10 Presentation Tips for Engineers to Succeed in Presenting their Projects
Last updated on November 1st, 2022
Engineers prepare presentations for various purposes on changing occasions, whether for an exhibition, internal meeting, or customers. Preparing an engaging and compelling slide deck is not child’s play. It demands expertise, sweat, and considerable time to prepare. That is why it is necessary to prepare captivating and persuasive PowerPoint presentations for your projects. In this article, you will learn about the mistakes that engineers usually commit while presenting, and some actionable tips to make your next presentation a complete success.
Repeated mistakes during presentations
While delivering short or long presentations, one of the common mistakes that engineers usually make is making the slides too text-heavy. Regardless of the technicality of the topic of the presentation, its slides must serve the purpose of visual aid only. It should facilitate the presenter in delivering his speech in a way that makes it easier for him to deliver his message to the desired audience. Otherwise, lengthy and text-heavy presentations will eventually lose the listeners’ interest and you will not achieve your purpose effectively.
Another mistake that is commonly seen in presentations is the usage of unprofessional and small fonts which makes it very hard to read for the audience. The absence of a storytelling approach is also a repeated mistake by engineers while delivering their offers, ideas, and thoughts on their desired topics. To avoid these mistakes and possibly more, look at the 10 below-mentioned presentation tips for engineers to succeed in their projects.
10 Actionable Presentation Tips for Engineers to Succeed in their Projects
You can follow these 10 tips to succeed in your next PowerPoint Presentation related to any engineering project.
1. Make Slides that Contain Less Written Content
Try using visually appealing slides, with metaphors and graphics. Use text in simple bullet points and short lines only. As an engineer, you must have much to explain, but listeners usually get bored with the lengthy and complex text containing slides. Use simple and precise language while writing your text so that when a listener wishes to read the slide himself, he gets the point easily.
2. Use Slides as a Visual Aid Only
Your slides work as kind of short notes that you keep with you to get along during your speech or presentation. Don’t start narrating each and everything that is written on a slide. This will make the audience think that you may not have a sound grasp of the discussed topic.
Instead of doing this, try explaining bullets from your slides. If a slide contains a statistical infographic about any operational data, try explaining that infographic in detail to the listeners in easy language. For example, if you need to present the project Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities of your engineering project, you can use a visual SWOT slide to show this information. This will make your authority on the stage strong and your audience will also remain engaged throughout your speech.
3. Use Slide Master to Define the Presentation Layout
In PowerPoint, the Slide Master tool allows you to define and use all general slide characteristics like color, slide layout, font size, name, date, logo, etc., simultaneously. One of the striking features of Slide Master is that you can incorporate universal changes into your existing and future slides by altering the features in the tool.
4. Leverage an Eye-Catching Template for Your Slides
Your slides’ background is not always meant to be white. You can alter the color, and texture of slides per your requirements. Do you want to dive into the ocean of thousands of professionally crafted premade templates? You can use an engineering PowerPoint template to build up your presentation from a ready-made design or download other project management templates and engineering projects.
5. Use the Right Fonts in your Slides
Try using a clear-looking font format like Sans Serif font, Segoe UI, Open Sans or Arial as compared to fonts like Times New Roman. If the size of the presentation room is too big, this means that the distance between the presenter and listeners will also be greater. That is why it is recommended to use font sizes up to 24 or even 32 points for better visibility and clarity, especially when presenting in an auditorium but also when presenting online (when sometimes participants log in from their mobile devices with smaller screen sizes). Pay heed to the contrast of the text color and background color of your PowerPoint presentation. For example, if the text color is purple and the slide’s background is black, it will be hard for the listeners to read the text from the slide.
6. Incorporate Infographics, Pictures, and Other Visual Elements into Slides
It is a known fact that pictures are more engaging than contextual content. Use pictures wherever necessary to illustrate your complex engineering arguments and solution.
If you are trying to show a trend or rate of one quantity compared to another, try using graphs and data visualizations. Graphs are an exceptional tool to facilitate the listeners to reach a quick conclusion. You can also use tables, charts, infographics, and video presentations depending on your needs and requirements. Animating 3D Models is also a great way to captive the audience attention. See, for example, the 3D motor model being rotated below>
7. Use Storytelling Approach
If you want your message to be properly delivered to an audience, you must resonate with your listeners’ minds. For this purpose, you need to engage your audience with a storytelling approach through which you can share your engineering arguments, ideas, and concepts through personal experiences and stories that are more relatable to the listeners. Stories create excitement, and suspense and ultimately develop an interest in the listeners. This simple technique can easily win a crowd and achieve your purpose.
8. Control your Body Language During Presentations
Presentations are about more than just verbal communication. Here, non-verbal communication also matters a lot. Your body can also convey a strong message to the listeners if you know how to properly use your posture and gesture. Use facial expressions like smiling to engage your audience and make them comfortable with you. It would help if you stood upright while presenting as this shows you are confident. You do not need to be tense during your presentation otherwise you may start mumbling while speaking on the stage. Giving short pauses during your presentation is also a good thing; by doing this, you may give your audience some time to think about the ideas just discussed.
9. Maintain Eye Contact with Your Audience
Try maintaining eye contact while delivering your engineering presentation. It will help you engage and keep listeners attentive and responsive to your arguments, concepts, and ideas. Don’t stare at someone for too long as it can make him/her nervous. Look at a person for a while and then move your face toward another person. Start repeating this process on random listeners and try to cover the entire crowd.
10. Rehearse your Presentation
Practice makes a man perfect. Try making your engineering presentation a top-notch one by practicing it in front of a mirror, your friends, family members, and colleagues. This way, you will get valuable feedback about certain weak areas and loopholes in your presentation delivery method. With the passage of time, you will improve and be able to stand on the stage confidently, share your thoughts and arguments effectively and influence your listeners successfully.
Engineers keep preparing presentations for clients, exhibitions, internal meetings, or other purposes regularly. Preparing effective and engaging presentations is a tough task, and one may need proper guidance regarding preparing and delivering persuasive engineering presentations. By avoiding the aforementioned mistakes while developing a presentation, an engineer can easily make his slides worth noticing. Moreover, tips like making your slides less context-heavy, using slides as a visual aid only, using slide master, and incorporating tempting Free PowerPoint Templates, including graphs, charts, infographics, and more, can also make an engineer achieve success in his/her project. Additional tips like incorporating storytelling approaches into slides, maintaining eye contact with the audience, controlling your body language, and rehearsing your presentation consistently can also help you outshine your competitors.