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How to Create a Successful Project Presentation
Written by: Unenabasi Ekeruke
You’ve spent time working on a project that could be a potential game-changer for your company or client. Now you’re buzzing to present it to your team, investors and other key stakeholders.
Creating and delivering project presentations can be nerve-racking and you probably have one question running through your mind.
How do you get the decision-makers to understand your project or secure their buy-in?
Considering that some companies have had about 12% of failed projects in the past year, you want to create presentations that are not only convincing but memorable.
With the right project presentation deck, you can win and keep your audience’s attention long enough to explain project details and why it’s sure to succeed.
Not sure how to create successful project presentations? We’ve got you covered.
This article will show you how to set project goals and create winning presentations that take your project to the next level.
Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit project presentation templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:
Let's get to it.
1 Set Goals for Your Project
Before you dive into the main details of your project presentation, you want to answer these questions:
- What is your project set out to achieve?
- Why is it important for you and your team to achieve your set goals?
- How do you plan to communicate your goals to your audience?
If you have to make long guesses before answering these questions, you’ve got a lot of work to do.
Here’s what you should know. Beautiful or well-articulated project presentations aren’t a substitute for project planning. Without clear goals, your project is already set up to fail. And your investors might think, “why bother listening?”
Many project managers tend to rush through the goal-setting phase, but we don't recommend this. That’s because you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Once you clearly define your project goals, you can get stakeholders to buy into them.
Now the question is, how do you set goals for your project and achieve them? One way to do that is by using the SMART goal setting method.
Setting SMART Project Goals
SMART is an acronym that stands for S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant and T ime-Bound.
SMART goals are a staple for planning and executing successful projects. It takes a deeper look into the finer details your audience care about, such as:
- Project plan and schedule,
- Project timelines,
- Potential roadblocks and more
For example, let's say your project aims to improve customer experience on web and mobile devices. Notice this example describes the end goal. But it doesn’t specify how you’ll work to enhance customer experience.
Here’s how using SMART goals provides direction for your planned project.
When setting your goals, be clear and specific about what you want to achieve in the end.
A specific goal could be: “We want to build a responsive website and mobile app for our company to improve customer experience. This project will require inputs from our product design, software and marketing department”.
During your presentation, you'd have to answer questions like:
- What metrics will you use to determine if you meet the goal?
- How will you know you’re on the right track?
Having metrics in place will help you evaluate your project. Plus, you’d be able to monitor progress and optimize your project to achieve better results.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a short-term or long-term project. Ensure you set metrics and milestones that count towards your goal.
From our earlier example, a measurable goal could be to have:
- Over 100,000 mobile app downloads on Google Playstore and Apple App Store.
- A 20% bounce rate on your website and a 15% conversion rate on mobile and web.
One of the most critical questions you want to ask during goal-setting is, “Can we achieve our set goal?” Do we have the resources to accomplish the goal within the available time frame?
If the answer is no, then you’d have to consider what it would take to achieve those goals. This may require adjusting your goals or the resources needed to achieve your goal.
Although it’s okay to be ambitious, you should also be realistic. For example, getting 200,000 app downloads in one week could be overly ambitious if you’ve just launched your app. However, if you set out to achieve that goal in three months, that could make your project practicable.
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Your project goals need to align with your broader business goals. Are your goals relevant to the growth and success of the company? Are they worth allocating resources for?
For instance, if your company is B2B and doesn’t plan to expand to the B2C market, launching an e-commerce website would be an irrelevant goal.
Regardless of your project type and size, you should set time frames. Setting target dates for deliverables creates a sense of urgency and motivates you to hit your goals.
From our example above, a time-bound goal could be “We aim to achieve 100,000 mobile app downloads and a 15% conversion rate by the end of the fiscal year. Our company will launch the mobile app by Q3 with a robust marketing campaign that will run through the end of next fiscal year.”
Setting SMART goals doesn’t have to be a challenging task. Use the template below to set project goals that position your business for success.
Communicate Project Goals to Your Team Members
After you've set your goals, your team will play a key role in helping you achieve them. So you ensure they understand these things:
- Why the project goals are in place
- What it's supposed to deliver for your business and customers
- How their role, team and department contributes to the success of the project
Unless you’re clear on this, the project can derail and move in all sorts of unwanted directions.
Rather than slam the goals you’ve set on your team, make it a collaborative effort. Spend time talking to your team and stakeholders about the project goals.
Don't limit your communication to people within your department. You can reach out to people in other departments like sales, operations, finance, etc., to see how well your goals align with theirs.
To give your team a better understanding, you can communicate your project goals in a variety of ways, including:
- Visuals (videos, images, charts, infographics, etc.)
- Verbal presentation
By doing that, you’re sure to get their valuable feedback, buy-in and commitment to the project. Plus, getting your team on board with your project plan will up your chances of successful execution.
2 Lay Out Your Project Plan
Once you’ve set your goals, the next big step is to outline how you'll achieve them. An excellent place to start is by organizing your project into an actionable plan and steps for execution.
You might wonder why this step is important for creating a successful project presentation.
Whether you’re planning a small or big project, writing a detailed plan, structure and layout puts everything into perspective. It eliminates vagueness and helps your audience grasp the project roadmap without missing the points.
Your project plan should contain the technical and non-technical project details. Therefore, you want to give yourself an edge by using a project presentation template that clearly explains all the activities and steps.
Not only that, your presentation structure should be simple and easy to follow.
Depending on the project type, your plan could include key details such as:
- The goals and objectives you've outlined earlier
- Your project scope, methodology and framework
- Project milestones, deliverable and acceptance criteria
- Project schedule and timelines
- Resources and budget estimates, etc.
There's no hard and fast rule for laying out your project plan. However, if you want to create a memorable plan that will keep your audience engaged, you could break it down into three parts, including:
- Conclusion and key takeaways
Your introduction should provide a brief overview of what you’re going to talk about and why it’s relevant to your audience. You could start by writing down the project name and the executive summary.
Think of your executive summary as an abridged version of the project plan.
If your audience read only your executive summary, would they have all the information they need about your project? If the answer is yes, your executive summary has served its purpose.
The length of your executive summary will depend on what you intend to cover in your project plan. However, we recommend keeping your executive summary one or two pages long.
You can include key information such as:
- Objectives of the project
- Key points of the project plan
- Results, conclusions and project recommendations
Keep in mind that not everyone will have the time to dive into the details of your project plan.
Having a snapshot of your project brings clarity to key stakeholders and collaborators. It also enables people who aren't actively involved in the project to understand it at a glance.
Ready to create your own presentation in minutes?
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- Customize colors, fonts and everything else
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The body of your project plan is where you have the full project details and everything relevant to its success.
Here you can break your project into deliverables, tasks, milestones and schedules (start and end dates).
Ensure you precisely define the resources you need to complete the project, including finances, team, time, technology, physical resources and more.
This is the part where you sum up your project plan with key takeaways. Your conclusion should include what you expect from your audience, including key action points and next steps.
Writing your intro, body and conclusion may sound like a lot of information. But instead of writing multiple pages of text, incorporating visuals can make your project presentations more effective.
By using images, videos, infographics and charts , you can capture all the vital information and help your audience understand your message better.
Visme presentation templates are effective for visualizing different sections of your project plan. They are professionally designed and easy for anyone to craft high-quality project plans that keep their team on track.
Use the project plan templates below to kickstart your project planning process.
3 Outline the Problem and Solution
You've just spent time crafting your project action plan. Now it’s time to communicate your project plan and goals with your audience.
Project presentations are a lot like sales pitches. Whether you’re presenting your project plan to clients or creating a pitch deck for investors, your job is to keep your audience hooked right from the start till the end.
One of the most potent ways of grabbing your audience's attention is by highlighting their pain points.
It’s not enough to have beautiful slides that showcase your amazing product features and project activities.
Make sure you set up your project presentation to:
- Outline your audience pain points
- Emphasize how your project, product or service works to address their pain points
- Explain how they’ll benefit from using your product or investing in your project
In a nutshell, your audience should have a clear insight into how your project makes their life better. When they’re clear on this, they’ll most likely listen to the solutions you bring to the table and take the desired action.
Don’t make sweeping assumptions about your audience.
If you’re looking to get them on board, dedicate a slide to discuss their problems and solutions. Make them understand how your project benefits them.
Not sure what your audience's pain points are? Go ahead and do these things:
- Run a persona survey or interview existing customers. This will help you build a data-driven user persona that you can use for all types of business and marketing decisions.
- Talk to your customer support and success team. They have close relationships with your customers, so they know their challenges and what they want. If they don’t know these things, do them a favor and create a customer success program .
- Interact with your community, ask for feedback and involvement. The more you engage with your consumers, the more you understand their challenges, work toward solving and get them invested in your brand.
- Keeping an eye on relevant social media trends, Twitter hashtags, Facebook trends
- Join relevant online forums like Quora, Reddit, Stack Exchange, etc.
