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How to Make Presentations That Don’t Put Your Audience to Sleep

How to Make Presentations That Don’t Put Your Audience to Sleep

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Mauro D’Andrea. Mauro D’Andrea (founder of Blog Growth) is an internet marketing expert that helps people to reach their goals. If you want to succeed online, take his 12-part course “Online Income from A to Z” for FREE. Also you’ll get his guide “Increase Your Conversions” as a Bonus.

It’s common: you are in the middle of your presentation when you realize that your audience is not listening to you. You can’t hold their attention. Someone is not listening, someone else is talking with his friend, and there are even few people who are sleeping. At the end of your presentation, you feel pretty badly about your performance. You can’t understand, you offered many interesting ideas, but they were bored. You trained for that presentation every day in the past few weeks. You are pretty sure that your speech was great, how is possible that people weren’t listening to you? You feel confused and a little frustrated. Probably you don’t know one thing…

The Problem is on the Screen

The problem wasn’t you; the problem was your presentation. Most of the presenters don’t make good slides. Be honest: how many boring, flat, black and white presentation have you seen on the screen for the last years? If you give a look at SlideShare, you’ll notice that most of the presentations there are boring. Not one, not two, not half…most of the presentation! The fault isn’t of the presenters: no one taught them how to make a great presentation; no one taught them that their slides are as important as their speech.

Your Presentation has to Grab Attention

The only way to make people listen to you is to grab their attention with a phenomenal presentation. If your slides show a lot of text, they will bore people. People are lazy; they don’t want to read while you are speaking. They don’t need to read what you are saying them. If your slides are black and white, they’ll appear uninteresting. If your slides show confused data and/or text people won’t pay attention. People want to learn while they get entertained. Some boring slides won’t entertain them.

How to Make a Stunning Presentation

Making a great presentation is pretty easy if you know how to do it. You can follow these steps to learn how to make presentations:

1. Use Big Marvelous Images

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“One picture is worth one thousand words”

Images can be very powerful, use them. They are probably the most important part of the presentation. Through the right images, you can evoke emotions in your audience. Think about how effective funny images are. Another example is shocking images: they have a great impact (but don’t exaggerate!). One thing that you should avoid with images is to insert clip art. They are horrible. When you see a clip art on a presentation, you instantly perceive it as unprofessional.

Use your images to cover the whole slide. Smaller images can work well if you use them well, but avoid them if you don’t know how to put them in an excellent way.

Use similar images. If your images seem to come from a related source, your presentation will get a more professional (and better) look.

On the contrary, if your images are totally random, your presentation will appear more…random! Give a look at these two great sources to get good free images:

2. Use Text in the Right Way

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Don’t insert tons of text in your slides. You are making a presentation, not the next bestseller romance. Insert less text per slide. This means that you have to write only the key points. Your text has to be BIG. Big text impacts, small text will barely be noticed. Give your text a good-looking structure. Try to make a nice composition with your words; don’t put them in a random way. Your text should fit perfectly with your images.

Don’t use bullet points!

While they are great to highlight key points in an article, they are boring in a presentation. Use one slide per bullet point, it will look better.

3. Fonts

This is one of the most undervalued parts of a presentation, but it’s really important. Differentiate your presentation with a little known font. How many times have you ever seen words written in Arial or Times New Roman? As you know, the things that we see often are boring. Instead, we feel pretty excited and curious when we see something different.

Choose a beautiful font. There are many ugly fonts. You don’t want to use them. You want the best of the best. Search your best font and insert it in your slides. Remember that other people will see your slides so don’t choose unreadable fonts even if they are marvelous. If no one can read it, it will make more damages than benefits.

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Use two fonts per presentation. If you use too much fonts, your presentation will look confused. You want to build a scheme with your fonts. Use one heavy font to highlight important concepts and one light font for the normal text.

These are some great sources to get appealing fonts:

4. Colors

Colors are what make the difference between a good presentation and a great one. Choose your 2-3 colors and stick to them. The best presentations have some recurring colors. Because of that, your presentation will appear more professional. Your colors have to highlight the text in your slides. For example, if you have a black and white photo, use a vivid color for the text.

Train Yourself

To improve your slides you have to watch other great ones, borrow ideas, and make lots of attempts. As you get more experience about slides, your presentations will be more appealing. Like writing, speaking, and every other skill, only the training will make you improve. If you want to give a look at some awesome presentations, you can check these down here:

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Up to You

Have you ever thought about the importance of communication in our lives?

How we communicate with other people has a huge impact in our lives.

Presentations have the power to help us communicate better.

What do you think about presentations and communication in general?

 

Also, if you have a presentation, insert a link to it in your comment and I’ll give you advice on how to improve it ;)

Featured photo credit:  Large Group of Sleeping students via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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