Can A Presentation Make You More Confident?

One of the best presentations I have ever watched was one of the simplest slide-decks I have ever seen. A clean white background with bold black text. Each slide only had 1 to 3 words max. That’s it! I found myself zeroed in on the speaker, focusing on every slide he presented. I eagerly anticipated what he would say next as he spoke effortlessly, totally confident. He made it look easy.

After the presentation, I got a chance to talk with the presenter. He told me that he carefully chose each and every word that ended up on the final version of his slide-deck. I was intrigued. It reminded me of the Nathaniel Hawthorne quote, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Easy reading is damn hard writing.

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When building your own slide-deck, take a big step back. Critically look at the presentation from start-to-finish. Show it to peers, friends and family who have never seen it before. Take their honest feedback, every last bit of it. See what they follow, what they find confusing and what they like the most. Take this feedback and make the changes necessary to improve and simplify the presentation.

Don’t forget about design. That black text on a white background, was a design choice made for dramatic effect. It is important that the design of your presentation compliments your overall message. If you find it overwhelming, then seek a design professional’s help, and keep these tips in mind. Focus on the key points of your message, choose your text carefully and sparingly and remember to get your feedback! Having a design team assist you through the creation process, surely gives speakers a large advantage when working on a big presentation.

When you’re finished, if your slides convey your message, and you have practiced your pitch, I can guarantee you two things: your audience will respect you for it and your confidence level will go through the roof!

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