4 Keep Your Presentation Slides Short
When creating project presentations, prioritize quality over quantity. Be sure to keep your slides short and simple. When you do this, your audience will be glad you value their time.
Remember, this isn’t the time to slam your audience with lengthy and irrelevant jargon. Instead, keep your slides on topics and hit the main points without the boring and unnecessary details.
Here’s why you need to keep your presentation brief:
- Concise presentation slides are not only powerful, but they are also memorable.
- Studies have shown that during project or business presentations, attention levels drop sharply after 30 minutes . By creating lengthy presentations, you risk losing your audience's attention halfway.
- Nobody wants to sit and watch you flip tons of slides for hours. With shorter slides, you can capture your audience's attention and get them to focus on the message.
- Most people might have limited time or have short attention spans. So they’d want to quickly digest information and move on to the next best thing.
How do you keep your project presentations short?
- If your slide doesn’t add value to your presentation, it shouldn’t earn a spot on your deck.
- Supercharge your slide deck with captivating visuals that capture more information
- Adopt proven methods for preparing your slide
For example, the 10/20/30 rule by Guy Kawasaki is one of the most popular methods used by experts. The rule recommends using ten slides for 20 minutes presentations (about two minutes per slide). It also specifies using a font size of at least 30 for text.
This will enable your audience to digest the messages on your screen while you’re talking.
Keep in mind that this isn’t an iron-clad rule for presentation. There are other rules such as Pecha Kucha method , Takahashi method, Lessig method, etc. You can adapt any of these rules to suit your project presentation needs.
5 Use Less Text and More Visuals
Another great way to keep your slides brief yet interesting is using less text and more visuals.
Remember, your slide should aid your verbal presentation and not replace it. So you want to avoid crowding too much information on one slide.
Cluttering your presentation with too much text could:
- Overwhelm your audiences and bore them
- Shift your audience's attention to the text, making your presentation less effective.
Instead, use one slide to present each idea. Marketing guru Seth Godin recommends no more than six words per slide .
People retain more information when it’s presented in bite-size chunks and visuals. This applies to B2B, B2C audiences, project managers and corporate executives.
About 59% of business executives say they’d rather watch a video about a topic than read about it. Hence the need to supercharge your project presentation with compelling visuals that capture and bring your audience’s attention right where you want it.
Steve Jobs’ MacWorld Keynote presentation in 2007 is an excellent example of how to enhance your presentation with compelling visuals.
During the presentation, Steve Jobs used live and interactive visuals to show how the iPhone 1 works.
Read on to learn more tips on creating engaging presentations that will wow your audience.
With Visme's presentation maker , you can make stunning project presentations with a rich blend of text and compelling visuals. Hook your audience and inspire action with stellar project presentation templates like the one below.
6 Use Quality Visuals, Diagrams and Presentation Aids
Visuals are important for making successful project presentations. Beyond grabbing the audience’s attention and keeping them engaged, viewers recall 95% of a message when presented in visual form. But when shared via text, they retain only about 10%.
There are many types of visual aids you can use in your presentations, including:
- Graphs and charts
- Heat and choropleth maps
- Scatter plots
- Screenshots and more
Using images and videos will up your chances of getting audience engagements and positive responses to your call-to-action (CTA).
Gantt charts , whiteboard drawings and mind maps are ideal for visualizing early-stage project designs. You can use charts, diagrams, maps and trees to present the project architecture for technology-related projects.
If you’re working on product development projects, consider adding sketches, flowcharts , models and prototypes to your slide.
Pie charts are excellent for showing percentages. Vertical bar charts indicate changes over time, while horizontal bar charts help you compare quantities.
Infographics are perfect for visualizing data and explaining complex information like market trends.
Here’s the interesting part. Visme has the tools you need for every job. The software allows you to add different visuals, infographics, charts and graphs to your deck and customize them to suit your needs.
You can change design, text and background colors, add or remove legends, animate charts, etc.
You can also use maps to represent geographic information. Or, use progress bars, thermometers, radials and widgets to visualize stats and figures as shown in the template below.
When adding visuals to your slide, don’t go overboard. Stick to a minimum of two images per slide. In addition, make sure your visuals are relevant to your project presentation.
While designing your presentation slides , always stick to high-quality visuals. Blurry or low-resolution images or videos can be a major turn-off for viewers.
With high-quality visuals, your presentations will be crisp and clear, even on large screens.
The slide below is an excellent example of how to power your presentations with compelling visuals.
7 Pay Attention to Design
Want to create impressive presentations that pop? If the answer is yes, you need to pay attention to your design details. Your design can make or break your project presentation.
Whether you are an experienced designer or a novice, design tools like Visme give you an edge. You can create compelling presentation designs for your business in a few minutes.
The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to break the bank to make stunning project presentations. You'll find beautiful ready-made templates and millions of stunning royalty-free images for your slides.
Here are tips you should consider while designing your slides.
Use the Right Color Combination
If you want to make your presentations appealing, use color moderately.
We get it; everyone loves color. But using too many colors can make your presentations look chaotic and unpleasant.
Your color choice can influence how your audience grasps and responds to your presentation. A general rule of thumb is to pick colors that evoke positive emotions in your audience.
For example, warm colors like yellow, orange and red convey feelings of excitement and positivity. On the other hand, cool colors (blue, green and violet) reflect an aura of calmness.
When combining colors, aim for a balanced color scheme. For example, if your slide or image background is dark, your text and design elements should have bright colors. This contrast will make your project presentation legible and visually appealing.
You can learn about color psychology and how to use it in your next presentation design by watching the video below.
Use Clear and Consistent Typography
Optimizing your typography can make a difference in how people perceive your message. So you want to make sure your slide looks organized, professional and sends the right message.
Here’s how you can make this happen:
- Use fonts that embody the spirit of your brand
- Keep your text styles consistent throughout your presentation. We recommend you stick to a maximum of three fonts.
- Avoid fancy fonts and tiny text that strain the reader's eyes. Rather use fonts like Arial, Time News Roman, Calibri and other legible fonts suited for small and large screens.
- Use a font size of at least 30 for the body text and 36 for titles.
In addition, remember to present your text using the color scheme we mentioned earlier. This will keep your text visible over your background.
Take a look at this slide from one of our presentation templates. Notice how the design, fonts and color combination blends in to make the visuals pop.
8 Start With a Presentation Template
Whether you’re a newbie or pro, creating project presentations that pack a punch can be time-consuming.
Let’s say you’ve got a deadline looming. You’d have to deal with writing your project outline, preparing your slide notes, designing your slides, sourcing and incorporating visuals and more.
Handling these things from scratch could slow you down or make your presentations untidy.
Using presentation templates could save you from all the stress. They help you make professional-looking project presentations fast and easy.
Since the slides are pre-designed, you’ll find a place to insert every possible piece of content you need. Be it a progress bar, chart, graph, table, video or image, the design is right there.
All you need to do is type your content, input data or insert the image. And boom, your presentation is ready to go.
In addition, using presentation templates offers brand consistency in terms of font, style, layout, colors and overall design. You can customize and share templates with your project team to keep your presentations uniform.
The title and main body slide, image and chart layout and fonts are set in the template. Therefore formatting your slide becomes a breeze—no more messy or cluttered project presentations.
Visme has a wide selection of templates designed to make your presentations shine. You’ll find millions of pixel-perfect graphics, icons, design elements and professionally designed templates for any purpose, industry and project type.
Regardless of your skill level, you can customize your templates like the one below. Just add your content and your project presentations will be ready in a few minutes.
9 Present Your Project Like a Pro
If you follow all the tips we shared above, you’ve probably got the perfect project presentation on paper. Great stuff, but your job isn’t done yet.
Your delivery is the final piece of the puzzle, and you’ve got to make it count.
Here’s the thing. Your presentation could flop if the delivery isn’t convincing. Hence the need to plan your delivery and drive your message across with passion and enthusiasm.
Here's how to deliver project presentations that leave an impact.
Practice Makes Perfect
Did you know that Steve Jobs used to spend two days prepping for presentations? Yes, you read that right.
Practice is one of the key steps to nailing your delivery.
You can practice by reading out loud in your quiet space. While you’re at it, make audio and video recordings and watch them repeatedly.
Ask your friends and colleagues to serve as a test audience and give feedback on your presentation.
This run-through will help ensure your presentation captures the main points within the allotted time. It will also help you maintain the correct body posture during your project presentation.
Make time to check if the equipment is working and get familiar with the settings and operations. This is especially important if you plan to use video or audio in your slides.
Start With a Strong Opening
Your audiences could have short attention spans, so make those first moments count. With solid openings, you can hook your audience and set the mood for a successful presentation.
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech at Stanford is an excellent example of having a solid opening. With over 4 million views on YouTube, it’s one of the most memorable and watched speeches in history.
