PowerPoint uses slides with a horizontal/landscape orientation. It was designed as a convenient way to display graphical information without needing to be an excel expert to get the same results. PowerPoint is an important tool in helping with presentations, but is not always used effectively. If your slides do not assist in a better understanding of the speaker’s words, then they are not working properly.
Here we list our 5 PowerPoint presentation tips to improve your PowerPoint presentation skills and make your designs more effective.
1. Keep it simple
Do not overcomplicate a presentation slide with flashy images and bizarre slide transitions. Too much text and your audience will loose interest. Keep each slide free of clutter, using one image to sell your idea. If you must use bullet points, never exceed one line of text per bullet.
NEVER turn your back to the audience and read text from the slide word for word. Your best slides may have no text at all. Slides are there to support the speaker, not to duplicate what is being said. If you are asked for a copy of your presentation, prepare a separate written handout to be distributed rather than a copy of your PowerPoint slides which should be meaningless without you.
Limit the number of transition effects between slides. The same can be said for animations which can be good, but only if used subtly and professionally.
2. Reinforce your brand image
With PowerPoint use the same colour schemes, fonts, and logos that you use in your advertising or marketing materials such as your website or company literature. Make sure the text can be read from the back of the room.
Do not use PowerPoint templates, they’re not considered to be that good and your audience expects a unique presentation, not an unoriginal style they’ve seen before.
Use high-quality graphics including photographs. Never stretch a small, low-resolution photo to make it fit your layout. Avoid using PowerPoint Clip Art as your audience will have seen it a million times before.
3. Rehearse again and again
A great presentation comes from speakers capturing the audience’s imagination and keeping their attention. A good speaker can convey information well, but a great speaker will sell an idea. The PowerPoint slides should complement the speaker’s presentation.
Multimedia learning theory states that people comprehend better when information is presented in small segments. Go to the PowerPoint Slide Sorter view to check the logical flow of your presentation and get a feel as to how your audience will react. Checking the Slide Sorter view allows you to improve clarity and communication.
If your presentation is for longer than twenty minutes, give your audience a break by telling a story or giving a demonstration. Whilst there is a break, put a blank slide on your PowerPoint display to help people relax and maintain their focus.
4. Minimal Data
Presenters often include too much data in their PowerPoint charts. There are several ways to display your data in graphic form.
Pie Charts: to show percentages. Limit the slices to 4-6 and contrast the most important slice either with colour or by exploding the slice.
Vertical Bar Charts: to show changes in quantity over time. Best if you limit the bars to 4-8.
Horizontal Bar Charts: to compare quantities.
Line Charts: to demonstrate trends.
Tables: for side-by-side comparisons of quantitative data, though a bar chart may have a more dramatic effect in relaying your point.
5. Use video or audio
Use video and audio when appropriate. You can use video and audio clips within PowerPoint without any additional software. Using a video or audio clip illustrates your point and creates a change of pace that can lead to increased interest from your audience.
Avoid the irritating sound effects that are included in PowerPoint when you move from one slide to the next.