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Engaging your audience with PowerPoint

We’ve all been in that situation, sat watching a presentation crammed full of text in long, confusing sentences leaving our brains tired and eyes heavy. Whilst presentations are a very useful tool, the way in which they are visually presented is key  to their success. Presentations allow your business to; communicate large amounts of information in concise chunks, interact with your audience on a personal level, avoid miscommunication when pushing important messages and engage your audience through a combination of stimuli. Following the advice below will ensure that you are fulfilling potential and create a clear, concise and engaging presentation that won’t leave your audience yawning:

Tailor to your audience

Although templates can seem an easy option to turn to when creating PowerPoint slides, it can cause you to forget about tailoring your slides to suit your client. Here at RbD, we don’t have a ‘one-size fits-all’ research process, so why apply this thinking to our presentations? Instead we create bespoke research based on the needs of our clients, which is reflected in the style of our reports.

For example, when presenting to senior managers you may want a short PowerPoint that is jargon-free, straight to the main point and includes relevant graphs that demonstrate key trends. When presenting to the project team you may need a more in depth review of the information but still presenting it in a user-friendly way.

Tell a story

It’s easy to just dump information into a presentation, overcomplicating your data with slide after slide of charts, stats and scores, but all this means nothing to your audience if there’s no underlying narrative. Storytelling through presentations gives meaning to complex data and allows your audience to leave with a clear understanding of your findings.

To craft an engaging story from your data you should start by addressing your business problems and end with your recommended solutions. The bulk of the presentation should link up these two sections by explaining how your data answers the key research objectives.

Data visualisation

Our brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. With this in mind, why would anyone want to bore their clients with text-heavy, jargon-filled presentations that leave them confused and exhausted? There are many ways you can liven up your presentation with the use of some visuals such as videos, images, infographics, illustrations, graphs, charts and diagrams, just to name a few.

So, what’s the science behind it?

When we look at an image, we gather context from what we see and can form an understanding of the scene in just 42 milliseconds (Casrelhano and Henderson, 2008*). Text, on the other hand, takes much longer to read, process and understand. So, quite literally, a picture says a thousand words.

 

References

http://jhenderson.org/vclab/PDF_Pubs/CastelhanoHendersonHPP_2008.pdf

This entry was posted in B2C, Market research, Technology, tagged Technology, Market research tips, Market Research and posted on September 20, 2018


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