How to Make Stunning Powerpoint Presentations: Tips on Creating Advanced Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations
If you are looking for tips on making your Microsoft Powerpoint presentations very pleasing to the eyes, chances are, you are already familiar with the basic tips necessary to create effective powerpoint business presentations. Microsoft Powerpoint can both be your ally or your enemy, depending on how well you manage and use it. It can turn your rather simple presentation into a remarkable one, but it can similarly damage your neat, audience-friendly presentation into a disaster. But there is nothing to be afraid of; with just some simple tips and tricks, your powerpoint slides can astound your audience, leaving them impressed and wanting to know more about you, your company, and the services and products you offer. If, on the other hand, you are not selling anything, but rather simply doing a presentation for information (such as the case when you are a speaker in a forum or reporting to your class), an enhanced powerpoint presentation can make your audience retain the information much longer, and leave them respectful of you. So here are some simple tips on how to make stunning powerpoint slides, which you can use to aid you in your speaking engagement.
1. Choose a background or a template
A background or a template makes all the difference in a presentation. Beginning with the title slide, a background or template can already catch your audience’s attention. A plain white slide with just black letter on it will be so ho-hum, and might give the impression that not a lot of thought was put into the presentation.
You can choose from any of Microsoft Powerpoint’s custom backgrounds, templates and designs, or you can customize your own. A customized slide template will be more interesting, and it also helps you promote your organization. Most companies incorporate their logos and custom colors in their presentations, and this aids in making your brand known.
2. Choose font colors well
Choose a dominant font color to be used throughout your presentation. This color should be dominant for all your slides. This exudes an impression of a seamless presentation, and one that was thoroughly reviewed by the presenters. While on this topic, make sure that your fonts are consistent all throughout your presentation. You do not want to give your audience the idea that different people separately created slides on their own. Even if they did, it should appear that someone quality controlled them, and that should be you.
Be considerate in choosing the font colors. Make sure that they are readable, and they are not harsh to the eyes. Here are some suggested pairings of backgrounds and font colors:
3. Never use upper cases
Just like in chatting, blogging, forum posting, hubbing, instant messaging (phone or web), or emailing, using ALL CAPS is considered rude, and the same is true for powerpoint presentations. You can use big letters to emphasize a word or two, at most a phrase, but other than that and perhaps the title page, using upper cases is really not acceptable.
4. Never use too many exclamation points
I don’t know how to stress this enough! People get carried away with using exclamation points to stress a point! Really! You should be very careful! You should never! Use! Too many! Exclamation points!!!!
Okay, that was taxing, and tiring, and stressful, and for a moment I was really on a roll. But please, never use exclamation points, unless perhaps you are doing an advertisement pitch and you really want to shock and awe your audience. Business presentations, however, should be more professional, and less emotional. Even if you are so passionate with what you are talking about, you can deliver the passion via your talk, not through a barrage of exclamation points.
5. Use charts and graphs whenever possible
Numbers and lists are less attractive than charts and graphs. When used properly, charts and graphs can effectively convey a lot in a very short span of time. It can also highlight relevant points, which might be lost in a table or a list. A good trick will be to create your charts and graphs in Microsoft Excel and paste it into Microsoft Powerpoint, so it will be very easy to edit it, if the need arises. Charts and graphs are very good tools in analyzing information.
6. Use graphics to compliment your text
Graphics are a fun way of breaking the monotone of your presentation. Similarly, it is a wonderful way to emphasize some points in the presentation. Most people are naturally visual in nature, and certainly graphics are easier to remember than words. Make sure that graphics are appropriate to your audience. If it is a formal business meetings, make sure that you use images that are not offensive to your audience. A little research will do you a lot of good. Remember that the presenter is always associated with the presentation and if there is an offensive image on your presentation, it will be taken against you, not against your staff.
There are many images to choose from. Microsoft Office has its own image gallery called "clip arts". You can use these, or pictures relevant to the presentation.
7. Striptease, but with moderate caution
In powerpoint presentations, stripteasing refers to the technique of revealing your presentations little by little, or piece by piece, usually through animations. This is helpful when you want your audience to focus on each and every one of the items you are discussing at a time. It is believed that people will always use their sense of sight first before their sense of hearing and therefore, if you present a slide with 5 points on it and discuss the first point, your audience will first try to process the 5 points written on the slides before listening to you. A note of caution, however. Stripteasing takes more time so make sure that you have enough time to deliver your full presentation before the time runs out, lest you leave out some important items in your presentation. Also, stripteasing can be pretty awkward if you are not operating your own slides – you and your assistant need to be very much in sync, otherwise you will end up prompting him to advance the slides all the time.
10 Tips in Creating Awesome Powerpoint Presentations
- Choose a background or template
- Choose font colors well
- Never use upper cases
- Never use too many exclamation points
- Use charts and graphs whenever possible
- Use graphics to compliment your text
- Striptease, but with moderate caution
- Employ animation, but with a lot of caution
- Use hyperlinks but only with extreme caution
- Always backup, and quality check
8. Employ animation, but with a lot of caution
Animation is used to highlight certain points in your slides, and also to break the monotone of the presentation. Animations can either wow your audiences, or leave them wondering what happened. The more complicated the animations are, the more risky it is, but at the same time, the more exciting it will be. Again, be very, very careful in employing animation. Some animations will work one way in a particular computer and then not work at all on another.
9. Use hyperlinks but only with extreme caution
Hyperlinks are great when you are wish to go back to a certain slide over and over again. For example, if you have a set of three or more presentations, say, company profile, your services, and the projects that you have completed. For each of those you might have a separate presentation, and one slide which is hyperlinked to all those three will be a good way to organize your overall presentation. Hyperlinks also give an air of sophistication to you and your team. Be very, very, very cautious, however. Hyperlinks can ruin your presentation if you are not meticulous. Hyperlinks refer to a specific file in a specific directory. And if you create the file on your laptop and transfer the file to another, hyperlinks will not work. The safest way will be to save it in a flash drive and use that for the presentation. If you are not savvy with hyperlinks, better not use them.
Day 9 HubChallenge
10. Always backup, and quality check
Though this has nothing to do with creating your presentation, it is most significant in making your presentations stunning. Always backup your file, and always quality check. You can never check your presentation enough. Whether you are using your own laptop or transferring the file to another, make sure that the file is readable by that computer, and make sure that the projector used can properly display your fonts. When fonts are not readable, what is usually flashed are gibberish – another reason why you should stick to the safe fonts. Check if your images are displayed properly, not just a big white square with a big red X on it. This happens when you switch from one operating system to another. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, consistency of fonts, even check for alignments! Err on the side of caution, all the time.
Always remember that each presentation can make or break your business or career, so give it your full shot every single time. It will not harm you to rehearse before an audience who does not have anything to do with your presentation, say your parents or your neighbor, to make sure that your presentation is understandable by them. The more “layman” your practice audience is, the better you can improve your presentation. If you can explain it to somebody who doesn’t know anything about it, then chances are, you can even effectively convey it more to somebody who does.