Notice how he hooks the audience with powerful anecdotes about his life, beginning from dropping out of college. And then, he goes on to share the lessons he learned in his early days at Apple, losing his job in 1985 and reflections on death.
Here’s how to make an excellent opening speech that grabs the audience’s attention and convinces them you’re worth listening to:
- Ask a question
- Tell a compelling story
- Share mind-blowing facts and statistics
- Show captivating video and visuals that spark curiosity
- Open your presentation with humor
Be sure to tailor your opening hook to your audience. To make this effective, it’d help to know about your audiences, including their likes, dislikes, cultural and ethical dispositions, etc.
If you want to learn more about making captivating presentation openings and more, read our guide on starting a presentation .
While presenting your project, focus on your audience’s needs. By doing this, you’ll build an emotional connection and drive action.
However, don’t go overboard. Be genuine and focus on getting the points across to them. This way, you’ll gain their trust and build excitement about your project.
Keep in mind that everything may not go as planned. It’s best to have backup materials and be flexible enough to make necessary adjustments. Preparing for unexpected events will give you more control over them.
End Your Presentation on a High Note
After you've delivered a fantastic presentation, make sure you wrap it up in a memorable way. Doing this will leave a lasting impression and nudge your audiences to take action.
One way to end your project presentation is to use a powerful call to action.
You can also tell memorable stories, summarize the main points and highlight compelling figures about the project.
For example you can mention some really intriguing figures like:
- Expected growth rate, return on investment and profit margin
- Potential company valuation in the next five to ten years.
- Projected earnings and market position etc.
The goal is to hype your audiences and stimulate them to take action.
You can check out our other article to learn more about ending your presentation on a great note.
Get To Work: Create Powerful Project Presentations With Visme
Creating a successful project presentation starts with setting your goals and having a clear plan to achieve them. It also requires crafting compelling content, paying attention to design and excellent delivery.
If you’re going to close those deals, you need a solid pitch deck to explain your project details and why it will succeed. We recommend using an intuitive project presentation software like Visme .
Visme is the perfect design tool for creating stunning and engaging project presentations . With Visme, you’ll have access to a wide range of features and tools to help bring your project ideas to life.
The tool has hundreds of presentation templates, design elements, font styles, built-in stock images and videos, data visualization tools and more to make your project presentation a hit. You can download your design in different formats and share it across multiple social media channels.
Now you have all the tips and tools for nailing your next project presentations. Go ahead and make it memorable with Visme's project presentation software.
Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.
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About the Author
Unenabasi is a content expert with many years of experience in digital marketing, business development, and strategy. He loves to help brands tell stories that drive engagement, growth, and competitive advantage. He’s adept at creating compelling content on lifestyle, marketing, business, e-commerce, and technology. When he’s not taking the content world by storm, Unenabasi enjoys playing or watching soccer.
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How to present a project? Ultimate Guide
Project success belongs to the way you adapt to present it. If you present your project in an effective way that you grab the intention of your client and take him/her to an agreement but if you create blunders and skip important points that you need to discuss while presenting your project .
Before you present your project, you should have a detailed meeting with your team to get their views about the presentation. You can acquire the client easily if you don’t lose confidence. If it is your first time, you are sweating due to nervousness and trembling with fear of being judged.
A complete guide on how to present a project?
Do not get panic and be confident about the content and visuals you have prepared to present your project. You should have command of all the information about your project and you should also know each word you have included in your presentation so that you can explain it deliberately and confidently. You should follow some important steps to present your project:
First of all, know the goals of your project
You should know the goals of the project you are doing as a project manager or being an owner of the project. First, you should discuss the project and fix its goals by having a warm call-up meeting with your team-mates and the owner of the company or the client for whom you are doing the project. This is important when it comes to how to present a project.
Goal setting and owning are most important to make a project successful. This is the winning spot you set to win the race. If you do not do this it means you do not have directions where you will go and your all efforts are useless.
Explain the goal of your project
After setting the goals, you need to convince the audience by sharing the goals of your project in a way that they could make a better understanding of it. You can explain your project by
- Verbally presentation
If you explain the goals very well, you have done half of the work.
Organize the steps on a paper to present your project
After setting and explaining the goals of your project you need to convince the audience or your client by explaining the ways to achieve these goals that seem. For that purpose, you should prepare well. You should make a layout of your presentation in which all the steps are organized and explained.
This will provide you backbone support in presenting the project in an organized and ordered way. This organization will help you remember all key points and give you confidence about what you are saying you know its meaning.
Prepare a rough sketch of words you are going to speak
It is just like writing a speech. The delivery of words plays an important role in convincing the audience. If you know playing the game of words well you will easily take the audience to your platform. Therefore, before speaking in front of a crowd keeping in mind that you will be judged based on the words you deliver.
So, prepare for speaking and know the meaning of every word you have included in. this can prove your strength or your weakness. It all depends on your preparation.
A healthy discussion with your team
When you work with your team, the pressure of work is minimized and the moral support of your team also encourages you to give your best. While presenting your project, make your team ready to collaborate with you, like you can divide the presentation into chunks and share with your team members asking them to explain that specific part.
Team collaboration encourages success step-wise with the best quality in a short time as the work is divided and you are not burdened. Have trust in your team and get unique ideas by having a healthy discussion with them. Show value to others' ideas by considering and appreciating them.
Prepare your team-mate on standby if there appears a need to get their services during presenting the project. They provide you support to answer some critical questions asked by the client if you have pre-planned with your team members. You should keep this in mind when you are talking about how to present a project.
Prepare a presentation on PowerPoint
Another effective way to present the project is to put your ideas on the slides and mention the most important content about them. You can use the images to clarify the concept of your presentation and its purpose as the images also describe the stories behind them. The images you use for visual description should be very clear and easy to understand.
There are several tools in a presentation that can help you to present your project in the form of image illustration. You can play these slides automatically by setting the time duration. Do practice over these slides after fixing the duration for playing the.
You can present your project not only in the form of words or images but also by videos or making graphics. The message you want to convey should not be lengthy or complicated. It should be simple and perfectly visible. Video audio presentation can be of more advantage in this regard.
Create some humor for the audience
If you talk a lot and change slides after slides, this will cause boredom among the audience. Here you need to engage the audience while conveying your serious message in such a way that it seems entertaining. You can relate the bullet points or image with funny day-to-day activities to create humor or you can also add some funny pictures or illusions to make fun of during heavy serious discussion.
You will indirectly and silently decently engage the audience. If you do so you will not feel the need to ask or make a request to the people to listen to you. They will do so willingly. This is an art, if you know how to do it without realizing the audience you are doing this intentionally, you are a successful speaker.
In this way you will easily grab the attention of the client of your audience, they will love to listen and understand you, and even they will wait and expect for the next bouncer from your side.
Adopt a confident body language
It is human nature that we feel hesitant when we address a crowd who is sitting to judge you and ready to argue with you when it is your first time. But slowly you will learn to deal with such a situation.
No matter, if you are a beginner, you do not need to get worried. Just stay confident that you have prepared your presentation and practiced as well and you can answer every query raised by the audience.
Focus on your body language; avoid doing the things that reveal your nervousness like pressing your hands, playing with a pen by producing a sound of tick-tock. It looks so odd and leaves a bad impression on your audience.
Make sure you have presented all the aspects
Keep a checklist with you on paper or a computer slide and check with it either you have explained important parts of your project, your client must know about them or one of them is left by mistake. If it is left, it is ok, make a turn and explain it in a way that it seems you did not explain it before to maintain the surprising effect of your project.
I will say it again that practice is the key to making your project presentation successful and completed within the expected or allocated time limit. It is important when you come up with the question how to present a project.
Answer the relevant questions
When you present your project, there will raise many questions among the audience that are mostly related to the project type but some of them will ask such questions just to confuse you or let your morals down. Here, you need to play the mind game, do not let these questions disturb you but answer them with patience whether you know the answer or not.
If you do not answer, simply tell them you do not know about it, but want to know and ask for an explanation in the sense to add up your knowledge. If these questions are shits just to disturb you, they will not be thrown towards you next time.
Wrap up with a project
After discussing every aspect of the project with the client in detail, answering the queries, and getting the suggestions, you need to end the session by wrapping up the project presentation in the form of a summary and giving a short review. In this way, all important parts of the projects will be recalled and finalized.
If you are new to project management and do not know how to present a project to your client or the crowd of the audience, please do not be worried and panic at all. It is not a big deal. You can do it by maintaining your confidence level, organizing the order of steps you are going to discuss, do practice and be tricky on grabbing the attention of the audience.
Want to discover more?
10 Ways to Improve Your Project Presentations
- Minute Read
As a project manager, you will sometimes be asked to make presentations to a board, to a senior leader team, an external vendor, or to your organization. Here are opportunities to help your stakeholders understand your projects. With every presentation, you can try new things and learn to improve your presentations.
