Creating compelling presentations using the OSCAR Principle

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What is it that actually makes a presentation compelling? We already asked ourselves this question many years ago (and continue to ask it). It essentially comes down to just a few criteria, which we’ve summarized into what we call the OSCAR Principle. If your presentation meets these five criteria, it might not win you an Academy Award, but it will achieve your desired outcome.

And the winner is … five criteria for compelling PowerPoint presentations

OSCAR - Five criteria of successful presentations

Why are these five criteria so important when you’re creating a presentation?

Organized – People need orientation. A clear structure and a logical composition allow your audience to follow your line of thought and understand what you’re getting at. Your key statements become memorable.

Simple and easy to understand – You only have limited time to win over your audience. Reduce your messages to their key points. Be compelling, not through complexity but through perspicuity. Be absolutely clear. Then you’ll have your listeners on your side.

Concise – The more you reach the point of each message, the better your listeners can relate to them, and the sooner they can accept them. Even if it means you’ll have to spend more time creating each slide ― the extra effort will definitely be worthwhile.

Appealing – Presentations serve to accompany your talk visually and to support it. The clearer the design and composition of your slides, the faster your message will be understood, and the more likely your listeners will be to actually look at your slides. Besides, your listeners will inevitably base their opinion of content quality on the perceived quality of the packaging.

Relevant – Be absolutely clear on the expectations and the interest levels of your target group. The most beautiful slides are useless if they don’t connect with your audience. How knowledgeable are your listeners, what is their attitude towards the subject? Customize your presentation to your audience to be truly compelling.

Think about the presentations you’ve already created. Would each of them deserve an OSCAR?

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