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Tips for Creating a Good PowerPoint Slideshow Presentation

Updated on July 4, 2011

Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has transformed how slide shows are used in presentations, in large part because it is easy to use. Unfortunately, not all Microsoft PowerPoint slide shows are used to the speaker’s advantage. A good Microsoft PowerPoint presentation benefits the speaker and the information presented. A bad PowerPoint presentation can distract from the message or lull your audience into a slumber. Keeping it simple, while holding your audience’s interest, are the foundations of an effective PowerPoint presentation.

Using Microsoft PowerPoint Templates

Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has several artful and colorful backgrounds and font themes to choose from. It is easy to go overboard and want to use several throughout the presentation. Resist this urge. Choose a Microsoft PowerPoint theme that compliments the topic and will draw people’s attention. Do not bounce from one theme to another with each slide change. This is distracting and gives the impression that you are just as scattered. Use consistent colors, backgrounds and fonts throughout the presentation. This gives the PowerPoint presentation an underlying sense of organization and authority.

Use Bullet Points

Using bullet points to separate the main points makes it obvious to the attendees what important information they should come away with. When using bullet points remember the "rule of five."Use five bullet points or less per slide and five words or less for each bullet point. Never write in full sentences. The PowerPoint slides should emphasize your most important points. People are there to listen to what you have to say, not read your script on a slide. Sentences and paragraphs on a slide will lose people’s interest.

Make the Slides Interesting

Tap into your creative side by jazzing up the slides with photos, clipart and by using the software’s animation features. Photos and clipart can help make your point or show something that needs visualization for people to truly understand. These can also add humor and liven up the presentation, ultimately making it more effective. PowerPoint animations help dramatize main ideas. All of these will keep your audience’s attention.

Proofread and Proofread Some More

If you have captured the attention of your audience with well-crafted interesting slides then people will be paying attention to each slide. They will also have plenty of time to find all of your mistakes and typos for you. Proofread the slides yourself and have a friend proofread the slides before the presentation.

Use a Five Minutes per Slide Rule

Spend five minutes or less talking about any one slide. People have short attention spans and constantly moving slides keep that much needed attention. Rehearse your speech prior to the actual presentation. Break up any slide that you spend five minutes or more on into multiple slides.


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    Jeff_McRitchie 6 years ago

    There are so many great tips in this article, especially the one about the "Rule of Five." I'll be sure to use these tips the next time I put together a PowerPoint presentation.