Creating To Giving Great Presentations: Hear From 10 Experts

Business Presentation

Creating, designing, and delivering better presentations can be a challenge.  Many individuals, marketing and sales organizations want a presentation software that can handle all of their needs.  Aside from that, we all need to develop the right skills to both create and deliver amazing presentations that yield results.  At CustomShow, we appreciate the craft of designing well branded presentations as well as the skill in delivering them.  For that reason we connected with several influencers in the presentation space who are experts in presentation software, delivery, design, and effectiveness.  We posed 4 questions and you can read the interviews below.

Paul Shapiro – Speaker/CEO

Paul Shapiro

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

The most important feature of presentation software is that your audience shouldn’t notice it. Great presentation software delivers the presentation and doesn’t draw attention to itself. Bad software does, usually in the form of error messages, unexpected dialogue boxes, poor video playback or relying on a shaky Internet connection instead of caching locally. Less intrusive but equally distracting are built-in animations or effects that draw attention to themselves instead of to the story and message in the presentation. If when you watch your presentation, you can see the software, it probably means it’s upstaging your presentation. When all your audience sees is your presentation, your presentation software is working perfectly.

Many of our cable clients use CustomShow presentation software to deliver their presentations because they want their presentations to be as complete a brand experience as possible. Syfy loves CustomShow’s ability to seamlessly deliver video across all the platforms their salespeople used so every presentation looks like Syfy and nothing else.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

The most critical function of any presentation software is reliability. Presenters know that there’s only one chance to give this presentation to this audience. If something doesn’t work, there’s no do-over. So while good presenters can recover from software glitches and cover up presentation errors, the best presenters do everything they can to avoid having those problems in the first place. Everything else that presentation software can do—video playback, animations, transitions—aren’t any help if the software fails. CustomShow has been used by our clients for over a decade and, along with the smooth video, iPad App and web-based editing, the main reason they keep using it is because they can count on it.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

When used to further your presentation’s story, video is perhaps the most compelling element that you can add to your presentation. Video has the dual benefits of engaging the audience (and waking them up if they’ve started to drift off) as well as letting you present complex ideas and concepts in a way that audience’s can absorb. Video has become so ubiquitous in today’s world, not just in marketing but in our everyday lives and on every platform, that audience’s are primed to respond to and even expect to be presented with engaging video content. The ubiquity of video also means that the options for appropriate videos is greater than it’s ever been before. So as long as you can find relevant content, which is easier than ever today, get that video into your presentation!

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

Take presentations seriously on a company level and invest the same efforts and resources that you do on other marketing platforms. Companies expect to hire the best designers, writers and technologist to develop engaging, sticky websites, beautiful brochures and other collateral, but rarely give the same focused thought to presentations even though that’s the touchpoint when you’re closest to your customer and most able to affect the sale. Think of your presentations as opportunities to extend your brand experience right into your clients’ or prospects’ office and empower your salesperson to really engage their audiences instead of just presenting the latest numbers and screenshots.

Bio: Paul is the CEO of CustomShow and has worked with the company for over a decade to build and deliver the best presentations possible. CustomShow is the result of bringing together design, management and the latest Cloud-based technologies. 

Website: www.customshow.com

Twitter: @CustomShow

Stephen Anderson – Speaker/Author Stephen Anderson

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

It’s easy to focus on the content of a presentation, and forget that how that content is presented is as much–if not more–a part of the overall presentation. Every animation, every typeface, every type treatment, every image border – these things should be used to serve a purpose; there’s a sort of grammar you create with these elements that a lot of folks gloss over. But, these details are critical to keeping your guiding you audience through an idea. Take animations, as an example: Whether we’re talking about an app or a presentation, animations are clues to “where” you’re at in a presentation: Are we moving on, going deeper, looking at the flip side of something…? Animations are also a subtle yet powerful way to create a personality; I’d never use a childlike bounce to communicate a serious idea, nor would a slow dissolve fit with random ideas.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

Efficiency. There is so much internal and external feedback involved with crafting a good presentation; you don’t want any friction to shift your focus onto the tool you’re using and away from the story you’re trying to craft. In 2006, switched from PowerPoint to Keynote precisely because there are so many nuanced design details that make crafting a good presentation nearly frictionless. I can explore so many different ways of telling my story with little effort.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

