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Presentation attendance is important for keeping sharp and up to date on topics and techniques. With that in mind, I often attend seminars and presentations on a variety of topics, Barco Clickshare Client in South Africa from business development and consultancy to investing and asset management. Most recently, I attended a seminar from David Lerner and Associates on “Building and Protecting your Assets.” While this is clearly a sales seminar, looking to create a buying impulse, it also provided great information and food for thought. Mostly, however, I want to discuss the techniques used in the seminar, as I found it to be very well done.

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I will begin by saying that David Lerner is a very polished and entertaining speaker. His use of technology was well integrated with his manner of walking the room. Three video screens were used, Clickshare Wireless Presentation One large central screen and two smaller screens to allow the viewers at the peripheries to see the information clearly as well. On top of this, a wireless sound system was used to project the speaker’s voice effectively. The facility was a moderate sized convention center/ballroom, with a crowd that I would estimate at 600 people.

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Utilizing an array of speakers connected to a wireless receiver, and a handheld wireless microphone, every word was able to be heard clearly. Volume and clarity are both key factors for successful speakers. However, it was not so much the technical details which made this a good presentation, it was the presentation style. Mr. Lerner made several overtures to connect with the audience effectively. First, he was adept at using humor, which is often touted as a public speaking tool.

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I personally liked his references to Mel Brooks’ movies, as I am a huge fan of his work. Bringing the audience back to those references at points throughout the presentation also created memory points for the audience. This is a fantastic technique for getting an audience to remember key points, Barco Share Price without seeming like a pushy teacher. Mr. Lerner also connected with the audience by sharing details and experiences from his personal life. Humanizing yourself as a speaker should not be discounted; an audience is far more likely to “buy in” to a speaker’s pitch if they see him as one of their own rather than an outsider. Sharing stories that the audience can relate to is crucial, but a speaker must know the audience well enough to make this work. Both the humor and personal connection set the audience at ease and allow for a greater capacity to listen and accept what is being shared without a highly guarded affect.

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I don't need to tell you that PowerPoint and Apple's Keynote applications are probably your number one tool for presentations but be aware that what you see on your computer screen is not necessarily what you will see on a video or projection screen. Here are some important techniques and tips to consider when building your presentations for your next meeting, seminar or special event. Let your attendees get the most out of your hard work.

I have worked on countless programs that have used PowerPoint and Keynote as a major focal point for their sales meetings, award show celebrations and other events and I can't tell you how many times I've seen attendees struggle to see what they were invited there to see. Why loose your audience in the back of the room if you don't have to? One or more of them quite possibly could be your next company superstar but they missed your presentation because they simply couldn't see it and decided to play solitaire on their smart phone.

Lets add another layer to the necessity of reaching the attention of your attendees from the front row to the back row. With a phone or laptop, a wireless connection and a little social media at your attendee's fingertips, they may be posting in real time what a bore your presentation is. Not good. You can avoid much of this by following these guidelines when building your program for a projection screen in any venue or meeting space. You may have heard the phrase, "Presentation is everything." Never take this phrase for granted.

*Lets start with font / point size.

Here is a quick test you can try right now. Enter a sentence in your document in 6 different point sizes **(10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20). Then simply move 4 feet back from your monitor or laptop screen. Without straining or squinting your eyes, which is the smallest point size that is easiest or most comfortable to read? I'm going take a shot and say you chose a point size of 14 or 16. Keep your font size at 14 or higher and you will be on the money every time. If you can't see your text content at this distance, neither can your audience or attendees viewing it on a projection screen regardless of screen size. We call this The 4 Foot Rule. It's a good idea to have satellite plasma screens in exceptionally large venues but you really want to keep your guests focused on the action on your stage.

Understanding Negative Space

For many years I've had discussions with event planners in need of a solution for making very architecturally busy meeting spaces or pre-themed environments disappear and turning giant, daunting spaces into intimate environments with the use of lighting. Understanding the concept of negative space is the key and the same applies to your screen presentations. Direct your viewers eyes where you want them. White backgrounds with black text is not recommended. The white space overpowers your text. You want your presentation to be dynamic. You want to hold the viewers attention. Use dark backgrounds with high contrast text, put borders around your photos and don't clutter your slides. An image with a single line of text or a handful of bullet points is the most effective use of your slide real estate. It draws the viewers eyes to the exact content you want them to see without distractions.

Color

I'm going to cut to the chase here and say there are lots of web sites that discuss color schemes and the use of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colors but for now, lets focus on what works on a projection screen. Color theory and colorimetry may be a topic for another day here. Take note, what you see here, the color saturation and contrast is not what you will see on a projection screen. **See link below for color image of this chart.