Improve Your Presentations
1. plan your presentations..
Want to present more effectively? Create your presentation with a good structure. The structure will help you with recall and more importantly, will help your audience follow your presentation. Here’s a simple but effective structure:
- Introduction. Present the big idea. What is the major challenge or opportunity you want to see your audience to think about?
- Body. Give your audience three practical action steps to achieve the big idea.
- Conclusion. Restate the big idea and summarize the action steps.
Not complicated, huh? That’s the idea–keep your structure simple.
2. Arrive early.
It is a good practice to arrive early at the location of your presentation. Make sure everything has been set up as you’ve requested. Check out the equipment to make sure that things such as your microphone, PowerPoint, remote, and projector are working properly.
3. Keep the focus on you (not your slides).
When presenting, keep the focus on you, not your slides. Many presenters make the mistake of putting too much text on their slides. The audience spends more time reading the slides than making eye contact with you–the presenter. If you know the room will be dimly lit, see if you can get a light directed toward you.
4. Use an outline (not a script).
If you want to connect better with your audience, use a conversational style. Presenters who read their presentations seem a bit stilted (okay boring). Try using an outline for the majority of your presentation rather than a script. It’s fine to read quotes and book excerpts to illustrate a point.
5. Practice the presentation.
It amazes me how many people never practice their presentations. Just because you’ve developed your slides and your outline does not mean you are prepared to give a killer presentation. Walk through the presentation—talk it out—get comfortable with the delivery. Think about the speed, the tone, and the parts you wish to emphasize.
6. Make eye contact.
Remember—use a conversational style. Look into the audience and make sustained, focused eye contact with individuals for brief periods of time. How long? Three to five seconds. This one habit can transform your audiences into engaged participants.
7. Use visuals.
One of the most powerful presentations I’ve ever seen was about fifteen years ago. I will never forget it. The presenter used humorous clips from the Road Runner Cartoons to illustrate risk management principles. She also had supporting visuals—play-like Acme rockets and stuffed animal characters. She could have simply told the Road Runner stories, but the visuals made the presentation more engaging and memorable.
8. Keep your slides simple.
Over time, I’ve shifted from text-based slides to slides comprised of images with little text. My aim is to keep the audience engaged with me, the presenter. The slides supplement what I’m saying (not the other way around).
When I create slides with bullets and text, I keep each line short—no text wrapping. I also limit the number of bullets to no more than seven.
Click here for more tips from TEDBlog.
9. Use stories and analogies.
Give people numbers and statistics and you quickly lose your audience. Alternatively, tell stories to engage your participants. Individuals can see themselves in the fabric of your stories. Stories give context and allow people to extrapolate the relevant meaning for their personal application. Furthermore, people remember stories much better than numbers and boring facts.
10. Provide a copy of your presentation.
Shortly into my presentation, I say to my audience, “Hey, at the end of this presentation, I will tell you how you can get a handout containing the key points of today’s presentation.”
Keep in mind, my slides are mostly images (not notes). Therefore, I create a separate handout with the details. At the end of the presentation, I either have copies that participants can pick up or I provide a URL where they can download the handout from my DropBox .
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Uncovering the benefits of clear risk statements, how to improve your project communication.
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How to Give a Stunning Project Presentation
April 3, 2019 by Bernie Roseke, P.Eng., PMP 2 Comments
Many projects require a presentation, whether at the beginning, end, or somewhere in the middle. Sometimes it is given to the managers or executives, sometimes to the project team , and sometimes to stakeholders who have a specific interest in the project.
Project presentations can be very nerve racking and difficult for many people, but that doesn’t mean they have to be difficult. With practice and some basic guiding principles, you can give a stunning project presentation that will knock their socks off. I’ve given many project presentations, and I’m going to share my secrets with you.
Present the Problem and Solution
- Repeat the main point 3 times
- Include an analogy or story
- Keep slides short
- Include pictures and Diagrams
- Connect with the audience
Many audience members assume that you know what you’re talking about, and most of the time you do. But somehow, if the presenter doesn’t include the topic of the presentation directly, the audience doesn’t want to decide what it is for themselves.
It’s similar to a sales pitch in that it’s the presenter’s job to keep the audience engaged. If you wish to maximize the communication of the message, you need to state it directly.
Include an Analogy or Story
- An analogy is a comparison to a similar real life thing, for example, This product works like a rocket ship taking off to the moon. It takes a bit of preparation time which might seem a bit daunting at times only to have a very quick experience that over relatively quickly, but the experience is worth every second in the end. I’ve become a true believer in the immense power of analogy. Analogies engage audiences in milliseconds and give them something to remember the presentation by. I’ve incorporated analogies in my writing at every opportunity, and the results have been truly amazing. Many project presentations come in groups, that is, they are one out of many. In this case, the presentation with an analogy is the one that will be remembered by the audience.
- A story is an experience that relates to the topic being presented, for example, Last year I had the privilege of working with sick kids at the hospital. These kids needed life saving medical care, and the doctors were fantastic. It made me realize that this product really has the potential to impact people, and maybe even save lives. A story is a personal experience, either yours or somebody else’s. They work just like an analogy by engaging the audience and giving them something to remember the project by. But they have the potential to drag on when the audience starts to feel like it’s not about them. The key to pulling off a successful story is to keep it short and relevant. If the audience can’t connect it to the project, they will lose interest.
Ideas for analogies are surprisingly easy to find with internet searches. Personal story ideas require brainstorming and thinking about the relationship between the topic and real world experiences.
Repeat the Main Point 3 Times
- Tell them what you’re going to say
- Tell them what you just said
In most presentations, this takes the form of an introduction, main body, and conclusion. But all three parts need to spell out the main point in a prominent place, clearly and succinctly. You want to make sure the audience doesn’t need to think, that people can be daydreaming about what they’re going to be doing that evening but they’ll perk up and get hit with a short but prominent main conclusion that they won’t forget.
In most presentations, audiences are not in a position where they want to exercise their thought muscles. Similar to a sales presentation, they don’t want to think for themselves, they figure it’s the presenters job to tell them what to think. Hence, they forget what they are told very quickly.
Speaking of which, did you notice the analogy? I’ll bet that if you remember nothing else from this article, you’ll remember that the audience doesn’t want to exercise their thought muscles.
Keep Slides Short
Many presentations contain long winded verbiage that requires long form reading while the presenter is talking. I see this time and time again in presentations that I attend, and I’ve even done this myself when it seemed like there was no other way to get the point across. But in hindsight this is a waste of good presentation time. Nobody is going to read long paragraphs. In fact, nobody is going to read long sentences either.
The idea is simple. When writing presentation slides, keep bullet points under two lines of text. Any more and it should be said verbally or placed into the next bullet.
Include Pictures and Diagrams
This idea is self explanatory. Make sure no more than about half of the presentation slides contain only written words.
Connect with the Audience
The previous 5 bullets contained advice for good presentation slides and planning, but what are some ideas to deliver the presentation in a stunning way?
There are a few secrets, but the key to all of them is connecting with the audience.
Remember first that the audience wants to hear your presentation. They wouldn’t be there if they didn’t. However, most people don’t have the attention span to stay engaged for an entire presentation unless they have a very high interest in the subject matter. They will move in and out of attention, remembering only the most interesting (not necessarily important) parts.
Here are a few pointers:
- Use Outline notes Don’t read from a script. Although it is permissible to read for some of the time, extensive reading from a written script disconnects from the audience and loses the message because people stop listening.
- Talk to one person I’ve found it helpful to pick one person in the audience and deliver the presentation to them. Don’t look only at them, of course, but let it sink in that you are not so much talking to a larger audience as you are giving many presentations to individual people, simultaneously.
- Don’t let down the most interested person in the audience Here’s another tip I’ve used in my presentations as well as my musical performances. There’s guaranteed to be at least one person in the audience who loves what you’re saying and wants to learn all about it. So wouldn’t it be a huge disappointment if you let them down? Let all your presentation anxiety submit to the desire to make sure that that one person who really wants to know your information isn’t disappointed. I mean, why are you even talking to everyone else, that doesn’t care, anyway?
Those are my secrets for stunning presentations! Let me know how it goes and what other tips you have in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!
About Bernie Roseke, P.Eng., PMP
Bernie Roseke, P.Eng., PMP, is the president of Roseke Engineering . As a bridge engineer and project manager, he manages projects ranging from small, local bridges to multi-million dollar projects. He is also the technical brains behind ProjectEngineer , the online project management system for engineers. He is a licensed professional engineer, certified project manager, and six sigma black belt. He lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, with his wife and two kids.
Awesome post! I instantly shared this with my presentation writing service and they found your content quite in-depth and informative. Do share some similar knowledgeable content in the near future. Cheers!
Brilliant and effective tips! Your tips are very effective and I am going to make use of every tip spelled out here. Thanks for the knowledge and I pray that you share more of such with the public.
