For physicians and medical professionals, presentations are a powerful way to communicate your message. Whether your intent is to educate, strengthen your case on an issue, or prompt your audience to take action, a compelling presentation can help your audience better understand and believe what you’re telling them.
So what are some ways you can create the greatest, most memorable impact? To answer this, we consulted Bethany Auck, long-time presentation expert and Founder of SlideRabbit. Here are 7 tried-and-true tips to keep in mind for your next presentation.
1| REDUCE WORDINESS
Write concisely, avoid redundant wording, and leave out minutiae. Most people cannot read and listen at the same time, so instead, they default to reading. People read faster than they speak; so by time your audience finishes reading the text and tunes back in, you’re covering old information. And this is when eyes glaze over.
Read more about reducing text in your slides.
2| SIMPLIFY IDEAS
When writing for presentations, avoid extraneous information. To truly learn and remember, your audience needs simplified, concentrated content. Make sure the content on each slide focuses on the bottom line only. Rather than focusing on all of the information you have to share, focus on what you’d like the audience to take away.
3|APPEAL TO MEMORY
If the purpose of your presentation is to educate, here are some tricks to ensure your audience takes home your main points.
Repeat Strategically: Your listeners need to hear something 3 to 5 times before it is truly fixed in their memory. Planned repetition (as opposed to redundancy) of main ideas will drive your point home.
Build Connections: The average person can only hold about 5 to 9 pieces of unrelated information in their working memory. Avoid throwing a lot of information at the audience without creating connections between ideas. Tell the audience not only the "what," but also the "how" and "why."
Read more about appealing to memory.
4| DITCH THE BULLETS, USE A MORE INTERESTING VISUAL APPROACH
Bullet points are overused in slides. Using bullet points may imply to your audience that little effort was put into the display of information, even inferring that the bulleted information is unimportant. Help your presentation stand out by using simple but interesting visual approaches like icons, diagrams, or data expressions.
Read more about how to avoid bullets or how to arrange bullets differently.
5 | USE GRAPHS, NOT TABLES
When you display information in a table, you’re asking your audience to analyze and form conclusions from raw data. Instead, use a graph to make your conclusions immediately clear.
When choosing a graph type, make sure that the graph correctly expresses the conclusion. Some rules of thumb? Use line graphs to show changes over time; use 100% stacked bars to compare differing percentages of a whole; use pie charts to express a clearly dominant percentage in a set.
Read more about formatting simple graphs.
6 | USE RELATABLE IMAGERY – NOT STOCK
The stock image industry continues to produce posed and isolated imagery. Don't take the overabundance of these images as a sign that you should use them. Imagery on white backgrounds or photos that are obviously staged are difficult to relate to and can come across as phony or insincere. To make a memorable connection between the information and your audience, choose a real-life scene as a backdrop for your content.
Read more about picking the right image.
7 | ADHERE TO A TEMPLATE
When building your deck, stick to the main fonts, palette, and layouts provided. These elements are specially constructed to help users keep slides consistent and cohesive. Avoid using design elements that are not created specifically for the theme so that the slides will look more professional and polished.
We hope these tips help with your next physician presentation! Looking for more presentation guidance? Contact SlideRabbit to help you bring your presentation to the next level.
How do we know SlideRabbit does a great job? We enlisted them to help us out with ours. View a great sample presentation right here (and learn a little about EPAT from CuraMedix while you’re at it)!