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Susan Walters



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5 Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations


Even though the software has been around for close to two decades, there are very few methods of communication new ideas or convincing audiences to embrace new concepts that the PowerPoint presentation. The combination of visual and text elements in the PowerPoint slide show appeals to people who incorporate new information in a variety of ways. Of course, not all presentations are the same. Some are simply more effective than others. If you want your presentations to be as effective as possible, take a look at these five tips.

  1. Avoid Using Too Much Text on One Slide

Always remember that your PowerPoint presentation has two different facets. The first is the information that is contained on the slides you display. The second is the information that you deliver to the audience as you speak. As you probably already realize, most people do not read and listen well at the same time. This means that while your audience is reading the blocks of text on your slide, they are not listening to what you are saying. In addition to this, large blocks of text on one slide are going to disrupt the flow of your presentation.

  1. Choose a Great Font for Presentation

Ignore what you have been told about the proper fonts for business communications. You are not writing a resume or composing a memo. You are designing a presentation. Focus on those two words, presentation and design. Fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, and Trebuchet look great when printed on a plain paper background. In a presentation with color and other design elements they are as dull as can be. If you don’t feel comfortable experimenting with fonts, consider using Helvetica this is a great multi-purpose font when it comes to presentations.

  1. Use Color Wisely

Use of color can really add to your presentation. Test out different color combinations to see which ones work best for you. If you can work in colors that relate to your brand, this is even better. You can also look into patterned backgrounds for your slides. This gives a sleek, designers touch to the look of your presentation. Finally, before you make a final decision, ask yourself if the colors you have selected reflect your brand and the overall impression you want to leave with your audience.

  1. Show your Presentation to a Test Audience

No restaurant chef serves their food to their paying customers without having other people taste it first. Why would you show your PowerPoint presentation to your target audience without doing at least one test screening. What you are looking for is honest feedback. Does your test audience understand what you are trying to communicate? Do any graphics that you have included help them understand more? Does the presentation flow too quickly or two slowly? What was the general impression they received from the design of your presentation? Most importantly, what questions did they have for you once your presentation was finished? Your ability to anticipate and prepare for audience questions is a huge point in your favor when it comes to credibility.

  1. Use Technology to Your Favor

You are no longer limited to embedding pictures in your slides as your biggest ‘wow’ factor. Take advantage of this technology to make your presentation a truly multimedia experience for your audience. Do you have a video presentation you want to show your audience? You can embed that directly into a slide. What about a live demonstration? There are apps that interface with PowerPoint that will allow you to step out of your presentation to use visuals to further explain a concept to your audience.

Author Profile Picture
Susan Walters


Read more from Susan Walters

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