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5 ideas to make your project presentation more successful
- Digital Factory & Factory Design
- Jan Schiller
- last updated: 18. January 2023
You are probably familiar with this situation: You have invested many hours in your project presentation slides. Your idea for a solution is mature. Now you are sitting in a deadlocked meeting and after endless discussion the decision is postponed.
As is often the case, how well a proposed solution is received by your audience depends to a large extent on communication. Because communication problems slow down many industrial projects. A lack of transparency can be a major cause. Be transparent and you are understood. If you are understood you are accepted by your audience. Practitioners and authors in communication theory call this connection the basic law of communication:
True is not what A says. True is what B understands.
But how do you understand the complex issues and considerations that shape projects in factory planning? We want to show 5 ideas that will help you to give your work the recognition you need. For example in project presentations, meetings or workshops.
Idea 1: Use previously unused data
Data is content and is the raw material of our digital age. It is only through the analysis and linking of data that these raw materials become information and a knowledge advantage for yourself, the team and the company. So look for previously unused data or create new relationships between contents. Possible data sources are existing IT systems (ERP, PPS, MES, logistics control center, etc.), work plans or CAD plans. Sometimes the data is also slumbering outside the company, e.g. the building floor plan for the architect.
So unlock that untapped data and make it meaningful content to your work to support your project presentation.
Practical tip: Linking the CAD floor plan and processes (material flow data) creates completely new communication options within your project presentation. You determine the data by tracking transports through a material flow analysis.
This illustrates not only material flow intensities, but also the distances they have to cover. You create a transparent presentation of the material routings and the associated transport effort for your audience. With this key figure, you can find answers to the question of the “right” arrangement of manufacturing, assembly, logistics or storage areas in the factory. This is crucial information to move forward in a planning project. It also creates a fundamental understanding in presentations with your audience or team members. This can be PowerPoint slides or even the presentation directly in a software.
Idea 2: Don’t trust your intuition only
First of all, the concept of intuition is not about higher inspiration or the seventh sense. Rather, it is about a human sense that is commonly referred to as gut feeling. This consists largely of experience, acquired specialist knowledge, creativity and imagination. All helpful characteristics with which you can develop successful solutions to the given planning tasks and which your employer would like you to have.
The gut feeling can also meet you as a challenger. Namely when it is not your own. In a project meeting it quickly becomes clear that intuition is difficult to compare or argue with. And decision-makers in particular usually rely on key figures and proven data in a presentation.
Make yourself aware of this and acquire additional objective information for your planning solution. Integrate it in your PowerPoint presentation or in the planned course or your slides. In the project presentation you can then react safely to any questions and explain in black and white why you have chosen this solution.
Suggestions for objective KPIs
- Space requirement
- Investment costs for new equipment
- Conversion costs
- Logistics effort
So couldn’t you design the presentation completely on the basis of objective key figures?
No, because in industrial engineering in particular (fortunately) not all influencing variables can be fully recorded and described. This would also mean that human mind could be eliminated from decision-making processes.
Practical tip : Variant planning with benefit analysis
Variants arise almost inevitably during the planning process. They arise with authoritative decisions that drive the project in different directions (e.g., manual assembly vs. automation). Variants accomplish two practical things in a presentation:
- they convey to other participants the possible paths to the solution
- they promote the joy of decision-making by narrowing down the solution space in a meaningful way
With a subsequent cost-utility analysis , you put different key figures in relation and thus offer an evaluation for the different variants. In summary, this means for your presentation: Intuition is in the variants and the utility value analysis provides an objective view.
Idea 3: Get ready for decision-making processes
We want to inspire you to study the social and psychological foundations of communication. Make yourself aware that these skills (so-called social skills) are just as important as technical skills for the success of a project presentation.
A study by the management consultancy McKinsey has shown that 70 percent of change initiatives in companies do not achieve their goals, which is largely due to resistance from employees and the lack of support from management (decision-makers).
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” Economist John Maynard Keynes
Changes in production, assembly, logistics or storage areas within the factory are the subject of countless discussions in planning projects. Hardly anyone has no opinion on this. At latest in their own area, the pulse of many participants is rising. Different perspectives and conflicting goals shape the picture. Communication is a key success factor. This applies not only to communication in planning teams, but also to the presentation of solutions to those affected.
So what does good communication look like in a project presentation?
- Make sure everyone involved understands the need for change . If there are no compelling reasons, it is difficult to drive change.
- Make potential visible and then make a joint decision for change. The need for action must be clear to everyone.
- Early participation in discussion and planning reinforces the sense of a common idea. By having a common goal , collaboration succeeds, especially when problems arise.
- How the solution came about is often more important to outsiders than the solution itself. According to the motto: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey .
- Have a clear understanding of your company’s goals and values. This will help you to understand decision makers and align your own communication .
Idea 4: Use early 3D visualization
Especially at the beginning of a project, the effort for a 3D visualization does not seem justified. The classic approach is as follows: At the kick-off meeting for the project, the manager invites one of his investors, his architect, his planner (you) and the production manager. Everybody is motivated and excited about the manager’s idea to expand the factory.
The manager presents the 2D-CAD drawing and tries to explain his thoughts. According to his ideas, the planned extension contains a new production area, a new storage area and a new break room. Unfortunately, the invitees can’t really interpret the CAD plan very well. This is because 2D drawings are highly abstracted compared to reality. In the end, everyone has understood the plan differently and leaves the meeting. In the worst case, people are now working in different directions. A lot of time is wasted and the project is delayed. Followed by frustration and demotivation.
The advantages of 3D visualization can be easily derived from this example. Planning in 3D leads to a significantly higher transparency for all parties involved and thus to a higher planning quality. Cultural, linguistic and technical barriers are irrelevant. The language of the 3D model is universal. Experience shows that if a 3D model is used early on in a project, it is much easier for everyone to develop a common understanding. There are fewer misunderstandings, it saves a lot of time and money and everyone stays motivated.
Certainly one of the easiest ways is to use 3D screenshots from a software in a PowerPoint or Google slide. However, as soon as a question like the following arises: “And what is there behind the cold store?” a static view or slide is no longer sufficient.
Interactive 3D visualization
Even though materialflow plays a very important role for factory planners, its modeling and interpretation is usually reserved for a circle of experts involved in a planning project and not for the entire audience. Use Immersion effects for communication across the board. This refers to the immersion of an observer in a virtual model. For example, a realistic 3D visualization alone can contribute enormously to the understanding of a planning status. Walking through a three-dimensional production hall on a large screen creates acceptance. Virtually walk-through 3D scenes are already expected as a minimum level of immersion.
The 3D visualization should be interactivly. Turning a container or moving a workbench makes the experience of the planning solution even more transparent. In addition, you can react on practical questions spontaneously in the project presentation:
“How do we actually get the new machine into the hall? Will it fit through gate 1 or do we have to enter through the large hall gate at the back? Then we may have to dismantle this and that before the move.”
Quickly lifting the machine by 20 cm and thus manipulating its relocation path with a finger, quickly setting a marker in the layout at critical points – this and similar examples show how interactive 3D visualization can make communication more effective during a project presentation.
Slides are fine and of course needed, but with an interactive 3D presentation, a dull presentation can turn into an interactive workshop with a lively exchange of ideas among participants. Your audience will thank you.
Idea 5: Check your tools – PowerPoint & Excel spreadsheet, the perfect tools for your project presentation? – No.
In most companies, investing in one or more tools is not a one-time decision. In most cases, the purchase evolves historically as the company grows. For example, many companies own multiple tools from different vendors.
General software such as PowerPoint or Excel are nearly ubiquitous. For example, a spreadsheet is ideal for collecting and summarizing data. However, when it comes to converting these spreadsheets into understandable graphics for a project presentation, one quickly reaches the limits. In addition, it becomes clear time and again that there are serious deficits with regard to simple and fast operation.
Modern software can do that better. Take a critical look at your toolbox. Learn how to find the right software for your tasks in this blog article:
Utility analysis for the selection of planning software
But also among the planning specialists there are specializations due to the complexity of the different planning tools. There are specialists in the field of simulation among production system planners, while others are specialists in the CAD field. Hardly any user is able to use all tools in the planning process using the technical possibilities (simulation, CAD, VR, …).
Modern software tools have solved this problem with a user-friendly design. They are easy and intuitive to use without the need for special and usually long and expensive training.
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How to Present a Project
Presenting a project requires studying dozens of sources, from books and lectures to innovative methodologies. How to present a project so that your team members, stakeholders, executives, or clients say “wow!”?
It can be a challenge. But there is nothing impossible for managers who consider a project timeline presentation a part of their daily job.
Project success directly depends on its presentation. According to the latest research , effective presentations are 38% of your voice, 55% non-verbal communication, and only 7% your content. If you do it thoroughly, you have many chances to grab your audience’s attention and take them to an agreement.