I use videos extensively–my last presentation had at least a dozen videos of varying lengths! With Keynote at least, there is no trouble — adding a video is as simple as dragging in an image or adding text. Since a lot of my presentations are about interactions or new technology, this is much easier (and takes less time) to show, rather than describe. This inclusion of video does two things: (1) Frees me up to focus on commentary, and (2) adds variety to the overall rhythm of the presentation. Videos are great, but not when they take you “out” of the presentation flow. It’s so uncomfortable to see someone giving a good presentation, then taking 20 seconds or so to drop out of their (usually PowerPoint) presentation to the desktop, click play on a video, then “resume” their presentation. Videos are great, but only when they are a seamless part of your presentation.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

I’m always asking “What’s the single idea you want people to take away from your presentation?” The most common presentation mistake I see is the “laundry list” presentation, where people go through 5 or 6 ideas, never focusing on the single thread that binds these ideas together. I also see a lot of people share really interesting ideas, without ever commenting on what you should do with this information. I’m always running my presentations through a “What? So what? Now what?” checklist. “What” is the main idea that most presentations focus on. “So what?” is why people should care or why it’s relevant to them, personally. “Now what?” is where you clearly define how people can or should use what you just shared. This is a “template” or sorts I picked up years ago from my church pastor!

Bio: Stephen P. Anderson is a speaker and consultant based out of Dallas, Texas. He spends unhealthy amounts of time thinking about design, psychology and leading intrapreneurial teams—topics he frequently speaks about at national and international events.

Website: www.poetpainter.com

Twitter: @stephenanderson

Jeff Haden – Speaker/Best Selling Author Jeff Haden

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

Don’t let the tool become the end result. It’s really easy to get carried away with all the features and include lots of elements that distract from rather than enhance what you’re saying. Less is always more.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

My keynotes are always in person, so sharing, collaboration, multi-device etc don’t particularly apply. My primary concern is that the presentation runs flawlessly, whether on my computer or on the computer the A/V staff wants me to use. Multi-device is, though, helpful if the venue provides an inconspicuous monitor I can use to verify I’m on the right slide without having to look back at the screen.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

I don’t use video. I can see how it would be helpful depending on the presentation, especially if it’s training-based… but I don’t use it. I’m certainly not against video, and would definitely use it if appropriate, but haven’t to date.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

Slides, lists, photos, etc should always enhance rather than overwhelm. For the stuff I do, anything that takes the audience more than a couple seconds to digest is too long. Roughly speaking I want my words to carry the presentation so that if for some reason the software bombed, that wouldn’t particularly impact the quality of the speech from the audience’s point of view. If, though, you’re presenting research or data, more detail probably makes sense… but only to a degree. And if you do, give the audience a chance to take photos of important slides. (Not by stopping and saying, “If you want to take a photo of this slide…” but by building in a little buffer at the end of that slide.)

Never forget that YOU are your presentation — not your visuals. Visuals support you, not the other way around.

Bio: Jeff Haden has ghostwritten nearly forty non-fiction books (four Amazon Business & Investing #1s) and am a featured columnist for Inc.com and CBS MoneyWatch.com. He also speaks on leadership, management, and small business for industry conferences, company meetings, civic groups, and the occasional workshop.

Website: www.blackbirdinc.com

Twitter: @Jeff_Haden

Ryan Dube – Freelance Writer/Speaker Ryan Dube

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

Presentation software can be a powerful tool for making your talk much more effective and interesting. However, it can also become a hindrance if it’s not used well. Too many people depend primarily on the presentation software to give the speech for them – creating massive slides filled with far too much text. In a worst case scenario, the presenter simply reads from the slides. This is an amateur mistake, and most seasoned presenters won’t do that.

However, even long sentences can be distracting. Remember, as the audience is reading the text on the slide, they are only half-listening to you. Presentation software should really be used to visually represent the concepts that you’re trying to convey. This is why images, charts or flowcharts are so effective. Text is not a bad thing, but it should be used sparingly in a bullet-list of very short, simple points.

It’s YOUR job as the presenter to convey the information with your own voice, not with the text. This is why rehearsing and practicing everything you want to say is so important. You shouldn’t need slides to remind you what to say, and you shouldn’t need long, detailed notes either. Creating note cards with a single line for each bullet point you want to cover should be more than enough of a mental nudge to remind yourself what you wanted to say. If you know the material well – as you should if you’re enough of an expert to be invited to give a presentation – then you should have more than enough to say.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

Good presentation software gives you the tools you need to create a powerful multimedia presentation. It should be capable of importing or creating graphs and charts, it should be capable of creative text layouts and fonts, and it should be very easy to manipulate the order of the slides through the use of a slide library. As you go through your presentation during rehearsal, you may find that the logical flow of topics is different than how you originally organized the slides, so this flexibility to reorganize on-the-fly is critical.

