of Toastmasters encapsulated into a couple of sessions.” 

Clyde L. Schultz, DDS.

“I believe in Ethan’s ability to help people reach their highest level of delivery and competence.” 

Brian Allen, Rotary of San Jose Downtown

 “The session was exciting, well organized, and engaging. The materials were easy to understand we were given the tools to improve our speaking skills.”

 San Francisco Estuary Institute