This is a presentation on power point skills that will make your presentations more effective. We will be looking at various techniques to help you make the most of every slide and to become a more effective presenter.
Before you even begin to make a powerpoint, make an outline. When you write an essay you typically write an outline first to organize your ideas and help ease the progression of the process. This is just as effective when making a powerpoint. An outline will help you keep your ideas organized and will allow for your thoughts and points to progress in a coherent matter.
Now that you have an outline for what ideas you’re going to present, it’s time to consider your audience. Are you presenting to professors who value professionalism? Are you presenting to co-workers who need something a little more upbeat to be able to stay awake? Always keep your audience in mind as you make your presentations so that you can tailor your message and delivery to make it as effective as possible.
This is a presentation, not a show and tell. The powerpoint is here to assist you in the delivery of your message, but remember that you are the star of this show. You should be the main source of information, not your slides.
A good technique to use when making a presentation is to make it a story. You should let the audience know three things. Where we are now, where we want to end up, and how we’re going to get there. This progression allows the audience to understand the information not only intellectually, but also emotionally.
Ever make a slide with a lot of bullet points and maybe even some paragraphs? If you said yes, then don’t worry, you’re one of the many. We’ve probably all done this at one point or another, but it’s not a good practice in presentations. A good presenter will show it, not write it. Keep all text in a presentation to a minimum. Remember that YOU are the primary source of information. Notes for presentations are fine, but don’t make your slides your note pages.
Remembering not to use too much text in a presentation, we should also remember to use what little text we include effectively. Make sure that the fonts are large enough to be seen from far away. Tiny text will detract from you as the audience will take their focus from you and attempt instead to read the squint worthy text.
Color is an option in powerpoint presentations that is often overlooked as an important detail to pay attention to. Oftentimes I see presentations with text and background colors clashing or being the same so that you can’t even read the title of the slide. Try to pay attention to your text color related to the color of your backgrounds so that the little text that you do include is readable.
Whenever you pick an image to use in your presentation, make sure that it is related to whatever that particular slide is trying to accomplish. The slides are there to help you tell your story, so try to make them progress with the ideas just as naturally as your ideas do.
Transitions and text effects were nice when we were in high school and first finding out how to make text fly in from every direction. Now that we’re in the adult world, it’s time to do away with the needless effects and to keep the images and effects focused so that we do not take away from our message.
Information overload is a real problem. When you make your slides make sure that each slide is only presenting one idea at a time. Whenever I see a presentation where the presenter tries to mash more than one idea into one slide I often don’t understand either point. You have to allow your audience time to receive and understand your message. Don’t rush them, just take things slowly and focus on one thing at a time.
Now that you have your slides outlined, designed, and set up properly, it’s time to focus on the most important part of the presentation: You!
When you present you have to remember to speak up. Keep your volume at a comfortable level that can be heard even from the back of the room. However, do remember that shouting is just as bad, if not worse, than whispering when you’re presenting.
The more interesting and exciting you appear to be while presenting, the more receptive your audience will be. I can’t tell you how many presentations I’ve seen where the presenter has a monotoned voice and has the face of apathy. Don’t make your presentation another one of those run-of-the-mill, boring slideshows that we have to sit through. Make it memorable and make it exciting.
Another way to keep your audience’s attention is to keep eye contact. Now, I’m not suggesting that you stare them down with malicious intent, but effective eye contact can be engaging and help your audience to feel connected to you as a presenter.
Finally, remember that too long of a presentation will lose your audience no matter how exciting you are. A general rule of thumb is to keep your presentations limited to somewhere around 10 slides. This presentation does not help illustrate this, but that is because in the instructions I was told this had to be “approximately 20 slides”. However, in the spirit of keeping the presentation short I will cut this one at 17.
Best Practices in
By Brad Nelson
Keep it Short
“Creating an Effective PowerPoint Presentation” (http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/powerpoint.html)
10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations (
Ten Secrets For Using PowerPoint Effectively (http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/ten-secrets-for-using-powerpoint-effectively/)
How to Create an Effective PowerPoint (http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Effective-PowerPoint)
10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations (http://money.howstuffworks.com/business-communications/effectivepowerpoint-presentations.htm#page=9)
Top Ten Delivery Tips (http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/deliver/)
Top Ten Slide Tips (http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/design/)
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.