Below you’ll find reliable tips on how to present a timeline of your project following some consistent steps. You’ll also discover some creative ways to create a project presentation using online Gantt charts. Let’s dive in!
- Steps for presenting a project .
- Best ways to present a project .
- Presenting projects with GanttPRO .
18 steps for presenting a project
Sometimes a project presentation is a nerve-racking activity. However, it doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. You can prepare a creative project presentation that will open many doors following essential guiding principles and practices.
Here we recommend 18 simple steps for presenting your high-level plan with all project tasks, dependencies , project milestones , attachments, comments, and other attributes. You may use them while presenting your masterpiece to clients, managers, executives, your team, or the stakeholders who have a specific interest in your project.
Let’s figure them out starting with the foundation of all activities in the project management world – setting goals.
1. Formulate your project goals
Before you start finding the answer to the question “ how to create a project plan ,” communicate the goals of your project. When you hold a presentation, you should define what effect you would like to reach beforehand. Discuss all necessary details and fix the goals by arranging a call-up meeting with your team members and the product owner. If you do not do this, you will not have the direction to go, and your efforts will be useless.
Project goals can be trivially similar, but a business college presentation will be differently built than a pitch by a construction project manager. You can explain the goals of your project verbally, with the help of visuals, models, special documentation, or can create a project timeline.
In some cases, you will have to share information clearly and, in other cases, present a more emotional overview. Anyway, make sure you set clear and achievable goals while you prepare your project.
2. Set priorities
After determining the goals, give priority to specific tasks within your project. It is crucial to communicate with the managers from different departments, such as marketing, customer support, sales, etc. Discuss their priorities and decide together how these priorities fit into the general strategic goals.
3. Know your target audience
Considering relationships between yourself and your audience will help you define what points are critical to them and what can be left out. Knowing your audience will also help you determine how to present your ideas more effectively.
Pay special attention to how many people you’ll present your thoughts to. Talking to ten people is a conversation. Getting up in front of a group of twenty is already a speech. When you talk to more individuals, it’s a full-fledged performance.
When you know your goals and the audience, ask yourself, “What do these people care about?”
Your presentation will probably cover many project management metrics . Make sure you have your technical and financial info available. Try to compile your research into one place. Even simple word docs and timelines will help you organize your findings and research.
Or use a helpful online Gantt chart maker to help identify project progression, set all necessary dates, assign tasks, and consider risk points.
5. Survey your audience’s opinion
By studying what your audience thinks about a subject partway into your presentation, you will get a chance to turn your project into a forum for discussion.
New ideas and insights from the people who may be hearing about your subject for the first time will add an organic quality to the presentation.
6. Establish credability
When you run a presentation, you are the expert in the room. Your goal is to convince the audience to know your stuff, so try to impress them. To boost the audience’s trust, mention your background, first points of contact with the topic, nuances, exciting cases, or even rewards you have been given. It will help you to establish a greater degree of credibility and raise interest in the subject.
7. Prepare your introduction
An efficient introduction consists of three parts:
- A preview, outlining your main points.
- A thesis – a summary of your main points based on a big picture.
- An attention-getter – the most critical part of your presentation speech as it encompasses the first few seconds that your audience will judge you as a performer.
It is recommended to start your speech with statistical facts, a quote, or an exciting story. Remember that goofy jokes can jeopardize your credibility.
8. Choose the key points
Pick up your main points that will compose your thesis statements. Choosing these points should be apparent if you’ve done your research and know what and why you’re presenting.
Write down the essential topics that need to be presented and brainstorm what facts should be used to support your claims.
9. Write a winning conclusion
All presenters strive to end their performances with a bang. However, it isn’t easy to do it with a business presentation.
The best way to keep your audience on track is to simply summarize and close. Prepare a brief and informative summary, or reiterate what you’ve already said in the preview. Asking for questions or thanking your audience are both great ways to end.
10. Choose an appropriate presentation style
Some people make their presentations funny or dry; some try to make them as exciting as possible. It depends on the presenter’s style. Keep in mind that the quality presentation should be clear, concise, and concrete.
11. Don’t be afraid of silence
Even silence can be an essential ally in impressing your audience.
Give people enough time to internalize what you’re presenting. If you allow for some silence, they will be able to absorb and retain more information. Practice pauses after giving big problems or your unique solution. Allow presentation visuals to speak for themselves when you demonstrate necessary diagrams or meaningful images.
12. Keep the connection with your audience
Another key to a successful project presentation is connecting with the audience. Most people don’t have enough attention span to stay engaged for an entire presentation. They will remember only the most interesting (not necessarily important) facts.
To catch their attention, use outline notes, avoid reading from a script, talk to one person who is the most interested in the audience. Make sure that the people who want to know your information aren’t disappointed.
13. Use stories and analogies
Numbers and statistics work well. However, they can also scare off your audience.
Add interesting stories to engage people. The stories with analogies will allow participants to extrapolate the relevant meaning for their personal application. After all, people remember stories much better than boring facts.
14. Use visuals
Images, graphics, timelines, and other visual aids will help keep your audience engaged and ensure the key points remain.
Use images that clarify what is said verbally. Avoid complicated slides that could distract people, and remember to keep your prospective audience’s age in mind if you use humor and funny images.
Support your statements with charts. Charts and diagrams are the lifeblood of any successful presentation. You may say that it takes time to produce them.
However, such great solutions as online Gantt chart makers help to do this quickly and reliably.
Gantt charts for visual project presentation
Apply Gantt chart graphics to present your project professionally.
15. Practice the presentation
Just because you’ve designed your creative slides and timelines does not mean you are prepared to perform a stunning presentation. Some people never practice their speeches, by the way.
Review your presentation, talk it out, get comfortable with the delivery, and find good ways to present a project. Consider the tone, the speed, and the moments you wish to emphasize.
16. Temper your anxiety
When a speaker is relaxed, the audience will also relax, making for an overall comfortable experience.
Use notecards to ease your anxiety. Write them well, and you won’t forget anything. Get a whole night’s sleep, eat well the day before, and exercise – it will make you feel better. Do not forget to bring in a glass of water. Make pauses and allow yourself to regroup.
Give yourself a mindset that you will rock this presentation. Don’t let your anxiety get in the way of your success.
17. Do not dwell on mistakes
Mistakes can happen at any time. Your equipment may fail, or you can even forget the critical idea from your presentation. Do not panic. Your audience will evaluate the way how you recover. Don’t dwell on mistakes or failures and continue to perform.
18. Present your projest like a Pro
You’ve covered a lot of ground, and now you know almost everything about an effective project management presentation.
You will do well because you’ve rehearsed everything, and now the presentation of your project looks organized, clear, and entertaining. Your coworkers, executives, stakeholders, and clients will thank you for it.
The only thing you miss is a reliable project management tool to impress your audience. Below, we will talk about this.
Well, that was a lot of tips, but each one is worth your attention if you care about presenting your project in the best possible way.
Analyze all these steps and recommendations and choose the best way to present a project to your audience. Here are some thoughts on this matter.
Best ways to present a project
Knowing different ways to present a project makes managers true professionals. This skill is essential for any industry, no matter you want to present it to clients, stakeholders, or teammates.
Every experienced PM has their own best way to present a project. This exclusive method can be a real secret, but we will share the easy way to turn project management presentation ideas into a masterpiece.
As with many project management practices, your presentation requires the right tools. One of the good ways to present a project is to rely on powerful project planning software .
And now you will be pleasantly surprised when you find out how comfortable and easy it is to hold presentations with the help of Gantt charts.
Presenting your projects with GanttPRO
Project presentation with the help of GanttPRO is a true godsend for project managers and their teams who like comfort, order, system, attractive visualization, and ease of use.
Use the reliable online Gantt chart maker to present your project to your colleagues, top management, stakeholders, partners, or clients. To anyone! A set of the most essential and innovative features makes GanttPRO one of the most powerful tools for high-quality presentations.
There are several ways of how you can present your project with the help of GanttPRO.
1. Sharing via URL
You may need to showcase your project to a third party (even if they are not registered in GanttPRO). How to do it? The Gantt chart platform allows sharing your projects using a Public URL .
To include a project in your presentation, open the Public URL window by clicking on the three dots on the right corner.
Demonstrate your project with/without filters applied, choosing the corresponding option.
You can share a dynamic URL to keep any changes you make active. If you don’t want to share a dynamic URL, choose a Snapshot option . It will allow getting a static picture of your Gantt diagram taken when creating the URL (if you do not want to showcase any updates in your presentation).
Then push the Create Public URL button. By the way, you can leave a description of it.
The great news is that once the link is created, you can manage it. For example, select any of the following options:
- Copy and send it to anyone you want.
- Make it timely inactive if needed.
- Finally, delete the URL if required.
Note : you can share your project with the URL at any stage.
2. Advanced export
Another way to present a project with GanttPRO is to export it. This feature allows having your project always at hand as you can export your diagram to PNG, XML, PDF, Excel, and apply lots of other advanced options.
