Effective Use ofPowerpoint as apresentation tool
Effective Powerpoint1. Write a script.O A little planning goes a long way. Most presentations are written in PowerPoint (or some other presentation package) without any sort of rhyme or reason.O That‘s bass-ackwards. Since the point of your slides is to illustrate and expand what you are going to say to your audience. You should know what you intend to say and then figure out how to visualize it. Unless you are an expert at improvising, make sure you write out or at least outline your presentation before trying to put together slides.O And make sure your script follows good storytelling conventions: give it a beginning, middle, and end; have a clear arc that builds towards some sort of climax; make your audience appreciate each slide but be anxious to find out what‘s next; and when possible, always leave ‗em wanting more.
Effective Powerpoint2. One thing at a time, please.O At any given moment, what should be on the screen is the thing you‘re talking about. Our audience will almost instantly read every slide as soon as it‘s displayed; if you have the next four points you plan to make up there, they‘ll be three steps ahead of you, waiting for you to catch up rather than listening with interest to the point you‘re making.O Plan your presentation so just one new point is displayed at any given moment. Bullet points can be revealed one at a time as you reach them. Charts can be put on the next slide to be referenced when you get to the data the chart displays. Your job as presenter is to control the flow of information so that you and your audience stay in sync.
Effective Powerpoint3. No paragraphs.O Where most presentations fail is that their authors, convinced they are producing some kind of stand-alone document, put everything they want to say onto their slides, in great big chunky blocks of text.O Congratulations. You‘ve just killed a roomful of people. Cause of death: terminal boredom poisoning.O Your slides are the illustrations for your presentation, not the presentation itself. They should underline and reinforce what you‘re saying as you give your presentation — save the paragraphs of text for your script. PowerPoint and other presentation software have functions to display notes onto the presenter‘s screen that do not get sent to the projector, or you can use notecards, a separate word processor document, or your memory. Just don‘t put it on the screen – and for goodness‘ sake, if you do for some reason put it on the screen, don‘t stand with your back to your audience and read it from the screen!
Effective Powerpoint4. Pay attention to design.O 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.O Avoid the temptation to dress up your pages with cheesy effects and focus instead on simple design basics:O Use a sans serif font for body text. Sans serifs like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri tend to be the easiest to read on screens.O Use decorative fonts only for slide headers, and then only if they’re easy to read. Decorative fonts –calligraphy, German blackface, futuristic, psychotic handwriting, flowers, art nouveau, etc. – are hard to read and should be reserved only for large headlines at the top of the page. Better yet, stick to a classy serif font like Georgia or Baskerville.O Put dark text on a light background. Again, this is easiest to read. If you must use a dark background – for instance, if your company uses a standard template with a dark background – make sure your text is quite light (white, cream, light grey, or pastels) and maybe bump the font size up two or three notches.O Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read and looks amateurish. Line up all your text to a right-hand or left-hand baseline – it will look better and be easier to follow.O Avoid clutter. A headline, a few bullet points, maybe an image – anything more than that and you risk losing your audience as they sort it all out.
Effective Powerpoint5. Use images sparinglyO 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.O 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.O While we‘re on the subject, absolutely do not use PowerPoint‘s built-in clipart. Anything from Office 2003 and earlier has been seen by everyone in your audience a thousand times – they‘ve become tired, used-up clichés, and I hopefully don‘t need to tell you to avoid tired, used-up clichés in your presentations. Office 2007 and non- Office programs have some clipart that isn‘t so familiar (though it will be, and soon) but by now, the entire concept of clipart has about run its course – it just doesn‘t feel fresh and new anymore.
Effective Powerpoint6. Think outside the screen.O Remember, the slides on the screen are only part of the presentation – and not the main part. Even though you‘re liable to be presenting in a darkened room, give some thought to your own presentation manner – how you hold yourself, what you wear, how you move around the room. You are the focus when you‘re presenting, no matter how interesting your slides are.
Effective Powerpoint7. Have a hook.O Like the best writing, the best presentation shook their audiences early and then reel them in. Open with something surprising or intriguing, something that will get your audience to sit up and take notice. The most powerful hooks are often those that appeal directly to your audience‘s emotions – offer them something awesome or, if it‘s appropriate, scare the pants off of them. The rest of your presentation, then, will be effectively your promise to make the awesome thing happen, or the scary thing not happen.