Ease of navigation during a slideshow is also important. Simple clicks or slides should allow you to move back and forth through the slideshow in an intuitive way. The last thing you want to do when you’re standing on stage in front of all of those people is to fiddle around with your mouse or remote control to go back in a slideshow. Controls should be simple, intuitive, and very fluid during the presentation.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

Using video in a presentation is a debatable practice. Some people like to use video because it can be entertaining for the audience, and it’s a useful way to present a lot of information in a small time frame. However, there are several problems with using video in a presentation. The first is that it breaks up the flow of your own presentation. When a presenter has to pause to press play on a video, the attention of the audience shifts entirely to the screen and to the new narrator, who essentially becomes the new “presenter”. Usually a film narrator will be an eloquent, polished public speaker, and the audience will become accustomed to this style of presentation.

Once the video is finished, there’s always this awkward silence where you must shift the audience’s attention back to you. The transition between oration styles of the video narrator and you can be pretty extreme sometimes. The more dramatic the video, the more awkward the transition back to continuing with your presentation. It’s much more effective to just create a series of slides, one after the other, that might show a progression or a sequence of information that you meant to show with the video, except in this case, you remain the narrator the entire time.

The second problem is that many videos have background music or scenes that actually will put your audience to sleep. There’s something about watching videos that just has that effect on people. The last thing you want to happen at the end of your video is to turn to the audience in hopes of continuing your presentation, only to find that half of the audience is falling asleep.

My own stance is that I avoid videos, but if you do feel the need to include them, keep them very short – under 2 minutes, and don’t let them dominate your entire presentation.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

In general, the most important part of giving a successful presentation is practicing. Even if you know the material really well, it’s very, very easy for your mind to go blank when you’ve got a multitude of professionals sitting in front of you just staring at you. Use the presentation software while you rehearse, so that with just a glance at the slide, you will be able to instantly recall what message you wanted to convey. That’s all you have to remember – the rest will simply come, because you know the material so well and because you’ve rehearsed it so much.

That’s what rehearsing is for – programming your mind to recognize images and words on the slide to trigger your memory automatically, so that even under the pressure of a few hundred pairs of eyes staring at you, you will have no problem going through your talk – and making it look easy in the process.

Bio:  Ryan Dube is a freelance writer, an Information Technology analyst and an SEO expert. Recognized in the field of data collection and visualization, Ryan was asked to speak numerous times at regional and national conferences around the United States. In addition, his work as an investigative journalist brought a number of radio and TV appearances, including Voice of Russia, Vision TV of Canada, and the History Channel.

Website: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/author/ryandube/

Twitter: @rdube

Susan Gunelius – Speaker/Marketing Executive  Susan Gunelius

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

Don’t be a slave to your slides. Your slides should enhance your verbal discussion, not dominate it. Also, beware when using customizations, animations, and other advanced features. The computer that you use to create your presentation might be quite different from the one you’ll use to deliver your presentation. You don’t want to show up to your presentation and learn as you’re speaking that your special effects, which were critical to your presentation, aren’t working.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

Consistency. Presentation software makes it easy to edit slides, but the credibility of you and your materials will suffer if those slides look like a mixture of random documents culled together with no thoughts toward cohesiveness. Use templates and styles to quickly and easily make slides look consistent and the perceived value of your content significantly increases in the minds of audience members.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

It depends on whether or not the video adds value to the message and audience. People are visual and video can break up a tedious presentation, but the video has to add value or it interrupts the flow of the presentation rather than enhancing it. Video can be extremely effective, but just because the technology is available to you doesn’t mean you’re required to use it. Too often, people end up overusing features and the quality of the content decreases as the number of bells and whistles increases.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

Deliver value. Your slides should enhance that value not detract from it, distract the audience from it, or confuse it. If a slide doesn’t add value, rethink that part of your presentation and modify it or delete it. Don’t use extra features because you can. Use them because they deliver even more value than you can deliver without them.

Bio:  Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has over 20 years of marketing experience working for and with some of the largest companies in the world, including AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Cox Communications, and many more.   She writes about marketing for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com, and she speaks about marketing at events around the world.

