How to Make Effective Powerpoint Presentations: Tips on Creating Basic Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations
Delivering an effective presentation can do wonders to you and your company. Many times, an effective presentation is remembered than a lengthy document stating the same facts and arguments. The more effective the presentation is, the more effective communication will be between you and your audience. Perhaps it is because of human’s nature to be very visual, or the need to interact, but certainly listening to a presentation is much more enjoyable than sitting down to read large reports and documents. Not all and everything, however, can be discussed or conveyed through presentations. There are certain professions, in fact, who might not find the need for any presentation. But when dealing with people outside your circle, for example clients, buyers, potential investors, press, and other stakeholders, a powerpoint presentation is definitely necessary.
Presentations can also be disastrous, therefore there is a very important need to make sure that your presentations will do more good than harm.
Here are some tips on how to make effective powerpoint presentations. I am not even talking about stunning presentations, just effective ones – those that convey the message with the least amount of energy spent.
1. Make sure that ALL contents are readable
Here’s a very simple logic: if you felt the need to include it in your presentation, then make sure it is readable! One of the most annoying things in a presentation that will surely disinterest the audience in a snap is an excel sheet with very, very tiny, unreadable letters. It simply doesn’t make sense. Or a slide full of words your audience’s eyes cross. If it is really that important, make copies of the page and distribute it in the audience at the appropriate time. You can then include highlights or a summary of the document in the presentation.
are you dizZZZzy yet?
2. Always have a title slide, an outline, objective and a closing slide
Title slides should include the title of your presentation, the date of the presentation, the location or the venue (group) you are presenting to and your name. You may also include your company but a better technique is to include your company logo in your slides.
An outline slide should contain the section titles of your presentation. Make sure that these titles correspond to the slides that will appear later in your slide. This will give a snapshot of your presentation to your audience.
When creating slides, be very conscious of your font. Font size should be at least 20. You can probably get away with 18, or even 16, but make something smaller than that and you can expect some squints from the guy at the back. Remember that it is the guy at the farthest point you need to reach out to. A good practice will be to stand at the other end of the room and see if you can read your own slides.
Choose the font that is most applicable to your audience. Cursive fonts are generally not acceptable, unless it is a creative session you are conducting. Typical fonts used in presentations are Arial (and its variations), Tahoma, Verdana and Trebuchet. There are many new fonts coming out day by day, but you might want to stick to the classic ones to be safe.
Day 7 HubChallenge
An objective slide may be optional, but this
is where you state the objective of the presentation. Is it a “for information
only” or are you asking for an approval from the group? Are you putting forward
a proposal, or are you updating an existing project? Objective slides properly
put everything in perspective and sets the tone of the discussion. Objective
slides can precede outline slide, and you have the full power to decide on
which should go first.
Your closing slide will depend on the nature of your relationship with your audience. If you are quite familiar with your audience, a closing slide can be a slide that contains nothing but the words “thank you” or “open forum” to say that the presentation has ended and that you are now ready to entertain questions. If it is your first time to introduce yourself and your company to your audience, you might instead want to have a “bomb” at the end of your presentation. It can be a saying, a statement, your vision for the partnership, an image, or anything that will finish your presentation with a flourish. It is also a good idea to include your contact information at the end of your presentation so that audience can contact you afterwards.
3. Do not write more than 7 lines in a slide
Remember that your aim is always to engage the audience. Stuffing too much in one slide might engage them for a while, when they squint and hurry to read everything that is written on your slide, but most likely, they will just lose interest over your presentation. Keep your slides clean at all times. If you need to write more than 7 lines, then create another slide – it is free, so why not?
4. Do not write lengthy sentences, use bullet points instead
This is a no-no, lest you want your role as a presenter jeopardized. You can talk, can’t you? So make sure that there is something for you to say. If everything is already contained in your slides, you can expect the audience to read them all first, before they pay attention to you. Put just enough to convey a complete thought, or something that you can build on. Never, never write lengthy sentences. If your sentence or message exceeds more than two lines, that is too long!
do you want this?
5. Have an audience-friendly navigator on your slides
You don’t want your audience to feel lost, so make sure they know what you are discussing at all times. This is particularly helpful when you have a lengthy presentation, or when you expect people to come in and out of your presentations. Some good ideas will be to use section titles as slide heading and use a subheading underneath it, page indicators or anything that will distinguish that particular section from the others.
These are just some very basic tips on creating effective powerpoint presentations. Of course, your presentation will depend on the content, form and methodology of your presentation, so work on those, too. I will give you tips later on how to be an effective presenter, and how to turn your effective presentations into stunning ones. For now, the important thing is to get the message across.
Now that you have read all through these, try viewing this presentation I made just for you, and check which one works better for you.