Presenting and Presenting: 7 Golden Rules

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Most slide presentations are just bad! Badly designed. Basic didactic knowledge is often trampled on. How is it better?

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Professor Dr. Martin-Niels Däfler Best of HR –®Prof. Dr. Martin-Niels Däfler teaches at the University of Economics and Management (FOM) in Frankfurt am Main.


From the author:




Man is an “eye animal”

Humans are an “eye animal” that absorbs visual information particularly efficiently and readily. When designing presentations, however, many lecturers still use obsolete conventions:

Excessive text content, a recurring master layout and hardly any pictures no longer correspond to today's high standards. The result: Most slide presentations overwhelm or bother us!

7 golden rules of presentation

With the PreZENtation principle you can inspire your listeners with slide presentations. For this you have to orient yourself only in the following 7 golden rules:

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1. Structure your thoughts

The first step for a successful presentation is the preparation: when you use the computer during the preparatory phase, you are proven to be less creative than working with a pen. In the idea-finding phase, it is therefore advisable to keep his thoughts on paper or, better still, on post-its.

If you stick it to a panel or wall, you have a good overview of the overall presentation and can simply change the structure by simply changing it. Important: Use a separate piece of paper for each thought!

2. Do they have to be slides at all?

At the beginning of your reflections, you can also decide whether you want to use slides at all. Sometimes content can be conveyed visibly and even better with other media - for example, with a classic table label or a flipchart drawing.

The use of metaplan cards and bulletin boards can also be a good alternative. You get a lot of attention - as an alternative or in addition to a presentation - if you have demonstration objects, eg. For example, bring books or products, and walk around among the audience. In any case, the involvement of the participants is recommended in order to make your presentation vivid.

3. Less is more

Good film presentations meet human habits and characteristics: If presentations are to be convincing, they must be presented to the brain. This is confirmed by all recent didactic and neurological findings.

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There is a very banal guiding principle: less is more. This statement - borrowed from the Zen philosophy - is based on the method described here.

4. Transparencies clear and attractive

The PreZENtation principle teaches you how to create clear, clear and appealing slides, in order to arouse more interest in the listeners and to achieve your goals (information or motivation) faster / better.

No specific prior knowledge is required. Also, you do not need to be a graphics expert to apply appropriate rules. The recommendations are software independent, so apply equally to PowerPoint, Keynote, or other tools.

5. Guidelines for the organization of slide presentations

Unless you know how to build your presentation, the following questions can help you structure your presentation - then simply associate your post-its with the questions you're asking.

  • What is the topic?
  • Why is the topic important for the audience?
  • What is the goal of the lecture?
  • What was, what is, what will be?
  • Where is the topic relevant?
  • What is the effect of factor X, Y and Z on the topic?
  • What is the benefit of who?
  • What are the disadvantages of who?
  • How can the statements be justified?
  • Which examples can be used to confirm the thesis?
  • What conclusions can be drawn?
  • What needs to be done? How are things going on?
  • What do the theses or statements have to do with the initial situation?

6. Limit the number of your slides

With respect to the number of slides per presentation, there are quite different recommendations in theory and practice. Frequently quoted is the 10-20-30 rule by Guy Kawasaki. It states that a slide presentation does not include more than 10 slides, should take an 20 minute, and should have a font size of at least 30 point.

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This can be used to determine how much speech time you should calculate for a slide, namely two minutes. So, if you give 50 minutes of speaking time, then you should show about 25 slides.

7. In doubt: out!

Basically: "When in doubt, cut it out!" So if you doubt whether a thought that you wrote down on a post-it should actually get its own slide, keep in mind: in really good presentations, something is shown that cannot be better explained linguistically.

The question of quality is thus: Does a film facilitate the audience's understanding? Does it help to convey the content faster or better? If you can not answer these questions, ask a colleague for his assessment. Strangers are usually more severe in their judgment.

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  1. piranha press & pr

    RT @Berufebilder: The golden rules of presentation: Less is more! - - Exciting contributionkGRgFoEgIw

  2. Harriet Lemcke

    Good approaches to curb power point narcolepsy. Even I plead as well for the input consideration: must it be at all a slide presentation?
    Too often the aid is in the foreground and the presenter degenerates into a speaking machine. In my coaching and training sessions, I like to pass on what I have internalized in 17 years of radio - a medium in which content, enthusiasm, variation and audience loyalty are conveyed and generated solely through the voice and presence of the presenter. In practice, very few presenters think about their own effect, but concentrate on the facts. A fatal mistake, because if you are present yourself and inspire your audience, then they will also enjoy following the content.

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mrs. Lemcke,
      great attitude, thank you. I think the basic problem is that many people go about designing a lecture on their own: one has been dealing with a topic for a very long time, knows every detail and wants to bring it over. The art is to simplify things with the background knowledge you have, to get things to the point and not to overwhelm the reader. Not an easy thing to do, I also notice this in the design of the website time and time again.

  3. Competencepartner

    The golden rules of presentation: Less is more !: Most slide presentations are… - Exciting contribution3ttnBV7c4M #Profile #Bilding

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