Interactive presentations can help shine the light on your content in a variety of ways. For your pitch deck, you may be able to show the investor how your new product works with true-to-form product experience. You may also count on illustrating your sales trends with the click of a button. Or even offer your sales teams a step-by-step tutorial on the new features of your consumer-facing app, which they can also fiddle with from home.
When creating effective presentations, what should you consider to maximize the impact of your content and better engage your audience?
1. Include a divider slide for your grouped content
Start by outlining your entire presentation so you don’t get lost in your train of thoughts later. This is especially important for large complex presentations where multiple departments or teams are contributing to the same deck. It’ll be easier to have the overall roadmap before developing every detail. Better yet, when you hand off the presentation to be developed by different teams, they will better understand how their piece fits into the big picture.
Since it’s an interactive presentation, you don’t even need to worry about updating slide numbers as your presentation grows. Simply link items in your table of contents to their corresponding section, and you’re set.
2. Create a better rhythm for your presentation
Sometimes you need more than one slide for certain ideas or topics. Group similar slides and use divider slides. The dividers help inform your audience about the idea in focus and serve as reminders of topic changes. When you are done, include a link back to your table of contents. This will allow you to quickly jump from section to section without scrolling through all your slides.
However, be strategic about dividers. Don’t add a divider every two slides, since you don’t want to break your story into pieces.
3. Highlight your content through visualization
Being that most of us are visual thinkers, “show and tell” visualization helps to explain ideas and tell stories.
Pair your key points with some icons so that, at a glance, your client sitting on the other side of the screen doesn’t have to read every word. When addressing a particular problem, use a photo or illustration showing the reason or result of such a problem, that way everyone can be aligned quickly.
This is especially helpful for numbers. In addition to precise information, numbers carry relationships too, but they are way too abstract for most people to comprehend easily. To make your story more effective, consider using graphics to explain what the numbers mean and show the hidden relationships. When trying to compare two numbers, consider using a bar chart. Need to show the growth trend of revenue? Maybe an area chart will work better than a simple line chart. Or perhaps you may need custom infographics to help tell your story.
Make it easy for your audience to focus on the story and not be bogged down by numbers.
4. Let them see and hear for themselves, without too many distractions
If you have video or audio content, consider including them in your presentation. Instead of exiting your presentation to go to a video clip, embed it or link it to your presentation, that way when you need to play the video or audio clip, you don’t have to apologize for showing hundred of tabs in your browser.
This also helps to keep your audience in your story when you share the presentation as a leave-behind. You probably don’t want to encourage them to dive into the world of Youtube while your story is about the new product feature that will increase their productivity.
5. Make things move
In a literal sense, make them move. Take advantage of built-in animations to emphasize your content. When everything sits still, a little movement helps to draw attention so your audience can focus on the points you are trying to make.
Between slides, use “morph” to transition if possible, especially for slides on the same or similar topic with shared elements. This helps to create a sense of continuity by illustrating how things are connected visually.
Of course, things don’t need to be moving whenever they feel like. Start and stop them with triggers.
6. Use interaction triggers
They are easier than you think - you can use a simple mouse click or a button. So basically you can “tell” your slides, “when I do this, you do that”.
You can easily build a library of on-demand embedded video and audio content. Think about all the time and energy that can be saved when you are organizing training materials.
When creating a simulated product experience within your slides, you can use these triggers to function as part of the product UI - even when you need to go to another slide to show the result of the interaction, with the help of “morph” transition, you are delivering to your audience a more “authentic” product experience, and you don’t really have to ask IT to carve out some time to help.
Interactive presentations bring new life to your content. Tell your story and take your audience on the journey. They’ll thank you as you might be the person that brings some unexpected fun to their home offices today.