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Pro Tips for Better PowerPoint Presentations

Updated on May 19, 2014

Five Steps to Impress Your Audience

Giving presentations is a great way to educate and inform your co-workers, students, clients, etc. Using PowerPoint (or Keynote if you are on a Mac) makes it easy and effective, especially if your PowerPoint presentation consists of high-quality slides and is clear.

Fortunately, making good slides is rather easy - at least if you first read these easy-to-follow steps. Be ready to blow your audience away!

The above picture is by Bill McChesney.

As easy as 10-20-30
As easy as 10-20-30

1) The Rule of Thumb: 10-20-30

So-called 10-20-30 rule of keeping presentations is better than good. If you don't remember any other tips when you are making your PowerPoint slides, remember at least this rule.

10: You should have no more than 10 slides. If you have more, get rid of unimportant stuff and obvious and unessential things. PowerPoint slides should be just supporting your presentation, not be the main point.

20: Don't talk for too long; 20 minutes is a good maximum. Very long presentations get boring and probably contain some unnecessary stuff. PowerPoint presentations should be short and vigorous.

30: The minimum font size you should use is 30pt. Too small text is difficult to read, and big text makes it difficult to squeeze lots of text into one slide, which would be a mistake. Why? The step number three explains it. :-)

The above picture is by Tom Magliery.

Oh, how romantic
Oh, how romantic

3) Another Rule: KISS

Step one is about the 10-20-30 rule; now's time for another one: KISS. KISS stands for

  • Keep
  • It
  • Straight
  • and
  • Simple.
Write only keywords. Do not write full sentences. The slides shouldn't be the target of attention but you!

The above picture is by Benedikte Vanderweeën.

This one rocks, too
This one rocks, too

4) Prefaces Rock

An introduction, even a short one, which tells the audience what you are going to tell and talk about is really helpful. It's so much easier for the audience to keep up when they know what you are going to talk about next.

If you know that there are some people in the audience who don't know you, be sure to introduce yourself.

You might also want to include an epilogue. If you do include, remember to thank the audience.

The above picture is by hjw223.

5) Practice, practice, and practice

You should know the subject so well that you could give the presentation even without the PowerPoint slides! That makes it easier not only for you but also for your audience.

Practice makes perfect.

Last but Not Least

I think that the most important thing to keep in mind when giving a presentation is this: remember to maintain eye contact with the audience, especially when the audience is relatively small.

Lastly, How NOT to Use PowerPoint

As a conclusion, be sure to watch this hilarious (but informative) video in which Don MacMillan explains how not to use PowerPoint.

How do you do your PowerPoint presentations? Wanna share some nifty tips & tricks? Say at least hello! :-)

Guestbook & Readers' Tips

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    • profile image

      bijit99 4 years ago

      Great job Matias...I found your lens worth visiting and also it touches the subject matter "Presentation" as does my lens "How to prepare for a Seminar Presentation ", so as a gesture of good will I added your link to my "Related Lens"...Read mine, you will like it I know http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-prepare-for-a-semina...

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 6 years ago

      great stuff

    • MamaRuth profile image

      MamaRuth 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I'm a regular PowerPoint user so these will come in handy. Also, I LOVED the video. It should be required viewing for all presenters. Thanks for sharing it.

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      Good tips, I always remember KISS from school

    • davidber profile image

      davidber 6 years ago

      Nice tips, I use PP very often.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I used powerpoint a few times in college - actually enjoyed it -:)