Audience Engagement Group Best Practice for PPT Presentations

Below are some quick tips to help with power point presentations. Some are simple reminders but others are best practice. Whether you are an event professional or you’ve been asked to speak at an upcoming function – SOMEONE believes you have something important to say – make sure you’re prepared to give your best by connecting with your production team.

Reviewing media- PPT

For your next presentation-Send in your ppt deck early so it may be reviewed by the production staff prior to show-site. This will ensure that the material is presented the way it was intended. Even if you choose to change the content before you present, it gives your graphics team an idea of what to expect. There is a tempo (flow) to how one presents and your production team should pick up on it. If a production company says ‘no, just show up on show-site with it’, this is a red flag. An event production company should always have your best interests in mind.

PPT with Video

The best way to present a video through ppt, is not to. Videos can lock up your presentation. More often than not the media may not be imbedded correctly or is imbedded with old school technology, or worse the company selected to project your material has yet to install the latest updates on the presentation laptops. Your Production Producer should ask to separate the media. Your graphics and video team will be able to do this for you, and may even save your files so that you can present it either with /without.

Sensitive & Proprietary Presentations

If you have sensitive information, consider having the event producer sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). This should be understood, but it’s also a best practice. At times we also work with proprietary information or information that only can be driven by a presenter. Make sure you come in early enough to review the material correctly – even if you only have time during a break in the schedule. Our suggestion is to obtain a direct contact email/number of the producer so they can make the proper accommodations. In addition, when driving a ppt with your own computer, make sure you list the model number, though HDMI’s are standard now, we’ve had HDSDI, DVI, HDMI, and VGA but there are many ways to connect and view ppt’s. We suggest either traveling with your own connection or make sure they have one on site for you.


Make sure all timers are turned off on the presentation.

PPT Builds or Animation

Make sure these actually fit your presentation.

Plan B

Make sure you have your ppt slide presentation printed out. In the event that the day does not go a planned, ie. Power outage, projector problem etc, make sure you are able to continue forward. Your message with or without slides should have a similar outcome. We’d also like to point out that if one relies solely on their slides for a presentation, you may not present your material or connect with your audience – ie. The audience came to see you.

PPT Slides accessible to Attendees

As an Event Manager are you collecting all ppt media and posting it on-line later so that attendees can review? How is this being collected? How are the files being stored? Lastly, have you asked permission to post the presentations.

Note to Conference Personnel

If there are no rehearsals, make sure all presenters are trained before they hit the stage, and understand their mic, slide advance, speaker timer, where they enter from and location of the confidence monitors. Do you want the confidence monitor to display the presentation, the notes or both – with that, your production personnel should be on top of this, they should be a transparent extension of you.

Overall make sure you and your presenters are aware of how to operate the slide advance, and who is driving it. Some have fancy units that are not effective. If one has to navigate 12 buttons to advance a presentation forward – this will definitely stop the presentation. Even seasoned speakers get tripped up.

The standard projected format for many years has been 16:9. If media is created in another format such as 4:3 it could be project far smaller than intended. This would affect the presentation and your audience engagement. The recommended format for both ppt and video is 16×9.

If you have a conference template, make sure it is established in 16:9.

Look at the fonts, are they too small – do you have a lot of data to show? A lot of data on a screen shuts down an audience, simply because they cannot process the image and listen to you at the same time. If you do show data, reveal it as you progress forward.

You can ask your graphics team to convert to 16:9. Note that pictures and some others features may look stretched. By adjusting the ratio in ppt, these can be updated, again your production company can help you to navigate through to an updated version. Moving forward, make sure you obtain a copy of the new format, this way you have 2 options.

If you should need a check list sheet developed for your speakers, let your production company know. They can design a list of what to expect for those people who are arriving late to the event. As simple as this sounds, knowing the stage layout and av tools they will use, helps tremendously. Speakers engage with the audience more and interaction tends to be more eventful.

Lastly, ask your selected production company if they are providing backup graphics and playback pro computers. With backup graphics you can change ppt or switchover in the event things don’t go as planned or change content on a slide in a pinch.

We hope that these few points have been helpful. Should you like to learn more, please check back with us on Twitter #audienceengagement , LinkedIn Audience Engagement Group and our website

Audience Engagement Group

Cognitive Marketing – Exceptional Results
(281) 892-2383