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Improving your presentation with PowerPoint

Updated on February 27, 2008

PowerPoint is a comprehensive presentation graphics software, which gives you everything you need to produce a professional presentation. Main features PowerPoint offers include word processing, outlining, drawing, graphing, and presentation management tools. When you create a presentation using PowerPoint, the presentation is made up of a series of slides. The slides that you create using PowerPoint can also be presented as either overhead transparencies or 35mm slides. With PowerPoint, you can:

  1. Keep your entire presentation, including all your slides, speaker's notes, and audience handouts, in a single file.
  2. Print audience handouts, outlines, and speaker's notes.
  3. Import what you have created in Word and Excel into any of your slides.
  4. Use ready-made PowerPoint templates, PowerPoint backgrounds coming with the Software.
  5. Customize your slides with free PowerPoint templates and free PowerPoint backgrounds down loaded from internet.

Generally, we present our information to our audience to inform, to educate, to market, or to sell our mission, products, and/or our services. In order to maximize the effect of our presentation, we need some quality visual aids. PowerPoint is one of the wonderful business tools to make our presentation successful. To improve the look & feel, impact, and effectiveness of our presentation, here I will present some key points about how to enhance our presentations with PowerPoint

1. PowerPoint slides are nothing more than visual aids

Don't put everything you plan to talk in the slides. Slides serve to remind you what you are talking about and help the audience to take note of your main points. They are not intended for you and the audience to read from.

2. Stick to KISS and KILL principles

When you add content of your presentation, pay attention to "Keep it Short and Simple (KISS)" and "Keep it Large and Legible (KILL)". Leave enough empty space on your slides. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become. Remember, the slides are meant to support the speech of the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous.

3. Harmonize your backgrounds and templates with your content, what you are talking.

Your backgrounds and templates should be suitable for your content, otherwise, it will not give you the expected effect.

4. Limit bullet points and animation

Too many bullet points are boring and hard for the audience to remember, and too much animation will distract audience attention from your main points.

5. Use PowerPoint View to edit your slides

There are three types of views in PowerPoint, outline view, slide sorter view, and slide show view. You can use them effectively and alternatively to view slides, identify points that need to be modified, and edit the slides.

6. Use Slide Master to format your slides

Slide Master is a powerful tool you can use to format all the slides in your presentation. Once you finish formatting the master slide using Slide Master function, all your slides in the presentation will change according to the master slide.

7. Combination of quality presenter and quality slides

This is the last but not the least point. No matter how wonderful the slides are, without a quality presenter, they mean nothing. The most important quality for a presenter is that he/she has to know the topic thoroughly, which can boost his or her own confidence to talk and the audience can perceive the confidence from the speaker. This, in turn, will enhance the effect of the presentation tremendously.


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