Tips for PowerPoint Presentations: Design It Like a Pro
Pros who know how to make a good PowerPoint presentation understand the importance of proper preparation, appropriate PPT design, and the right deliver. If you lack experience or simply want to improve your performance, here are some effective tips for PowerPoint presentations that help you keep the audience focused:
Know Your Stuff:
You should do research and find compelling information that will give the audience a reason to pay attention. You should also be prepared to answer questions as well.
Understand Right Purpose of Using PowerPoint:
If you already understand how to make a good PPT presentation, then you realize the slides should enhance your presentation without distracting from it.
Only Include the Bare Essentials:
The slides should highlight the main points and should not contain any unnecessary details. Also, you wouldn’t want to fill them up with paragraphs full of text. You want the audience’s attention to be on you.
Practice Makes Perfect:
You never want to just wing it when you give the presentation. You should rehearse several times. You should also make sure to time it so that you will know whether you need to lengthen or shorten your presentation.
Focus on Your Delivery:
Project a sense of calm and confidence. Use an appropriate tone based on the topic. If it is light-hearted and fun, speak with excitement and energy. If you are discussing something more sober, you would want to keep it serious. But either way you would want to show some warmth.
Do not use absurd pictures, flashy slide transitions or read from note cards. If you do not take your presentation seriously, neither will the audience.
Now that we have offered a summary of tips for effective PowerPoint presentations, let us take a closer look at the essential strategies that will make your presentation as effective as possible. We will begin with the all-important preparation.
Here are some tips for PowerPoint presentations for students that will make it look easy once you actually give the real presentation:
Think about the Story
Knowing how to make a good presentation with PPT starts with honing the message. Keep in mind that the presentation is not about the slides themselves. Yes, the slides can help guide the audience, but ultimately you as the presenter are the one who will deliver the message. Also note that you don’t just want to make it a presentation in which you deliver statistics, facts and figures. If that were your point, you would be better off just handing out reports containing that information. Develop a story that your presentation will be built around, its purpose and in what order you want to arrange it.
Make an Outline
Creating an outline will keep things focused and organized. In particular, it will allow you to build a presentation that flows well and shows you the order in which the audience will follow it.
Focus on the Key Points
As already noted, your presentation should only cover the most important information. If your PPT presentation is based on a report or essay that you have written, leave out the little, inconsequential details. You can always make reference to these things when you are answering questions after your presentation.
Be Aware of the Composition of the Audience
For example, you might know how to make a good PowerPoint presentation for college students, but this knowledge might not do you much good if you are presenting in front of a group of experienced business professionals. There is a significant difference in how you would approach each group. Even the topics, your terminology, the examples, and the way in which you use humor should be tailored based on the specific audience. Knowing what the audience intends to get out of this is extremely important, especially if you are trying to be persuasive.
Practice Your Presentation
Of all of our tips for PowerPoint presentations, the importance of rehearsing beforehand is the one we cannot stress enough. It is important to develop a rhythm as early as you can. Focus on the key points that you will want to stress. Do not just read everything silently either. Stand up and give the presentation aloud. This will give you an opportunity to practice your tone, pauses, and determine what content to keep, improve upon, or remove. Of course, you will want to time your rehearsal so that it matches the actual amount of time you will be allotted when you give the real presentation.
How to Make a Good PowerPoint Presentation Design
While the star of the presentation should be you and not your PPT slides, you will nonetheless want to design them in the best way possible. Their purpose should be to engage the audience, not distract from your message. Here are some important PowerPoint Presentations tips that can help you achieve your goals as you are creating the slides.
Simple Is Better
If you want to how to make a good presentation, follow this golden rule: Less is More. When designing your slides, you do not want them to look cluttered. You do not want the audience to get confused and be forced to decide whether to pay attention to you or read the slides. The slides should be visually pleasing, simple and focused on the key points so that the audience is engaged.
Do not Fill up the Slides with Text
Inexperienced presenters feel tempted to write out full paragraphs of information. Resist this urge, as the audience should not be spending their time reading, they should be listening to your message. You should even avoid using bullets. A few simple words is all each slide needs.
The Images Should Be High-Quality
Be aware that how a picture looks on the computer might not necessary project as well on a large screen. Use high-resolution pictures and graphics and select them well. If your pictures look attractive, the audience will take your presentation more seriously.
Keep the Charts and Graphs Clean
This is not calculus or astrophysics. You want your charts and graphs to be as easy to follow as possible so that the audience does not have to try to figure it out on their own.
Pick the Right Template
You do not want the template to be too basic, but at the same time, you do not want it to be so busy that it distracts from the content. You should also opt for something that feels fresh rather than outdated and overused. There are plenty of websites that can help you find the most appropriate template for your situation.
Your Choice of Fonts Matter
Select font styles that are easy to read, modern, and look professional. Keep in mind that the font you choose can have a big impact on the audience. If chosen poorly, it can have a negative subconscious effect on the audience.
Find the Right Color Schemes
Avoid dizzy color combinations like a bright yellow background paired up with blue font. Instead, choose warm colors that complement each other.
Use Proper Formatting
If the slides look well-organized, the audience will not be distracted.
Align your images, text, charts, etc.
You want uniform alignment with all of your images and text. This is easy to do. Just hold down SHIFT + select on whatever images and/or text you want to align, then select Arrange in the options bar and apply Alignment Type.
Keep Punctuation to a Minimum
In particular, avoid exclamation points entirely! You can also omit periods.
Tips on PowerPoint Presentations When It has Go Time
When the big day arrives, here are some tips for PowerPoint presentations that will relieve some of the stress:
Take Some Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is an effective way to get rid of anxiety. It is easy to do and will keep you feeling calm right up to the moment when it is time to present.
Find a Way to Amuse Yourself
Watch some funny YouTube compilations or read some humorous articles. Do anything you can to stay in a good mood. This will improve your focus and ultimately deliver a great presentation.
Slow Things Down
This presentation is not intended to be a test of your speed talking abilities. Keep the pace moderate and deliberate. This will help you keep your mind clear. It also has the added benefit of keeping the audience’s attention.
This might seem cliché, but it really does work. If you tell yourself that you will leave the audience impressed, you will increase the likelihood of accomplishing this.
Take these tips to heart and good luck with your PowerPoint presentation!