Have you ever experienced the all too often death by PowerPoint? Or maybe, you were the guilty party during a presentation massacre. Guess what, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can prepare awesome presentations that will enhance and engage your audience. You just need to follow a few simple principles to create great PowerPoint presentations that even Tom Antion can enjoy. So, read and apply the following tips to your presentations to capture your audience’s attention every time.
#1 – Remember Who’s the Show
Your PowerPoint is not the show. Your audience came to hear you and that’s what they want. Don’t disappoint your audience give them what they want. Prepare your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation not replace it.
#2 – Limit Your Slide Text
The biggest problem with most slides is the content;
there is way too much text. Don’t try to place all your information on your slides. It turns your presentation into a boring reading assignment. It turns you into a boring speaker and you will lose your audience. Keep the text on your slides to a minimum and deliver the message yourself.
#3 – Keep Your Slides Simple
PowerPoint is so amazing that you can become mesmerized by all the bells and whistles available to you. There are animations, sounds and special effects galore. But, you don’t need to use everything in one PowerPoint. Simple slides with few special effects are usually the best. A slide with only a picture (that relates to your message) and one keyword can be very engaging. Try it, you will be surprised.
#4 – Choose Your Fonts Wisely
It is very important that when you do use text that it be readable. It needs to be large, the right color and the right font. The size of your fonts should be large and bold. If you are using a small font to get everything on a slide you have too much text. The color of your font should contrast with your background color like black on white or white on blue. However, you should avoid colors like red, yellow, orange or black for backgrounds. