How to Create a Business Presentation that Blows your Audience Away: 5 Golden Rules

June 15, 2012

in Prezi

How to create a business presentation that blows your audience away - Prezi tips

“Blown Away” sculpture by Anna Gillespie

 

When you need to create a business presentation that surprises your audience into paying attention, and charms or shocks them into take action – we think Prezi is your best friend. We’ve been presenting with Prezi for about 4 years now. We’ve posted lots about Prezi’s strengths and limitations, and we love it and PowerPoint too, if both are used well.

We’ve got over the ‘teenage years’ of spinning, zooming and showing off with it, and we’ve learned that it’s a brilliant tool for creating a business presentation that blows your audience away – if used to emphasise the presenter’s words, rather than as an auto-cue or ‘supervised reading aid’ for your audience.  Now here’s a short list of must do’s if you’re going to use it for a business presentation. And you should at least try it out shouldn’t you?

  1. Use the visual power of Prezi– You can show an image, timeline, diagram, business model or product picture on an enormous scale.  This can help you talk your audience through a complex subject with this one visual reference. Think ‘Infographic‘ rather than linear collection of ‘slides’. Show them the whole thing at the start, and then focus and zoom in to highlight key features, occasionally to emphasise and build up the story step by step.  Then zoom out to the ‘big picture’ as you move from key point to key point to make sure that the crowd understands the journey you’re taking them on.
  2. Think like a Prezi film director, think landscape composition– If you’re going to go for the infographic look, then you must design your Prezi using ‘frames’ that are ‘Landscape’ in layout to get the maximum image size when projected.  Like a film director shoots the film from the camera’s point of view to make sure that every shot shows just what you want and no more. If you think ‘Portrait’ when you’re creating content, you’ll have lots of white space around the important words, images and video and one of the best Prezi features will be lost.
  3. Test the Prezi on the actual screen you’ll use for the presentation– (or as near as you can get to the actual projected image size) or you’ll never know how it will look when presented. Screen output dimensions change from PC to laptop, to IPad, to HDTV, and just because it all looks lovely on your Mac in the office is no guarantee that it will work on a different screen. The most usual sign that this hasn’t been done is that you get fragments of text, images or clutter at the edges of your frames as you present, and it just looks untidy.*
  4. Make sure that your text can be read in the room– PowerPoint has that built in slide format that means you can set text size to 30 points, say, and assume that that will be large enough, in most rooms and with most projectors/Screens to be read.  Prezi has no such ‘default’.  Everything is relative and infinitely scalable, so there’s no safe default. You can only check whether your audience can read it by rehearsing as per Point 3, here.
  5. Use Vector Graphics wherever you can– Because Prezi can zoom and focus on small details of a larger image to help you point out a key product feature, or small detail of a plan, and if you use bitmap images, they’ll blur and fuzz, and it looks like a homemade effort. Prezi can use Flash images, PDF’s and other vector files, that will keep their sharp edges and clarity under all magnification, and it’s ‘s a shame if you lose that for want of  a few quid invested in a stock image, or a diagram drawn in Adobe Illustrator (now available with all the other Adobe programmes for a mind-blowingly great price of $45 or £35 a month) or even the fabulous and free ‘Inkscape‘.
*NB- You can draw 4:3 ratio ‘frames’ -to define a consistent view for steps in your path-in the design view, by holding down ‘shift’ as you click and drag the frame drawing tool, but the general point still holds.
Good luck with the work and remember done well, Prezi can help you really stand out from the crowd. If you’d like a chat, samples and even some training and support, just contact me or the team here.

 

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey

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