5 Ways to Put Together a Presentation on a Budget
Producing content has never been more accessible as the internet provides a series of free tools and resources you can use. You don’t need any extra resources if you want to create a great presentation!
Not familiar with graphic design or have the programs for it? Use Canva or Freepik, it is free!
Don’t have photos? Use Unsplash, Pexels, and FreePik. Even mobile phones and entry-level cameras are more often coming equipped with state of the art camera technology. Even older phones can record decent video and shoot great photos. You can get thousands of photos for free in seconds!
Don’t want to produce a video? There’s likely a video about your subject matter you can reference on YouTube, Vimeo, Kanopy, or any other hosting site. You can get experts or fully produced films and have them highlight points without extra work!
Do you need more information for your presentation? You can find a lot of free resources at your local library, and did you know you can access a lot of local libraries for free from the comfort of your own home if you have a Kobo device? (We’re not sponsored, we swear!)
Now onto the fun part – how do you create a great presentation on a budget?
How Do You Create a Catchy Presentation?
Overall, less is more! Have you heard of the 10-20-30 rule in PowerPoint? A PowerPoint presentation should have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 points.
Our suggestion is to go through a site like Unsplash and source 10 images. Using those images, you can create bold backgrounds, place a transparent black square atop and put your text ontop. That immediately looks very dynamic. But you don’t want to do that for every slide.
You can vary by having the image cropped or to the side, or some slides without the images. But with a couple key images sprinkled throughout your presentation, it will be eye-catching and bold.
You can create a good presentation and get audience engagement very simply this way. Even if your audience has more questions, it is probably good they’re asking since they’re engaged!
We talk about this in detail below, but the biggest aspect of a great presentation is also you! If you’re a great public speaker or even just a very concise one, a presentation is just a visual or an accessory to the information you provide.
Also, you should know your audience! Cater to your target audience—and that’s not necessarily every person in the room, though the room dynamic can be a powerful factor in a successful presentation. You should keep in mind their demographic, interests, even sense of humour when putting together your presentation.
You could even talk to members of the crowd before the presentation to help you feel less nervous and get to know those who will be engaging in your work. Do they have any particular needs? You could ask them why they attended or what information they are looking for.
By doing this early, you can slow down at a slide where the question may be addressed. You could even do a shout-out to the person who asked and say it was a good question. This type of encouragement helps the audience trust and engage with you.
What Should Be Included in a Budget Presentation?
Really, the biggest tip of a budget presentation is this: make sure before you start sourcing free resources that you have your presentation scripted out and preplanned. It will help you have a general direction of what resources you exactly need.
A budget presentation shouldn’t also be a lengthy process because it is a budget one. They can be just as efficient and time respective if you plan as much as possible before you take a pen to your slides.
Free photography is helpful for a good presentation. Again, you can get free photos fairly easily on Unsplash, Pexels and Freepik. You do not need a good camera or a hire a photographer! Just type in words relevant to your subject matter and thousands of photos are available to you. You can get many search queries returned to you in seconds, and see other photos that are like the few photos you like and find better photos organically this way.
You may want some motion in your work. This will be easy with Prezi, as you can animate infographics. Did you know that you can create video with PowerPoint? You can animate more complex graphics or charts this way. We have an article that goes in depth here, but here is our general tips to setting up video in PowerPoint.
The first thing you’ll have to do is adjust your slide size to the correct social media format for video. Square or 1:1 video format is usually 1080×1080 and up, and most other video formats are in 16:9. Make sure you know which platform you are exporting to before you start creating slides in your presentation.
The first step is to create a new PowerPoint file. In the file menu, go to Design > Page Setup > Custom. In this dialogue box, make sure the dimensions are the size of your desired video. We recommend 1080×1080 or up because most social platforms do take square format, but you can search online for the current sizes.
Facebook is 16:9 – so 1080×1920 usually works, Twitter is 1200×628 usually and Instagram is 1080×1080, unless it is a story in which case it is 1920×1080. Then, design as you normally would make a presentation and let out your inner design flair to make an engaging, succinct and eye-catching presentation that will turn into dynamic video.
Use your creative mind or you can also use PowerPoint’s Designer tool. You will want to storyboard or draw your information out and see how it may translate into videos before you start.
How to Make a Budget Presentation Interesting
Don’t forget the biggest and most important part of the presentation – you! Simply reciting dry facts without any passion or humor will make people less likely to pay attention to your presentation. A presentation after all is not just a bunch of slides. It is a mixture of your personality and the energy of the audience as well. If you’re shy, remember to breathe! Replace your ums and ahs with small breaths. Use those moments of pause to help you relax. Give yourself time when you need it.
