I’ve done over a thousand investor PowerPoint presentations during my career and while my delivery will never be confused with that of Tony Robbins I’ve always practiced every one. Today I attended a conference at which three early-stage companies were given a ten minute slot to showcase their companies. In one presentation the CEO said “umm, ahh” over 200 times. No joke. In ten minutes! This CEO was not prepared to speak and the impression he left was not a good one.
It is very easy to think you can wing it in a ten minute slot, but those ten minutes can seem like an eternity if you are not prepared.
Three easy steps can help you prepare.
- What is the message you want to deliver – what is the takeaway message for the audience?
- Understand your audience – the more specific the audience the more detail you can provide.
- Choose the right number of slides – my rule of thumb was one content slide per minute. Slides provide support for your presentation, but they are not THE presentation. You are.
Then it is up to you. Practice, practice, practice – you can do this anywhere. Use a stop watch to help you understand those slides that give you the most trouble and either modify the slide or your delivery. Work on the transitions between slides. Above all, don’t forget to pause. Your audience is 2-3 seconds behind your presentation and need time to catch up.
Once you are prepared the rest is easy.