ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE, MAKE YOUR POINT• Your presentation is over and people are walking out of the room. What do you want them to be thinking about? Make sure you say that first and last.• Youre the one telling the story, not the slides. Look at every element on each slide as a graphic--text and images alike. Avoid complete sentences: use bullet-point lists of single words and short phrases.
BASICS OF SLIDE CONSTRUCTION• Remember the contrast: dark on light, light on dark. Stick with two or three font styles and sizes, none too small for people in the back row to read. No italics, no serifs, and no blinking--ever. Use drop shadows and other text effects sparingly.
BASICS OF SLIDE CONSTRUCTION• Play it safe by embedding everything in your presentation: fonts, images, other graphics. This will increase the size of the presentation file, but todays hardware should handle it. Besides, 16GB USB flash drives cost less than $20. (See below for instructions on compressing embedded videos and other graphics in PowerPoint 2010.)
BASICS OF SLIDE CONSTRUCTION• Keep diagrams simple. If a chart or table has more than a dozen elements, break it up or consider printing it and distributing it as a handout or posting it online.• Timing is everything--keep a brisk pace, but not too brisk. The key to maintaining the right pace is practice, practice, practice. Avoid slide fatigue by averaging two or three slides per minute at most.
USE VIDEO AND IMAGES THAT ENHANCE YOURMESSAGE• One of the maxims of show business is show, dont tell. Images--whether still or moving--capture an audiences attention and can add impact to any presentation. But they can also serve as a distraction, diverting peoples attention away from the points youre trying to make.
USE VIDEO AND IMAGES THAT ENHANCE YOURMESSAGE• PowerPoint 2010 adds new features for editing images and video. Two of my favorites make it easy to remove the background from photographs and to compress embedded images and videos. Unfortunately, you cant insert a link to video on a Web site in the 64- bit version of Microsoft Office, as is explained on the Microsoft Answers forum. You have to download the file and embed it in the presentation.
USE VIDEO AND IMAGES THAT ENHANCE YOURMESSAGE• Cropping the background out of a picture is almost automatic when you use PowerPoint 2010s aptly named Remove Background feature. Simply select the image, choose the Format tab under Picture Tools on the ribbon, and click Remove Background in the Adjust section to the far left.
USE VIDEO AND IMAGES THAT ENHANCE YOURMESSAGE• Youll probably have to manually tweak the background crop by dragging the borders of the portion of the image PowerPoint selects for you, and by using the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove buttons. The feature cant match the precision of Adobe Photoshop and other image editors, but for most presentations, it does well enough
TURN THE POINTER OFF• During a presentation, it is very annoying to have the pointer (the little arrow) come on the screen while the presenter is speaking. It causes movement on the screen and draws the audience attention from the presenter to the screen. The pointer comes on when the mouse is moved during the presentation. To prevent this from happening, after the Slide Show view has started, press the Ctrl-H key combination.
TURN THE POINTER OFF• This prevents mouse movement from showing the pointer. If you need to bring the pointer on screen after this, press the A key. If the pointer does appear during your presentation, resist the urge to press the Escape key – if you do, it will stop the presentation and drop you back into the program. Press the A key or Ctrl-H to make the pointer disappear.
DONT FORGET THE DRESS REHEARSAL• Even if the presentation runs without a hitch back at the office or in the hotel room, always test it beforehand at the actual venue on the hardware youll use to present it. Think about the people sitting in the back row--and the front row and on either side of the room, for that matter.
DONT FORGET THE DRESS REHEARSAL• Sometimes the most thorough preparations wont prevent disaster. Always have a backup plan in mind if the presentation goes belly up. You may actually have to make eye contact with the audience. This is when your rehearsals in front of the mirror will pay off.
SOME MORE TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVEPPT.• Learn how to give a good speech without PowerPoint. This takes practice, which means giving speeches without PowerPoint. Believe it or not, public speaking existed before PowerPoint, and many people remember it as being a lot better then than it is now.
SOME MORE TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVEPPT.• A few people use presentation software in extremely effective ways—Steve Jobs and Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig are two examples. Al Gore’s use of Keynote in the movie ―An Inconvenient Truth‖ was a good model. But these three examples don’t look at all like the way most people use PowerPoint. Avoiding bad PowerPoint habits means, first and foremost, becoming a good public speaker.
SOME MORE TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVEPPT.• Don’t ―cue‖ the audience that listening to your speech means getting through your PowerPoint presentation. If the audience sees that your PowerPoint presentation is the structure of your speech, they’ll start wondering how many slides are left. Slides should be used asynchronously within your speech, and only to highlight or illustrate things. Audiences are bored with oral presentations that go from one slide to the next until the end. Engage the audience, and use slides only when they are useful.
SOME MORE TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVEPPT.• Concentrate on keeping the audience focused on you, not on the screen. You can do this by using slides sparingly, standing in front of the audience in a way that makes them look at you, and, if possible, going to the screen and using your hand or arm to point out things on a slide.
SOME MORE TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVEPPT.• If you expect to be using PowerPoint a lot, invest in a remote ―clicker‖ that lets you get away from the computer and still drive your presentation. If you don’t have one of those, it’s better to ask someone to run the presentation than to be behind a screen and keyboard while you talk.
RESOURCES FOR POWERPOINT PRESENTERS MakeUseOf: 10 Powerpoint tips for preparing a professional presentation Ellen Finkelstein: PowerPoint tips, techniques & tutorials Microsoft at Work: 12 tips for creating better PowerPoint presentations Fripp & Associates: 12 mistakes made when creating PowerPoint slides and how to correct them Success Begins Today: Do you make these mistakes with PowerPoint? Boston.com Job Doc: 7 PowerPoint mistakes that drive people crazy PowerPoint Ninja: Death by (Bad) PowerPoint--part I LifeHacker: Five ways to not suck at PowerPoint (slide show, appropriately enough)