EFFECTIVE USE OF POWERPOINT AS A PRESENTATION TOOL POLICARPIO, PATRICK FV1215
CREATE A LOGICAL FLOW TO YOUR PRESENTATION• Better yet, tell a story. The absolute last thing you want to do is turn your presentation into a random assortment of bulleted lists, which is what often happens, especially when PowerPoint is involved. There must be a flow. Start with a good outlining or mind mapping program. Decide if your talk is going to be a persuasive speech or an enabling one.
DISTRIBUTE A HANDOUT.• I do not think that you should distribute a handout before you begin speaking. If you do so, people will start reading ahead instead of listening to you. It’s just one more distraction to keep them from focusing on your message. It also eliminates any surprises or drama you have built into your presentation.
REMEMBER, LESS IS MORE• Fancy slide transitions and fly-ins get old quickly. I strongly recommend that you keep things simple. A basic dissolve from one slide to another is usually sufficient .Also, have all your bullets appear at once rather than one at a time. Avoid sound effects—they serve no other purpose than annoying the audience and distracting them from your presentation.
PAY ATTENTION TO DESIGN• PowerPoint and other presentation packages offer all sorts of ways to add visual “flash” to your slides: fades, swipes, flashing text, and other annoyances are all too easy to insert with a few mouse clicks.
USE IMAGES SPARINGLY• There are two schools of thought about images in presentations. Some say they add visual interest and keep audiences engaged; others say images are an unnecessary distraction.• Both arguments have some merit, so in this case the best option is to split the difference: use images only when they add important information or make an abstract point more concrete.
MODULATE…• Especially when you’ve done a presentation before, it can be easy to fall into a drone, going on and on and on and on and on with only minimal changes to your inflection. Always speak as if you were speaking to a friend, not as if you are reading off of index cards. If keeping up a lively and personable tone of voice is difficult for you when presenting, do a couple of practice run- throughs.
MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION READABLE• Avoid paragraphs or long blocks of text.• Use appropriate fonts.• Avoid detailed reports.
KEEP IT SIMPLE• As with any design, cut the clutter. Two font families is a good rule of thumb. No more than one graphic image or chart per slide is another good rule.
BE CONSISTENT• Use the same colors and fonts throughout. Select graphic images in the same style. Templates go a long way toward helping to maintain consistency.
MATCH DESIGN TO PURPOSE• Decide if your presentation is meant to entertain, inform, persuade, or sell. Is a light-hearted or a more formal approach most appropriate to the subject and your audience? Keep colors, clip art, and templates consistent with your main objective.
USE LISTS AND TABLES TO ORGANIZE INFORMATION• Effective presentation designers avoid including long paragraphs of text. Using lists consisting of short phrases that summarize the message encourages the audience to listen to the presentation rather than just look at the slides.
CHECK SPELLING AND GRAMMAR• Using PowerPoints "Spelling" function from the "Review" menu helps ensure the presentation contains no errors.
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