Website: www.keysplashcreative.com

Twitter: @susangunelius

Adam Sigel – Project Manager/Tech Enthusiast Adam Sigel

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

Presentation software is great for designing slides and rehearsing presentations, but they are not good for brainstorming, content planning, and storyboarding. I encourage people to plan their content in analog—on a whiteboard, with stickies, or using good old pen and paper. If you start making slides by opening PowerPoint, you’re exponentially more likely to end up with slides that look like a PowerPoint template.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

One of the most important—and often overlooked—features in most presentation software is the presenter notes field. People often end up with crowded, busy slides because they don’t want to forget what they’re there to say. By using the presenter notes field, you allow yourself to make cleaner, simpler slides, AND you don’t have to memorize every word of your talk.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

My general guidelines for video are the same as all rich media features (e.g. sounds, transitions, and animations): they should only be used to advance the central narrative of your presentation. Apple executive Craig Federighi used animations well to simplify the complex feature of timer coalescing in OS X Mavericks. I use videos in my presentations as examples, and then I discuss them with the audience. It can be a great change of pace in a presentation full of static slides.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

Incorporating elements of storytelling will undoubtedly improve your presentations. Humans are naturally drawn to stories, and they are a perfect vehicle for delivering information in a relatable, enjoyable manner. With a good story, your audience stays engaged because you’re offering a compelling point of view. Remember to shape everything in your presentation around your audience. Put them in the center of the story, take them on a journey, and express everything in the context of their lives, their experience. For example, if you’re trying to get people to donate money to your non-profit that feeds starving children, tell them how much of an impact their single donation can make. How many meals can $10 provide? How many children go to bed hungry in your audience’s neighborhood?

Bio: Adam Sigel loves a good story. He believes in treating audience members, users, and customers like regular human beings. In his spare time he creates Twitter parody accounts.

Website: www.adamdsigel.com

Twitter: @adamsigel

Allison Shields – Lawyer/Consultant  Allison Shields

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

When presenting in front of an audience, your presentation software should be a supplement to the presentation – not the presentation itself. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage with the audience by simply reading from your slides, and don’t fill slides with text. Your audience can read, and if all you do is read from your slides, they don’t need you. Use the presentation to illustrate key points, but then bring the focus back to you by expanding on those points. Make eye contact with audience members around the room. Don’t focus all of your attention on the software; focus on the audience.

For additional tips (most of which apply whether you’re in front of an audience or online), check out 3 Tips for Better Online Slide Presentations.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

The features that are important for you as a presenter will vary depending on the kinds of presentations you do, where you do them (are your presentations done mostly live, mostly in a webinar setting, or mostly recorded online without a live presenter?), what your purpose for the presentation is, and who your audience is. The size of your business and the number of people giving presentations may also come into play; if many people need to give the same or similar presentation or use the same slides, different functionality may be important to you than an entrepreneur or speaker who creates and delivers their own presentations.

For me, ease of use and editorial control are the most important features, but with the increase in the use of mobile devices and iPads, it is important to be able to present to a client on the fly using an iPad, and being able to present to an audience using an iPad rather than a laptop makes traveling much easier. For web or online based presentations, it’s helpful to have metrics and analytics to track which presentations are being viewed most often.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

Video can be helpful in a presentation, but there are many variables to consider, including the venue for the presentation, the size of the audience, and the equipment used for the presentation. In a live presentation, if the screen is not large enough for the entire audience to see and hear the video clearly, video will be both frustrating and distracting for your audience. Similarly, if the equipment does not allow for fast load time or there are other technical glitches, video will hurt, rather than help your presentation. But, as discussed below, much of the decision will be based upon your message and your purpose for the presentation.

Video can be a great way to bring in client or customer stories and testimonials, to show your product or service in action, or to bring an emotional element to your presentation.

The use of video for web based or online presentations can be a helpful way to keep the audience engaged; it is often more difficult to keep the attention of the audience when no live speaker is present. But the video must integrate seamlessly into the presentation and add to the message.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

For any presentation, whether in front of an audience or online, you must focus on what it is that you are trying to accomplish with the presentation. What is your purpose? What do you want your audience to do as a result of your presentation? That purpose will drive the rest of the presentation. For example, if your purpose is to persuade your audience to purchase a product, your presentation will focus on the product, which should take center stage. But if you want the audience to trust you or to hire you as an individual service provider as a result of your presentation, you want the focus to be more on you, your value, reliability, knowledge, and trustworthiness. You should be center stage and your presentation should reinforce the points you are trying to make, rather than distracting the audience from you.

Bio: Allison C. Shields, President, Legal Ease Consulting, Inc., is a former law firm partner who provides practice management, marketing, business development and productivity coaching and consulting services for lawyers and law firms. 

