The key to an engaging presentation is content. Visuals, videos, infographics, audio, graphs and more will take your presentation to the next level. The art is in balancing rich content with compelling simplicity.

Remember that the visual and audio content, of whatever variety, should never compete with your message, but should engage each member of your audience in a variety of ways to help them process, remember and act on the message. This is harder than it seems, and many effective presenters find that it takes a great deal of practice and preparation to distill a presentation down to the essentials. Less is generally more.

So how can you use content to create an elegantly simple yet standout presentation?

– A striking image,
– A consistent colour palette,
– One concept or idea per slide,
– Short video or audio to express an idea visually or aurally,
– Graphs or infographics to simplify complex data,
– Fewer words on a slide and,
– Empty (or white) space,

The process by which we remember and decide to act on a message is quite complicated. Overworking any one information pathway with too many visuals or too much aural information, for example, can cause audiences to tune out.

Find new ways to deliver your message beyond the written and spoken word – graphs, word clouds, infographics, photo collages, even humorous memes speak to the other side of the brain and can add a bit of levity where appropriate.

There are a number of well-recommended digital content creation tools to help you do this – but remember, a light touch works best.

Whatever content you choose for your presentation, remember that effective presentations ultimately require an engaging concept and message. The content will take it up a notch but shouldn’t be used as a crutch to prop up a weak message. The key to a standout presentation is a well-executed message, tailored to your audience.