One of our personal tips is to talk to your audience before your presentation. If you talk to a few people beforehand, even ask some people why they’ve come to attend your presentation, they can let you go off-script and talk to people during your presentation. When writing a speech, see it from the audiences perspective. What might they not understand? What might seem boring? Use WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to guide you.
Also, if you practice your presentation with others beforehand, you can make sure that you don’t read instead of talk. You can only get better by practicing, so you can knock the ball out of the park infront of your audience. Nervous and inexperienced speakers tend to talk way too fast. Consciously slow your speech down and add pauses for emphasis.
Would you be able to understand someone if they spoke too fast? Make sure you breathe and try to after an “uhm” or “ah”. This way, you can give yourself some relaxation and you can use your natural pauses to get to a place of calm. You don’t need to be nervous! Also, nothing is worse than a speaker you can’t hear.
Even in the high-tech world of microphones and amplifiers, you need to be heard. Projecting your voice doesn’t mean yelling, rather standing up straight and letting your voice resonate on the air in your lungs rather than in the throat to produce a clearer sound.
Have you ever been in a store where you’re trying to get help but no one will glance over at you? The moment someone locks eyes with you, even if they do not ask you if you need help, you can immediately sense that you can trust and talk to that person. It is no different in a presentation
Can you summarize your idea in fifteen words? If not, rewrite it and try again. Speaking is an inefficient medium for communicating information, so know what the important fifteen words are so they can be repeated. Make sure you can tell your idea simply. You can repeat those words throughout the presentation.
A long winded answer or a short concise summary can make or break a presentation. If you don’t know your speech without cues, that doesn’t just make you more distracting. It shows you don’t really understand your message, a huge blow to any confidence the audience has in you.
If your presentation is going to be a longer one, explain your points through short stories, quips and anecdotes. Great speakers know how to use a story to create an emotional connection between ideas for the audience.
Any gestures you use need to be an extension of your message and any emotions that message conveys. Planned gestures look false because they don’t match your other involuntary body cues. Also, you can use statements like, “that’s a really good question,” or “I’m glad you asked me that,” to buy yourself a few moments to organize your response. It also encourage the audience member to ask more questions.
The biggest tip is: Don’t fumble with your Prezi or hooking up a projector when people are waiting for you to speak. Most likely that will make you not able to troubleshoot the most basic of things while people watch you! Come early, scope out the room, run through your slideshow and make sure there won’t be any glitches.
Also, apologies are only useful if you’ve done something wrong. Don’t use them to excuse incompetence or humble yourself in front of an audience. You should apologize if you are late or shown to be incorrect. You want to seem confident, but don’t be a jerk about it. If someone calls you out during the presentation, listen to them.
Remember that you are always learning and people respond positively to someone who is willing to correct themselves. While some might admire your steadfastness, it is ten times likelier an apology is much more effective, genuine and authentic.
Sounds impossible? With a little practice you can inject your passion for a subject into your presentations. Enthusiasm is contagious. Learn a couple jokes, tell personal stories, ask your audience questions, wear something extravagant. A presentation can be formal but humorous as long as you stay true to your tone!
How Do You Present a 5-Minute Presentation?
The last of our 5 tips is how do you present a short presentation? This requires some work, but all it takes is flexing your editing muscle. Try to make each slide only about 20 seconds each, but take pauses between each slide and remember to engage your audience! Talking to your crowd between these quick-paced slides is always helpful.
Reducing the amount of information on your slides might seem like you may not get your audience to understand, but ask yourself: do you want your audience to read the slides or get the information from you? Neither answer is incorrect, but it is a question you should ask before designing a slide. Considering people’s varying reading times and how much time you have to present your slides. By having bite-sized information and being the prime speaker of your slides, you can actually keep things on track and on time by speaking.
Remember, it is not to be quick or rush, but it is meant to make everything bite-sized and easy to retain as an audience member! If you need inspiration, there are plenty of large topics covered in a short amount of time on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. By keeping key information, most people can follow along. And if they can’t, that’s what Q&A is for!
You do not need a whole production team or generate new content in order to create a great presentation. There are plenty of tools and free resources online that can help you. The biggest part you should focus on is your performance and your subject matter. That can make a low-budget presentation better than even highly produced ones!
Keep practicing, and remember that there’s resources out there to help you create the best presentation! With all the information out on the internet, you can start at any point and get to a point where you like your slides after some hard work. It does not require a large budget at all. We hope the 5 tips and information we give in this article helped you on your way and start your project!