I see lots of presentation files and have started to notice that when people start designing slides, they go into a formal mode that makes the presentation less personal — and less effective. The negative impact is especially pronounced when the presentation is put online, because the audience doesn’t see the presenter (although there might be narration).
Some presentations cry out for a personal touch. If you’re inviting the audience to join you in some way — join your company or participate in a program — you need more than words. Here are a few ideas to connect more effectively with your audience:
- Include a photo of yourself on the first and last slides
- Insert a short video of yourself
- Take photos of real employees in your company and use them on several slides. Be sure to get their permission.
I have particularly noticed the effect of eyes in a photograph. Here’s a photo (from Microsoft’s ClipArt Gallery) that is effective if you’re talking about listening or connecting.
Because she is looking right at you, you feel that she is connecting with you.
What do you do to create visuals that connect with your audience, especially if you’re presenting online — via webinar or a slide-sharing site?