Chapter 5: Click Here for Technology
Rules of Engagement
Ready to plug some technology tools into your presentation? Here are a few tips for using audio-visual aids:
- Keep it Short and Simple: Limit the use of elements that don't specifically relate to your content, including colors, logos, and pictures. Also use the Excellence in Speaking Institute rule of 5s and 6s.
It suggests that you use no more than five lines on a slide with each line having no more than six words.
- Be Consistent: Ensure the pages have the look and feel of one cohesive unit by featuring similar elements on each, such as a name, contact information, or small logo.
- Use Similar Styling: Each page on your presentation should essentially include the same font type and font size.
The only exception applies to graphs or charts, which may require a font change for emphasis. Overall, consider a sans serif font like Tahoma or Arial for easy on-screen reading.
Also, ensure the background colors are the same on every slide.
- Match the Media to the Audience: As you're developing your media, don't just think content think context.
Some technology choices may be overblown for a smaller intimate crowd and may be too overwhelming for the room size.
- Recheck Handouts, Flipcharts, and Whiteboards: Ensure the information on these items is clear, uncluttered, and readable.
- Proofread Your Slides: Ensure your slides are error-free by eliminating silly mistakes and typos. Once you review them, give them to someone else for a second look.
Also, remember the K.I.S.S. principle and strive to keep your slides as simple and as brief as possible by eliminating extra or unnecessary information.
- Conduct a Sound Check: As you review your visuals, check the audio as well.
Make sure the sound coordinates properly with the slides or video and ensure the volume and other controls are appropriately set.
- Be Proactive: Avoid embarrassing or unpredictable situations by ensuring your equipment properly works before it's time for you to present. Also, think for your audience.
Since people read from right to left, place the screen to your left and your audience's right. Do you a dry run so you can get comfortable with the presentation and identify any last minute changes.
- Take Charge: Face the audience and not the screen. Adjust your laptop so you can view it easily for clues but practice so you're not fully relying on it.
Remember, your multimedia presentation should complement your speech not replace it. Your primary objective should be to connect to your audience with your powerful message not with an overblown on-screen presentation.