Effective Powerpoint8. Ask questions.O Questions arouse interest, pique curiosity, and engage audiences. So ask a lot of them. Build tension by posing a question and letting your audience stew a moment before moving to the next slide with the answer. Quiz their knowledge and then show them how little they know. If appropriate, engage in a little question-and-answer with your audience, with you asking the questions.
Effective Powerpoint9. Modulate, modulate, modulate.O 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 (even if you are). If keeping up a lively and personable tone of voice is difficult for you when presenting, do a couple of practice run-throughs. If you still can‘t get it right and presentations are a big part of your job, take a public speaking course or join Toastmasters.
Effective Powerpoint10. Break the rules.O As with everything else, there are times when each of these rules – or any other rule you know – won‘t apply. If you know there‘s a good reason to break a rule, go ahead and do it. Rule breaking is perfectly acceptable behavior – it‘s ignoring the rules or breaking them because you just don‘t know any better that leads to shoddy boring presentations that lead to boredom, depression, psychopathic breaks, and eventually death. And you don‘t want that, do you?
Effective Powerpoint11. Plan your content firstO Many experts warned about the dangers of planning your presentation in PowerPoint:O So the most important recommendation is to plan your content first. This recommendation came up time and time again. In some cases, it was the only recommendation that contributors made:
Effective Powerpoint12. Use a plain background and remove anyunecessary detailO Delete that powerpoint template. Powerpoint templates come from the mindset that PowerPoint slides are like documents and so should be branded. Templates add clutter and distract from the visual impact of a slide.
Effective Powerpoint13. One idea per slideO So now you have your plain background instead of a cluttered and distracting PowerPoint template.
Effective Powerpoint14. Support the headline with graphicevidenceO Instead of bullets, support your points with graphic evidence. This can include photos, images, charts and diagrams.
Effective Powerpoint15. You don’t always need a slideO Not every point in your presentation needs a slide:O What do you do when you‘re not showing a slide? You insert a plain black slide into your slideshow.This is a simple concept, and yet it is profound when you use it all the time. It‘s a game changer! Or maybe, PowerPoint is not the most appropriate tool at that time in your presentation.Just like no one person can meet all of your relationship needs, no one tool can meet all of your presentation needs. I like to use flip charts with or without PowerPoint; flip charts used to sketch out an idea, get input from the audience or provide a group activity keep a presentation lively. There‘s movement, there‘s interaction, there‘s problem solving, and the activity is spontaneous, created on the spot.
Effective Powerpoint16. Put detail in the handoutsO This was the item that was recommended the most times! If you want to follow best practice, simply printing out your PowerPoint slides to create a handout is no longer an option. Here are some of the views:O Well-designed slides are terrible handouts since they lack the on-slide text necessary to form an informative narrative. [Create] handouts that are distributed after the presentation.
Effective Powerpoint17Grab viewers attentionO Creating slides that grab viewers‘ attention is not about fitting as much as you can on the screen. Its about using the space on your slides effectively. Dont crowd your slides, and only include elements that contribute to the points you want to make. When you use graphics on a slide, choose images that serve a purpose (such as a chart or diagram that displays a direct benefit of your idea). Compare the slides that follow, for example.
Effective Powerpoint18. Select or create your own theme.O Themes are the evolution of design templates in PowerPoint, but theyre also much more than that. Themes were introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 to help you easily create the right look for your presentations and to coordinate all of your Microsoft Office documents almost instantly.O A theme is a coordinated set of fonts, colors, and graphic effects that you can apply to your entire document with just a click. The same themes are available for your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel workbooks, and even your Microsoft Outlook email messages (and, in Office 2010, your Microsoft Access database forms and reports), so its easy to create your own personal or business branding throughout all of your documents.
Effective Powerpoint19. Use video and audio to convey your message more effectively.O Dynamic content, such as a brief video that illustrates an important point, is a great way to engage your audience. Using audio that helps convey your message, like recorded narration (you can add this to slides when sending your presentation to others to view), can also help keep your slides clean and approachable.O In PowerPoint 2010, video you insert from your files is now embedded by default, so you dont have to include multiple files when sharing your presentation electronically. You can also customize your embedded videos with easy-to-use tools, such as video trim, fades, and effects. And with PowerPoint 2010, you can insert a video that youve uploaded to a website to play directly in your presentation.
Effective Powerpoint20. Use graphics to emphasize key pointsO A well-chosen chart or diagram can often convey much more to your audience than can boring bulleted text. Fortunately, creating charts and graphics has never been easier. In Office 2010 and Office 2007, Office graphics coordinate automatically with the active theme in your presentation.