To export your project, find the Export button at the right corner.
On your right, you will see a dashboard where you can choose the export options:
- A paper size.
- An orientation.
Then you can also set the additional options.
Nothing complicated, right? Hopefully, you’ll figure it out in seconds. If not, take another look to understand this feature better:
3. Importing Excel and .mpp files to GanttPRO
Using GanttPRO, you also have an opportunity to import different format files. If you have projects in .xlsx, .csv, or .mpp formats and want to present them more beautifully and professionally, you can easily import them to GanttPRO.
To do it, press Import when creating a new project.
Then drag & drop or upload it from your computer.
If you manage a project in MS Project, it will also be easy for you to import your .mpp file to GanttPRO.
Follow the steps described above, open an mpp file without any headache, and present it with GanttPRO like a real professional.
It seems like this is all we wanted to tell you about how to present a project and use a robust PM tool for this purpose.
Your ability to attract the audience’s attention is what makes or breaks a presentation, no matter how good your material is. Although virtually all practical project management presentation ideas are based on careful planning, you should put equal thought into how you’ll communicate your ideas to others.
When looking for your best ways to present a project, make sure you are passionate about it. After all, an attentive audience can tell whether or not presenters are engaged with the material they’re talking about.
Now you know how to present a project. Organize the order of all steps you will discuss, do practice, work on grabbing public attention, and do not forget to choose the appropriate project management tool for succeeding in your efforts.
It is not a big deal if you haven’t caught all the details about presenting projects using a convenient Gantt chart maker. Here you will find short video tutorials on how to do it quickly and easily:
Sharing your project with “Public URL”
Paolo writes about the exciting world of project management, innovative tools, planning strategies, time management, productivity, and more. He has a professional journalism education, over ten years of writing experience, and a vast bag of enthusiasm to comprehend and learn new things every day. In his other life, he is addicted to traveling, gym, and sci-fi movies. He cycles and runs a lot.
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Home » Blog » Lean Presentation & Storytelling » How to Present a Project effectively
How to Present a Project effectively
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How to present a project effectively? If you’re wondering how to present a project, it means that your “baby” has finally reached that necessary stage of maturity that it needs to be shared with others.
Don’t get me wrong.
Your project could be a structured corporate plan or just a new idea to present to a fund for financing.
That’s right – the project might still be in its early stages , but it might be clear enough in your head to make you want to convince someone to support you.
How to pitch a project is the kind of question you typically ask yourself when you’re at the point where you need your neighbor’s support in order to move forward.
You may need funding from an investor , approval from a stakeholder within your organization, or simply support from people close to you.
More generally, you need others to approve your project.
I bet you’re not in a position where you want to accept failure.
What do you mean, Maurizio?
I mean that this project is so important to you that an unsuccessful presentation would have major implications.
If you were presenting at your company, it could affect your success , if you were presenting to a client, it could put the sale at risk , if your pitch was about a start-up and you didn’t raise the necessary funding … I don’t need to comment further.
In this article I’m going to take a broad stance and help you create the best presentation that will answer your initial question: how to present a project in an effective way?
I won’t focus on a specific type of project. So, if you have an important project to present and the stakes are high, you’re in the right place.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for suggestions regarding a specific kind of project presentation, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere!
Table of Contents
Storyline – The starting point for presenting a project
Where did you think we would begin?
First, you need to decide what information to communicate and in what order you want to communicate it.
Thank you, Maurizio!
Trust me, it’s not an obvious choice.
I’m sure, if I asked you where you would start to produce the relevant information of your project you would have your own idea.
However, if I asked you where it would be best to start and what information would be best to exclude in order to present a project, things would get a little more complicated.
Because of the simple fact that when the project is yours, everything seems important to you , and it is not easy to let go of certain pieces of information.
That’s when, in short, you find yourself producing a presentation crammed with content that probably no one will ever read.
Where do we start, then?
The basis of any good communication is your audience .
Let me ask you a question: what is your goal in presenting this specific project , what do you really want to achieve?
Let’s get into it.
If you want to convince someone to do something they wouldn’t have done without seeing your presentation , then you need to figure out how to change their mind or how to instill, in their mind, a new idea that will lead to a change.
It sounds hard?
Don’t let it scare you, follow me.
The questions you need to ask yourself before you start are:
- What is my audience thinking today (before presenting the project)?
- What would I like them to think tomorrow (after presenting the project)?
- What would I like them to do now that they have this new insight ?
You need to instill a new awareness in your audience’s mind, so that they are ready to act in support of your project .
Maurizio, can you give me an example?
Here it is.
You’re introducing a potential new client to a service or product. If you hadn’t set up the meeting, he probably wouldn’t have bought from you.
Or maybe you’re presenting an internal company innovation project and you want your bosses to approve it, so you will finally have the opportunity to leave your mark within the organization and get noticed.
You might be wondering how to present a project to the European Union, how to present a project to a city council, and so on.
Whatever the case, you want people to do something they wouldn’t have done otherwise .
Therefore, in order to succeed you need to understand who you’re talking to, what your goal is, and why they should resist you.
Why might they disagree, not follow you, or even contradict you?
In Lean Presentation Design we call these resistances.
Resistances are anything that crosses your audience’s mind that can potentially hinder your project. Any time your audience has a thought that stands in the way of your goal, you’re facing a resistance.
Do you remember when, a few lines above, you were wondering what information to include in your project presentation?
Well, now you know which ones can’t be missed!
Haven’t you understood yet?
All the necessary information to overcome your audience’s resistances.
If you miss any resistance, you risk not to convince the audience to support your project.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get asked questions.
Have you ever thought about what those questions are?
They are resistances that have not been overcome yet , but that the audience is ready to discuss.
In short, questions are great opportunities for persuasion !
Now that you know what can’t be missed within a project presentation, it’s time to define the order in which you should present your information.
When preparing a project presentation , we usually refer to a very convenient framework : the Lean Presentation Strategy Canvas
Have you ever heard of storytelling ?
No, it doesn’t mean telling stories.
It means using the typical narrative structure of a story and applying it to your communication flow.
Where to start?
From the context !
We can’t assume that your audience is aware of the context. Or maybe it is, but giving a recap can certainly help, and maybe even be appreciated.
You’ll be the judge of how much and what context information is important to your audience to know in order to effectively introduce the next step: the problem.
Every self-respecting story captivates attention through moments of conflict.
Think about it.
When you’re watching a TV show or a movie, what are the moments that grab you to the point where you forget everything else?
They’re the moments of tension , the ones where the main character is in danger and you need to know how it’s going to end.
Until that tension is released, your attention is focused on the screen.
And here comes the solution, the hero survives and pulls it off once again. The solution plays a key role in releasing tension and triggering pleasure in the audience.
It is because of the pleasure associated with the release of tension that you are finally ready to tackle the following problem.
This is how the plot unfolds – alternating continuous cycles of problems/solutions.
Always keep in mind that directly presenting the solution is not effective , unless your audience is fully aware of the problem.
The next step is the Evidence, or credibility, section .
In this section you can use data , reviews in your favor , case studies , references and everything that makes you and your project credible .
If you are presenting a startup to an investor, the fact that you have already founded others and have obtained significant results increases your credibility.
If you are pitching a project to a bank and you can demonstrate that you have already worked in that industry and have a proven track record, you will gain credibility.
If, on the other hand, you are pitching a project to your own company, perhaps you will have data that supports your opinion , and the presentation will revolve around the quality of that data.
Last step – Call to Action.
If you want people to do something they wouldn’t have done otherwise, at some point you’ll have to ask them.
Your presentation was the opportunity to get them in a position to accept your Call to Action – now it’s time to close the deal.
If you’re interested in understanding the application strategies of the Lean Presentation Strategy Canvas , then you’ll enjoy my guide: “Business presentations: the ultimate guide to creating modular and effective slides” .
Be careful though, the Canvas is a model that must be declined according to each specific case.
I use it when I’m designing presentations for others , and the skill lies in your ability to decline it according to the context.
If you are presenting a project within your company – to your superiors, for example – in the Evidence section you won’t include information about who you are and what significant experience you have in the field.
They already know you!
On the other hand, if you are presenting to a new client, you will probably want to fill out the Evidence section with industry references.
The weight of each section of the canvas depends on your audience’s level of awareness.
Did you notice the different persuasion triggers at the bottom of the Canvas?
I won’t address them in this article, but I suggest you consider reading “Business presentations: the ultimate guide to creating modular and effective slides” if you want to learn more.
Manage expectations and introduce the next steps
I told you that the final step in presenting a project is the Call to Action.
Once you have prepared the audience for action, you need to give them that final push that will motivate them to act .
Is that all?
No, there is another fundamental component that involves managing expectations .
What is the step you should follow immediately after your presentation, and what are the ones after that? Usually, in business presentations we talk about the famous next steps.
