How to create a presentation in under 30 minutes

You have left your presentation to the last minute – I mean the really last minute.

You’ve got to give a presentation in about an hour, which leaves you 30 minutes to put your presentation together. The remaining time is taken up with proofing, practising and then a few minutes to get yourself set up.

(Note to self: Next time, start earlier!)

So I’m going to help you with some shortcuts – we all love shortcuts. You’ll be able to churn out something fabulous in no time flat.

Tip Number One: Use the company template

Do you have one? No? Then if not, I suggest that you create one. I wrote a post awhile ago about Templates – they really are a lifesaver and they don’t have to be boring- HONEST!  (If you don’t want to do it yourself, then I’ll stick my hand up and say ‘pick me’.)
A template means you don’t have to worry about what it should look like, what needs to be included and how to lay it out.

Tip Number Two: Spend half your time on planning

Plan out what it is you need to say, and plan out in which order you’re going to say it.

I like the ‘Post It Note’ planning system. Get a bunch of Post-It notes and pretend that each one is a slide – scribble on it what you want to say. If it doesn’t fit, leave it out. In fact, it’s best if you use an image with a title (if needed) and single word or phrase. Now move those notes around and around until you get the right flow.
(I have an alternative planning method below if you don’t like this one.)

Now put them in the template.

Tip Number Three: It’s about you, not the slides

Scary thought huh? Your audience isn’t here to stare at the screen, they are here to listen to what you have to say. So make sure you’ve got a good story to tell. The more practice you have the better it will be. I talked last time about the what makes a good story but let me remind you.

  • A Beginning
  • A Middle (the guts of it all)
  • An End

It’s as simple as that.

So what if you don’t have a template and you don’t know what to say?

Tip Number Four: Let’s start from the beginning:

We’ll pretend that you have to create a 15-minute presentation, I still believe following Tips Two and Three above, will help you endlessly. But let’s break it down some more.

  • Create 12 blank slides.
  • The first slide is a title.
  • Make the last slide ‘Questions’ (a good way to drain the clock.)
  • The second slide is an ‘agenda’ of sorts – what you’re going to cover, or the question you’re going to answer.
  • The third slide is the ‘big picture’ points, the ones you want your audience to remember. You will refer to these points throughout your presentation. I suggest you put those points in again around slide 7 or 8 and one more time around slide 10 or 11. You want the audience to remember the material.
  • That leaves you six slides to fill with images, short phrases and the guts of the presentation.

Here’s the alternate method of presentation building if you don’t like the post-it note method. You can start by loading each slide with bullet points then print it off….. there’s a reason for that, I will reveal below. Once you have your head around the content of each slide, boil it down to a word, phrase or image and replace all those bullet points with this instead (make sure you print before replacing them though.)

How to find a good image? Think of the single word or phrase that describes the slide and bung that into Google and see what images pop up – are they free to use? Then you can use them, otherwise, search for something similar that is free to use. Load them into the slides.

Now, remember that printed version with all the bullet points? You can use that as your speaking notes. No one will ever know. Your audience will see the images and phrases and you use all those bullet points so you look super prepared. Win!

Now collapse and promise yourself that next time you will give yourself a day to put a presentation together not 30 minutes.

Do you think it’s really doable? A presentation created in 30 minutes?

Of course, if a 30-minute presentation is 30 minutes more than you have, our specialist team can design you an unbelievable template so you can just drop in your content … we’re talking 5 minutes now!  Simply contact us to get the ball rolling.