Website: www.LawyerMeltdown.com

Twitter: @AllisonShields

Nolan Haims – Speaker/Presentation Designer Nolan Haims

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

No matter how well-designed or flashy your slides are, remember that YOU are the presentation. YOU are the person people have shown up to hear and see. Your slides are your backup singers—important contributors, but ultimately they are simply there to support you as the star. Quick tip: consider starting your presentation with a black screen to set the tone of eyes on you, rather than always on your slides.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

The ability to keep all types of content live and editable is the most important feature of presentation software. Presentation content changes constantly and up until the very last moment. Do as much design work non-destructively in your presentation program as possible and you’ll have far fewer headaches than the person desperately searching for that layered Photoshop file…

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

I would use video sparingly. If you remember that the learning usually stopped in grade school when the teacher pulled out the TV, make sure that any video actually advances your story and message and that it’s not just entertainment or a crutch.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

As a society, we are fast minimizing lengthy text as a primary means of communication. If it can’t be expressed in an image, 140 characters or a six second video, your run the risk of not being able to express your thoughts as strongly as you need to. The old presentation and business communications paradigm was “Text first, image second.” This thinking needs to be reversed. When creating slides, it’s okay to write your words first. But then place your text off to the side and try for as much communication with your imagery as possible. Bring your text back in to support your visuals as needed. Ask your 11-year old niece: The future is image first, text second.

Bio: With more than 20 years experience in the field of visual communications, Nolan Haims helps organizations and individuals show up differently and tell better stories with fewer words. One of only 11 Microsoft-Recognized PowerPoint MVPs in the US, he designs for and trains the largest companies in the country.

Website: presentyourstory.com

Twitter: @nolanhaims

Ellen Finkelstein – Presentation Trainer  Ellen Findelstein

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

It’s all about the audience. My main suggestion has nothing to do with the software but on researching the needs and wants of the audience. Useful content can trump poor visuals and even poor delivery.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

Of those choices, in think that a slide library is most important and relevant to most presenters, because it helps them design slides quickly.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

Yes, it’s worth the trouble because video is more immersive and realistic than slides. I use video to show a point more viscerally than possible with a simple slide or even animation. For example, adding video of a CEO describing the company to new hires will be more effective than bullet points or even a photo of the CEO and a quote typed on the slide.

What general presentation tips and tricks would you give people (open-ended)?

A presentation is a combination of content, design and delivery. Think deeply about crafting valuable content, use design to aid understanding and remembering, and practice delivery so that it’s smooth and engaging to the audience.

Bio:  Ellen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, trainer, and best-selling author on PowerPoint, presentation skills, and AutoCAD. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and blogs.

Website: www.ellenfinkelstein.com

Twitter: @EFinkelstein

Lisa Braithwaite – Coach/Speaker

Lisa B

What insight on being effective in presentations would you give people who are using presentation software (i.e. Powerpoint, CustomShow) when presenting in front of an audience?

When using slideware, I think the most important thing that presenters need to remember is that the slides are only an enhancement to the presentation. The human being IS the presentation. The whole entire text of the presentation should not be on the slides, but rather should come out of the mouth of the presenter. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to grasp, but it’s the biggest flaw I see with speakers who use slideware.

What functionality do you consider most critical when using any presentation software (i.e. slide library, custom design, sharing and collaboration, multiple device or in-person delivery?

My slides are very simple: one sentence and one full-slide image. So I don’t really use a lot of the functionality in my software. Of course, custom design is important because I don’t use templates and I discourage my clients from using templates. When it’s easier to make creative slides without templates (blocking out portions of images, highlighting portions of text, etc.), it’s easier to customize.

Is video in presentations worth the trouble? How do you use video in presentations (in terms of story-telling and/or technology)?

I rarely use video in presentations; it seems that there’s always some tech glitch. Just this past week I was attempting to show a YouTube video in the middle of a presentation and the sound failed in the equipment I was using. I find it to be more trouble than it’s worth.

What general presentation advice would you give people (open-ended)?

Focus on serving the audience and meeting their needs, rather than focusing on how to make it easier on yourself by putting all your notes into bullets on your slides, or putting highly detailed charts on the screen (for example). Can the people in the back row read your slides? If not, then you’re not serving them. And basically, you’re showing them you don’t give a crap about them. I LOVE slideware, and I use it for almost every presentation. But the slides are about making the presentation a better experience for the audience, not about making things more convenient for me.

Bio: Lisa Braithwaite is a public speaking coach and trainer. She helps entrepreneurs and professionals create memorable and engaging presentations.  Her philosophy of public speaking is that it’s fun, it’s an awesome way to express yourself creatively, and that passion and enthusiasm are worth more than a thousand techniques.

Website: http://www.coachlisab.com

Twitter: @LisaBraithwaite

With every good presentation is a good presentation builder that fit the intricacies and identity of your organization. At CustomShow, we believe our presentation software can do just that. View the power of CustomShow in the video below:

For more ideas, check out this slideshare below: 
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