Before you can deliver your presentation, you have to design it. The way you design your PowerPoint presentation affects how you deliver your presentation and how your audience takes in what you are presenting.
Being consistent through out your slides make your PowerPoint presentation easy on the eyes for your audience. Four things to be consistent with are layout, colors, scheme, and fonts.
Make sure that you limit the amount of words per slide. Less is more in this case. If there is additional information you would like to include, put it in the notes view, like so. If you have more than one bullet point or word on your slide make sure that they are not close together; this makes it easier for your audience to read your information.
When designing a PowerPoint you need to be aware of both your font size and style. No matter where you are presenting, you need to make sure your audience can read what is on your slide. Not only should your font be large but it should be Sans Serif (no “tails” or curves). Arial is a Sans Serif font while Times New Roman is a Serif font.
Transitions and animations can help and hurt your presentation. In a professional it is best to avoid the animation effects used on this slide. They are distracting and time consuming. Click the Stop sign to see an example of unprofessional animations.
Throughout my PowerPoint I have been using only high quality images with Creative Commons Licenses. In this slide and the previous one I am using clipart as an example. The image on the right will have more of an impact than the clipart used on the left.
The combination of these three elements with the text on your slide will help your audience pick out what information is most important on your slide. It is suggested to only use one of these elements per slide though.
Simple backgrounds should be used because they will not distract the audience from the information on your slide. Backgrounds that are too busy will cause your text to be illegible.
Colors are often underestimated when making a PowerPoint, most people focus more on the content. Using color can catch the eye of your audience and keeps them engaged.
Delivery and design go hand-in-hand. There are different elements that go into delivering your presentation.
Practice makes perfect. Make sure you practice your presentation in front of a small group of friends or family to get comfortable with your material.
While presenting your PowerPoint never read from your slides, it is unprofessional. Reading from your slides makes your audience think you are unprepared or you don’t know what your presentation is about.
Imagining being a member of your audience will help you deliver your presentation. As an audience member you don’t want to hear a fast-paced speaker who keeps saying “uh” and “like” during their presentation.
Make your presentation easy to listen to. Try to use short sentences and simple grammar so your message gets through to your audience clearly.
Use the time you are given wisely. Avoid spending too much time on one slide by knowing what you are going to say about each slide ahead of time. Separate ideas and topics through out your presentation. It is better to have more slides with one idea each than to have one slide with all of the ideas crammed together.
Standing still is going to make your audience think you are uninterested in what you are presenting; therefor, they will be uninterested. Moving around (appropriately) will catch your audience’s attention. Pacing back and forth and flailing your arms about would be considered inappropriate movement and unprofessional; it also just might scare your audience.
Keeping eye contact with your audience is very important. It is considered unprofessional to look at the ceiling and floor while giving a presentation. Move from person to person to catch their eyes so they will focus on what you are doing.
All of the previous points go hand-in-hand with this one; engage your audience. Not only with movement or eye contact, but also with questions. Ask them for their opinions, questions, and comments. Last but not least, thank them for their time.
Best Practices in Presentation Design and Delivery