  • Blue text will not work on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Cyan text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Green text will not work on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Yellow text will work well on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Orange text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
  • NEVER use red text on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Pink text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
  • White text will work best on dark or black backgrounds.
  • Here is one last secret for squint proof, easy on the eyes presentation. If you have an extensive program that you can't break up with images or you must have slides containing a paragraph of text, go to your color picker and use a very very light shade of gray.
Some very important additional tips.

  • Never use graphics that do not pertain to your message. The phrase "Less is more" in this respect is without a doubt, 100% true.
  • Stick to one font set in your presentation. Sans Serif fonts are best for projection screens as Serif fonts are meant to be used with more text (Like a paragraph or book).
  • Take a look at your favorite news program on TV and keep an eye out for how text is presented. Use it as a visual guideline. You will notice subtle movement such as swipes and fades, bulleted text and very minimal animation.
  • Use or create custom key slide / key frame backgrounds or background images. Stay away from using the backgrounds included with the software. Everyone on EARTH has seen them already.
  • Use the highest quality / resolution graphics and photos you can find. Don't acquire your images from the internet unless you know how to find high resolution images. Graphics and text decorations online are generally low resolution. Understanding some copyright law on using web images is a good idea as well.
Remember this:

Your presentation is not a stand alone document. If your slides are well crafted, your PowerPoint or Keynote document must require YOU, your narrative to have meaning. It is a tool to emphasize your key points, to add a bit of visual depth and possibly an emotional connection with your viewer to initiate action. It is a tool that ties a visual flow to your words, not the contrary. If it is more than this you have to much content on your screen. Put all of this together and you will have a successful presentation at your next event or meeting. Someone may even Tweet a nice comment about it back at the office.;-)

*The point sizes shown above will vary depending on your monitor or laptop screen resolution.

** See size and color reference.

Tips While Choosing a Meeting Room

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Wireless Microphone Systems are advantageous in a variety of applications. At times a full, integrated sound system may not be required, or may simply be unrealistic on a cost basis. It is important to consider the scope of your message and what resources will be needed to carry it effectively to your audience. Wireless options allow for flexibility in movement, layout and activity, while offering professional sound quality. They often allow for a smaller footprint and easier portability and storage between uses. Wireless microphones are often used in instruction, acting and, musical performances, as well as seminars and promotional demonstrations.

Types of Wireless Microphones

Some wireless mics are hand held. The transmitter is built into the body of the microphone in these designs. With the flip of a switch these mics can be activated or deactivated, providing for high ease of use. Such microphones offer some amplification for use with a small crowd. Many singers use this type of microphone when performing for small audiences. This type of microphone offers the ability to move around without being tethered to a base, but may also be used with standard microphone stands. It further offers the option of moving the microphone closer to or further from the mouth or sound source to allow for private conversation during a presentation. Lastly, this sort of device is ideal for audience participation, as the microphone can be passed around to different participants easily to facilitate question and answer sessions.

Another option is a body pack transmitter with a microphone. Transmitters are usually clipped in proximity to the microphone, in an area such as on the user's belt or a pocket. These devices come in a variety of styles and compact sizes. Choices of accompanying mic include headband style, over the ear style, or a microphone that attaches to your lapel or collar. The headband style is often used in active presentations, such as performances and athletic classes which require a great deal of movement. A lapel or collar style microphone is often used by lecturers or actors. This is a far less obtrusive and less noticeable option, which allows audience members to focus on the message rather than the sound system gear.

The body pack transmitter style microphone is designed for hands free presentation. This allows the presenter the freedom to use more options in delivering their message, like whiteboards, pointers, and props to enhance the presentation. For example, if you are demonstrating a process or product and you are constantly straining your vocal chords to be heard, a hands free transmitter/microphone might be ideal. To provide amplification to the sound from a musical instrument, some musicians attach a body pack transmitter directly to their instrument. This can enhance an acoustic instrument's sound without taking on an electronic aspect like an electric guitar or synthesizer might provide.

Where to Purchase your Wireless Microphone

Wireless microphone systems are widely available at retail sound dealers, often at reasonable costs. Many of these retailers do not carry professional portable sound systems, and are not familiar with higher quality sound delivery products. For those in need of amplification without concern for the quality of delivery, these stores offer reasonable options. Examples include small, informal gatherings, children's presentations or private parties. However, it is advantageous to consult with a reputable professional who specializes in the sound system business for professional presentations and activities. Reputable dealers can be found through a trusted friend's referral or through an internet search. Clarity of sound and amplification are equally important when purchasing a wireless microphone system as they are when exploring a full professional sound system. A professional sound dealer will be able to note the differences between the models, the transmitter types and the microphone options available, in order to deliver the system which will allow you to deliver your presentation material in the optimal manner.

With the wide availability of wireless sound delivery options, and reasonable costs, straining your voice is not a necessary part of carrying your message. Be heard clearly and easily with a wireless microphone system from a professional sound dealer today.

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