Steve Jobs outlined once a number or principles that should be followed. These include the number of word you have on each slide. Jobs explained that the word count should be limited to fifty words maximum, but this does not include extra text, such as sources. This practice will help you to be more concise and focus on the core messages.
The presentation muss be accompanied by general commonsense rules, such as using a clear font so that everyone can read it without any complications.
Another key point is to make sure that the headline is clear. It should summarize the entire content of the slide and the reason for its existence. One way to think about this is the following: if your whole presentation were to be read by a very busy CEO, could this person read the headlines of each slide only and still understand the key points? Would he or she be able to take away the key points and recommendations? If this is possible, then you have achieved your goal.
Throughout the presentation, it is also of great use to remember the old adage "a picture speaks a thousand words". Research has shown that by combining a powerful verbal message with an image, there is a 75 percent greater chance of your message being recalled than when using words alone.
While this is very difficult for all slides, it is often a vey useful tool of getting across common therms - and it can also be useful in introducing an element of humor into the presentation.
Should you be one of the many who suffer from nerves and as a result speak too fast or forget your words, don't worry. These issues disappear with practice.
If you speak too fast, then practice speaking slowly. Read every day slowly a text which is more verbose perhaps than your usual read. Remember to speak sonly and to physically force yourself to slow down. Over time this slower tone will become natural when presenting.
Another important tip is to take a moment to yourself before the presentation to slow down your breathing. Hold your hand to your mouth and practice breathing in and out slowly into your hands ten times. Follow this with three large deep breaths and then breathe back into your hands ten times. This will gradually bring your heartbeat down, making you feel calmer, and make it easer for you to deliver the presentation.
There is no shame in taking notes up on stage with you. The key here, though, is to ensure that each of the cards has a maximum of three key words on it. The words are to act as prompts and remind you of the points you are going to make. They are not to be used as scripts and you need to be very careful when using them to carry on engaging with your audience and maintaining eye contact with them.
Keep in mind that well defined paragraphs will make it easier for the recipient to digest and understand the information. It is also advisable to use bullet points to identify lists and key points of action or points that require a response.
Furthermore, it is vital to convey the correct impression by only using full words - do not get drawn into using the language of texting. There is also no excuse for spelling mistakes, especially as every e-mail program now comes with spelling and grammar checks.
Finally, remember that digital has come forever. Once the send button has been pressed, it will be recorded for the duration of time on some file with the ether forever.
(from The Art of Selling Yourself, by Adam Riccoboni and Daniel Callaghan)
The advice that certainly applies to communication in the digital age - what you write will be with you forever - so choose your words with care. (Megan Jorgensen)