But how do you present the next steps of a PowerPoint project ?
So far we’ve talked about the importance of communication strategy, now it’s time to bring your project to life and visualize it.
So, how do you design the next steps ?
I usually use PowerPoint timeline templates or Gantt charts .
Creating a timeline with PowerPoint
Timelines are a very effective slide template when presenting a project. They are timeline layouts often used to describe the upcoming steps.
This slide is often called a project roadmap , and is very useful to describe what is to come.
It’s up to your common sense to figure out which steps to include and which not to.
Always remember to include only the bare minimum within each of your presentations.
Less is more, and I’m not just saying that!
Have you ever created a timeline with PowerPoint ?
If you know the right tricks it’s pretty easy, otherwise it can easily become a huge waste of time.
Come on, let’s make one together.
First, draw the timeline.
Did you get a crooked line?
You probably didn’t hold down the SHIFT key while drawing it.
Didn’t you know that?
If you hold down the SHIFT key while drawing a line in PowerPoint, the line will come out perfectly straight , whether horizontally or vertically.
Create your first milestone.
Each milestone represents one of the next steps in the project.
Complete the milestone with a title and text.
Now we’ll mark the next few periods, but I’d like the milestone content to alternate above and below the timeline.
Just do a CTRL + SHIFT to duplicate the block:
And now by holding SHIFT you can vertically drag the contents of the milestone below the timeline.
Proceed with replication for a total of 8 periods.
Be careful, though!
In the end, the milestones must all be well distributed and centered with respect to the timeline.
Maurizio, your request is getting difficult.
Come on, let’s do it together.
Drag the first milestone while holding SHIFT to keep it aligned and CTRL to duplicate it as you move.
Use the pop-up distribution guides to make sure the third milestone is as far away from the second as the first.
Now all you have to do is replicate with CTRL + Y .
If you hadn’t heard of these shortcuts before, I’ll share with you something that will make you dream – my personal selection of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts .
Maybe it’s a bit tricky, but with practice you’ll find that it’s actually easy .
If you have any doubts, come see me at our monthly meeting . Every month, I host a webinar reserved for our community , MLC Webinar Series. Follow me on Linkedin to stay up to date with public events and my upcoming speaking engagements .
If you don’t have time and would like to start from one of my ready-made timelines you can use my personal collection, available on MLC PowerPoint Add-in .
Just choose the timeline template that’s right for you and with one click you’ll have it in your presentation. My timelines have icons and text already built in, so all you have to do is edit out what you don’t like.
If you don’t have it, try MLC PowerPoint Add-in for free now.
If you’re interested in PowerPoint timelines, then you’ll certainly be interested in the comprehensive guide I wrote on the topic: Powerpoint Timeline Templates: how to create them best – give it a read!
Creating a Gantt chart with PowerPoint
A good solution to display the set of activities that affect a project is certainly a Gantt chart.
If you don’t know what it is, read my guide before moving on: PowerPoint Gantt Chart in Simple Steps .
Now that you know what a Gantt chart , let’s quickly create one with the support of MLC PowerPoint Add-in .
On PowerPoint, go directly to MLC > Gantt Chart and a small panel will open for quick creation of a Gantt chart that is ready to present a project.
For simplicity, enter 4 tasks and assign them starting and ending dates.
Now click OK – and your Gantt Chart is ready.
If you then want to modify it, just click on Modify Gantt in the right side panel to return to the diagram processing tab and apply your changes.
If you have one or more important moments to highlight on the project plan, you could insert milestones .
Last but certainly not least, remember that you also have the option of subordinating one activity to another.
That is, you can specify that an activity will start when the previous one ends.
You see how the last task, task 5, only starts when task 4 ends?
This way you can create a sequentiality between activities that are often interdependent in a project.
So, we have seen the use of timeline slides or Gantt charts to describe the next steps and map out a project so that you can effectively manage your audience’s expectations .
How to present a project – Progress Status
You thought you were getting away with the previous paragraph, but in reality, presenting a project is a recurring task .
What do you mean, haven’t I already presented it?
Yes, of course, but every project has progress stages that often need to be presented.
Imagine that your first presentation went well, and you persuaded your audience to support your project .
After a period of time, it will be natural to share the news and report on how things are going.
You may want to tell your investors how you closed the quarter. Or to one of your bosses if the project is on track in relation to the budget or the previous year.
In short, once you’ve earned the trust of your audience, you need to work on not losing it .
Updating the Gantt chart
The Gantt chart is designed to give you an always up-to-date view of how things are going.
In MLC PowerPoint Add-in , you can reopen the previously created Gantt chart and enter the completion status of each task.
See the little percentage to the right of the task end date?
That indicates the percentage of completion of each task.
This way you have indicated that task 1 is 100% complete, task 2 is 50% complete, and so on. Click ok and boom, your slide is ready!
This way, you can reopen your PowerPoint and always keep it updated with the progress of your project.
Traffic light slides
What does a traffic light have to do with slides in PowerPoint ?
If you’re wondering how to present a project in an effective way , you can’t ignore the use of the traffic light system to track and view your project progress.
In case of project grid
You have set up an internal communication activity that is directed at different business functions. The activity consists of 4 main phases: onboarding, awareness, first test, live and will involve 4 main functions.
Are you already thinking about a table ?
Here is the result I would expect to see:
The 4 functions on the left, the column steps, and for each step some comments with the status inserted in the middle of the comment.
Which status, Maurizio?
Look carefully, and you will see that in every comment there is also the status .
You didn’t see it at all, did you?
This is a slide that I extracted from a project on which my team is working while I write this guide, it is a real case .
A traffic light system could definitely help.
Come on, let’s get to work!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I don’t like working with tables in PowerPoint because they’re awkward objects to manage.
It’s much better to work with shapes .
Turn the table into shapes right away with the Split Tables feature of the MLC PowerPoint Add-in .
First, we need to take care of the content by separating the descriptions from the statuses .
Why should we do this, Maurizio?
This step is essential in order to give the necessary visibility to the statuses which, as we noted earlier, are currently not sufficiently visible.
Remember that no design can ever make a slide effective , if you don’t fully understand its meaning .
As you can see, in this example it’s the understanding of the difference between status and content that allows me to make the first move.
Applying Lean Presentation Design means understanding that “less is more”. So, it’s time to clean up the slide of everything that’s unnecessary.
Usually, the first thing we need to eliminate are borders and fills.
Now, let’s put things in order by organizing the contents on different reading levels and adding our famous traffic lights.
Let’s say it’s something else entirely!
Note that there i s no need to write down the status of each project because the traffic light is already a convention in itself. Anyone, looking at this slide, would be able to understand which projects are completed, in progress or blocked.
How to create and manage a traffic light icon with PowerPoint
The traffic lights I used were not downloaded icons, but rather built by me using PowerPoint for maximum flexibility .
What do you mean for more flexibility, wouldn’t it be better to download a ready-made icon?
No, it’s better to build it yourself so that you can easily switch between lights off and lights on.
Maurizio, what are you talking about?
Don’t worry, I’ll show you.
To build the traffic light I draw a rectangle with rounded edges and then three small circles.
I now center and distribute them using PowerPoint’s Quick Access Toolbar .
I duplicate it by dragging with CTRL and then replicate the dragging with CTRL + Y.
Maurizio, I can’t remember all these shortcuts every time.
So you haven’t downloaded the collection of my favorite PowerPoint shortcuts yet: The Best PowerPoint Shortcuts .
Let’s go back to the duplicating our little traffic lights.
Now simply click on the three circles to create the three different icons.
If you wanted to quickly move a circle from one position to another after placing a traffic light, just use the PowerPoint Swap Shapes feature of the MLC PowerPoint Add-in.
Now color the middle circle, and you are done!
As you can see, creating a traffic light in PowerPoint is a breeze, and it allows you maximum flexibility in status management.
But if you don’t want to create your own icons of traffic lights, you can use the ones my Team created. You just need to have MLC PowerPoint Add-in and you’ll get access to the lean icons in our Graphic Libraries .
Organized project management requires you to be able to present progress and manage your audience’s expectations.
Sometimes you just need a simple timeline , other times you need more complex structures like the famous Gantt chart.
These are recurring slides, very powerful and easy to create on PowerPoint – if you know the right techniques .
A great strategy is to make use of well-known conventions such as traffic light systems to show the progress of each project on the fly.
Do you ever design slides like this for your project management? Is there any layout you’d like me to cover to enrich this article?
Maurizio La Cava
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Who’s Maurizio La Cava?
Presentation Strategist, Founder of the Lean Presentation Design Methodology, Professor of Presentation Strategies, Public speaker, CEO at MLC Presentation Design Consulting . Author of: Lean Presentation Design and Startup Pitch, Startup Pitch Strategist at Polihub.
"Every presentation represents the unique opportunity to share your ideas and persuade an audience to act on them"
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