Multimedia presentations are an integral part of any meeting, conference or event.
If you’re an event planner or a presenter, there are a host of issues that can keep your presentation from having the impact it deserves.
Whether you’re presenting in front of your organization’s board of directors or a crowd of attendees at a trade show, use our list of do’s and dont’s to ensure that your multimedia presentation runs smoothly and has a lasting, powerful impact on your audience.
1. Do: Practice Your Multimedia Presentation
Before you give your presentation, run through it several times at home to make sure there are no editing glitches, typos, inaccurate data, broken files or misplaced slides.
Then, read your presentation aloud, accompanied by your visuals. Pay close attention to places where your speech seems to get bogged down, or where the visuals are unclear. If a Q&A will follow your presentation, brainstorm possible questions your audience may ask you, and prepare yourself with answers and supporting data.
Try practicing your presentation in front of a mirror, or record yourself with a video camera. This will give you a sense of how you will come across to your audience.
Lastly, practice your presentation with a timer. Make sure your presentation does not run over, or too far under, your time limit.
2. Don’t: Recite Your Slides
Your slides are meant to reinforce your presentation, not used as a script.
If you’re using text in your slides, use language that is simple and concise.
Furthermore, try organizing your text with bullet points and lists to get your point across in a more memorable way.
3. Do: Focus On The Content And Presentation Of Your Speech
Although visuals play a key role in any presentation, they should only be used to visually support a point or present interesting data.
Images, visuals and other media are useless if you can’t meaningfully integrate them into your presentation, so make sure you devote most of your energy to crafting an effective and engaging speech.
Moreover, make sure not to overload your presentation with excessive surveys, complicated charts and dense, academic jargon. Each of these can hurt even the most finely crafted presentation.
4. Don’t: Forget To Think About Your Microphone
Sound issues can quickly ruin any presentation. Using the right microphone for your presentation makes all the difference!
You’ll also want to troubleshoot any potential wireless microphone issues before you take the stage.
5. Do: Find Out What Multimedia Software And Hardware You’ll Be Using
In a world with dozens of competing, proprietary software formats, discovering that the .wmv files you’ve brought for your video presentation won’t work with the venue’s aging computer is a common pitfall – but it’s one that’s easily avoidable.
Whether your chosen venue has a PC, Mac, whiteboard or overhead projector, find out in advance and plan ahead accordingly to avoid surprises.
If someone else has prepared your multimedia program for you, be sure you know the software well enough to play it back, and what to do if it unexpectedly freezes or stops working.
Lastly, bring extra cable adapters with you to your event in case your venue does not have the adapters you need on hand.
6. Don’t: Forget A Glass Of Water
Believe it or not, your mouth will dry up while you present.
Savvy planners and presenters are very aware of this common yet often overlooked problem.
So, ask for a glass or bottle of water from your venue before you take the stage. Don’t wait until you’re already behind the podium!
7. Do: Have A Backup Plan
After you’ve run through your presentation, devise a backup plan in case you run into problems while presenting during your event.
Do the following:
1. Make sure you can give your presentation without visuals or other media.
2. Prepare notes and brief prompts written on index cards so you can refer to them during your presentation.
3. Memorize key parts of your presentation so you can deliver a great speech even without the cards.
4. Identify parts of your presentation that you can cut or expand if there are sudden schedule changes.
Having a backup plan will not only prepare you for the unexpected, but it will also give you much more confidence regardless of whether or not problems arise. And, moreover, if problems do occur, your audience will be able to tell that you are a professional who came fully prepared.
Have any tips and tricks of your own for multimedia presentations? Let us know in the comments section below!