Perfect Your Custom PowerPoint Design Delivery with Video Rehearsals

practice makes perfect PowerPoint

A custom PowerPoint design is the foundation of any big business presentation, but equally important is how well you deliver it. So, how can you guarantee that your delivery will wow your audience?

Design effective slides – yes. Know your material and practice – yes. But then you’ve got to be able to step back and see what you’re actually doing. You have to see your presentation the way your audience will. The best way to do this is to video yourself delivering your presentation as you will on the day.

Top athletes often video their practices or games to pinpoint where/when disconnects are occurring. “Baseball coaches can easily scrutinize a hitter’s recent plate appearances [on video], searching for flaws in his swing,” says Vern Gambetta, former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox.

Recording yourself is the best way to make sure that your custom PowerPoint design, your words and your delivery are all working together in the most effective way possible. You’ll likely be surprised by your first videos, because there is a huge difference between how we think we present and how we actually come across. And that’s exactly the point – better to see and hear elements that need to be improved before you step up to the plate.

Great Presentations, Like Great Presenters, Aren’t Born, They’re Made

Even Steve Jobs choreographed his presentations down to the last detail. One former product manager at Apple remembers preparing for one of Steve’s presentations: “The team and I spent hundreds of hours preparing for a segment that lasted about five minutes.”

When you set up to record yourself, try to replicate the scene as it will be on the day. Videoing in situ is best, but if you can’t get access to the room where the real presentation will take place, it’s fine to use your office, home or any available room. Then, record yourself using the same slides, tone of voice, gestures, movements, etc. that you will use for the real presentation. It’s even a good idea to practice wearing the same clothes you will be wearing on the day. Consider it your dress rehearsal.

What Tools Will You Need to Record Your Custom PowerPoint Design Presentation?

The best part is – you don’t need to involve anyone from your AV or IT departments to do this. In fact, it’s best to leave those guys out, as just their presence in the room is likely to stop you giving it your all in front of the camera. You most likely already own some of the easiest tools to record with – your smartphone or tablet.

Get yourself a simple tripod on Amazon (for as little as $5) and the whole thing will be a quick do-it-yourself exercise. Remember, the quality of the recording is not important here; you just have to see how you and your information look and sound.

iOS users can learn how to record using their iPhone or iPad by visiting the Apple website or by watching one of many handy videos – like this one – on YouTube. For Android users, here’s an easy guide to shooting video with your device. On all platforms, make sure you’ve chosen the video icon rather than the photo icon before you start.

Alternatively, you can use PowerPoint to record a screenshow with audio. This won’t show a picture of you presenting like a video would, but it will record your voice so you can hear how you sound and determine if your script fits with your custom PowerPoint design. Tutorials on how to do this for different versions of MS office are here: v2007, v2010 and v2013.

Once you’ve reviewed your performance and made any necessary improvements, record yourself again. Repeat as needed – until your delivery is as near to perfect as you can get. Invite a colleague or friend to watch a final version of your video with you – make it someone who will give you some honest input. Then make more changes if necessary.

This is your insurance for the day. Once you’re delivering like a pro, you’ll be able to handle any problems that may arise with confidence. So, lights, camera, action!

Coming Soon…

Next month, we’ll look at how to ensure success delivering your custom PowerPoint design presentation even when something goes wrong.

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