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How to Make Effective Powerpoint Presentations: Tips on Creating Basic Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations

Updated on August 28, 2009

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.

make sure you get the right font!
make sure you get the right font!

Day 7 HubChallenge

7th...getting there..or not!
7th...getting there..or not!

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?

or 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.

How to Make an Effective Powerpoint Presentation

Click thumbnail to view full-size


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I read your book in one evening. It was given to me by a frneid, Lisa Grossman.I have been taking care of my 91 yr old Grandmother she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia approx. 3-4 yrs ago. I too have found a few private care people and an adult day care that I can take her to for some respite for myself. Things haven't gotten to out of hand thus far. I really enjoyed your story.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 

      4 years ago

      Hi. Nice hub, informative with valuable tips for an effective presentation, the following too would contribute:

      1) Selection of tamplete, color of slides.

      2) Usage of font colours, usually shades of yellow blue and green is quite visible against a black backdrop.

      3) Making use of graphics.

      4) Insertion of suitable clipart and images.

      5) Appearance of lines should be one after the other with suitable strokes of effects. Not all lines of slide should appear at once as it may distract the attention of audience.

      6) Insertion of video clips.

      7) Presentation of day time should be different in colours and graphics compare to the night time presentation.

      8) Ensure darkness in the room to make the slide visible.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      here is a good resource for powerpoint templates for your effective presentations ;)

    • profile image

      vishal andure 

      7 years ago

      ilearn more more about ppt

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Hub! There's some really helpful information in here that's beneficial to anyone using PowerPoint.

    • markgormanpro profile image


      9 years ago from Florida, USA

      Awesome tips, I've only know the basics and have been trying to progress using the help menu which is slow. This post really helped me get some valuable short cuts. Thanks

      Mark Gorman

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very well done. Excellent tips!

    • Mark Meredith profile image

      Mark Meredith 

      9 years ago

      These are great tips and even for a professional speaker. You don't want to fill your powerpoints up with too much information or the audience won't be able to sort it all out.

    • mommyfreelancer profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hi, Pinkhawk! Glad that you find this hub helpful. Cheers!

    • pinkhawk profile image


      9 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      wow! this is really a great help! thank you very much ma'am...

    • mommyfreelancer profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Indeed, they are! Powerpoint is a wonderful tool if used properly.


    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Outline, objective, and closing slides are crucial. Well


      PowerPoint can either numb or inspire; it all depends on how much care is taken to create the presentation.

    • mommyfreelancer profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hi, Barry! I should hurry up the sequels to this hub, then! Cheers!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      ive got one to do at Uni in a few weeks thanks for the tips !

    • mommyfreelancer profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, Waynet. These are just the basics...there is much more to cover. I'm thinking of creating some hubs on them.

      Good luck with the HubChallenge! :)

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      9 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers for a great presentation yourself, this is something that I am looking at doing quite soon, as I have some presentations to get through, I've bookmarked it for later, as I'm busy with this hubchallenge and creating youtube videos....

      Good luck with your challenge!


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