Structuring Modern Presentations

They are known to all of us: carefully prepared Power Point slides to properly accompany a presentation.

However, this also sounds familiar: recurring layouts, the same old structure and the typical presentations phrases. This need not be necessarily bad, nonetheless it becomes boring in the long run and does not help to improve the attention span of the audience. In modern times, in which presentations form an important part of almost any career field, it is increasingly important to stand out from the crowd. This can be achieved not only through interesting content or a charismatic personality, but also by implementing new presentation variants. To structure presentations in a modern manner is a challenge, especially for routine speakers, nonetheless in the long run it pays off, since the presentation will leave a stronger impression in the public´s memory. Naturally, a modern presentation does not fit in every occasion, but it can play an important role in events with a younger, digital or particularly innovative audience.


Aspects to be avoided when elaborating a modern presentation

A modern Power Point presentation should abstain from a large number of slides, for just a few and relevant slides are what is required to back up a solid lecture. The entire contents of the presentation do not have to be written down, since this will mislead listeners by provoking them to read along instead of listening. Furthermore, listing Bullet Points is also an unfashionable mistake, for including just a relevant thesis per slide helps avoiding unnecessary enumerations and an unrequired content saturation. Moreover, the so-called fade-in effects where text flies into the slides, are an overvalued addition belonging to the past, for this are in order for family celebrations, but find themselves completely out of place in a professional presentation. Leaving more free space by including smaller amounts of text catches more effectively the audience´s attention and leaves a tidier and clearer impression. In regards to the optical design of a presentation, a typical “master” layout can be dispensed of, for configuring individual slides differently can help arouse new stimuli on the listener for every new slide. In addition, there is no longer a need to attach the typical company logo to each slide – once at the beginning and the end of the presentation is completely sufficient and acts less intrusive.


Modern storytelling

The classic storytelling usually includes an introduction, a main part and a conclusion – this scheme is however no longer a requirement for modern presentations. For example, introducing the audience directly into the main part of tension from the presentation helps creating a spellbinding effect – especially at the beginning it is suited to erect controversial thesis (which are possibly even refuted in the lecture). Moreover, a direct allusion to the own personal life during the beginning of a presentation can work wonders: in this manner the lecturer builds a trustful relationship with the audience, showing his more human, empathetic side and reducing the gap between public and presenter. If he succeeds in building a kind of “private space” within the presentation, it can be assumed that the contents of it will remain in the memory of the audience for a long time – just as a story that has been shared with friends.


On a further note, in addition to achieving a personal level, a key aspect of modern storytelling is the use of new media. Thus, for example, social networks like Twitter and Facebook allow to disseminate content quite quickly – ideally even during the presentation. It is a good idea to announce a personalized hashtag at the beginning of the event, the simplest case being the #nameoftheevent. If it is already expected that a lot of tweeting is going to take place during the lecture, then incorporating a Twitter Wall that displays all incoming Tweets on stage can help encouraging further members of the audience to participate in the discussion. In this case it is also advisable to prepare some easy to tweet statements before the presentation, which are concise and are characterized for being very short sentences that convey relevant content. In addition to social media, there are several tools that support storytelling aspects – including for example, basic programs that support the creation of timelines or the integration of maps, videos and sound bites as well as other free tools that support and handsomely prepare the digital storytelling.



Moreover, programs such as the online presentation tool Beamium help making a presentation more modern. This software makes it possible to share the whole presentation simultaneously on the devices of the audience – it synchronizes the actual presentation to the smartphones of tablets of the listeners and allows them to view the presentation again after it finished. This not only replaces the outdated concept of handouts, but also gives the audience the chance to get more familiarized with the content of the presentation after it took place. Beamium embodies in this manner an innovative and sustainable concept, which focuses on the needs of the audience.

Image Source: ©unsplash.com/@elmeng


Author: Michael Michael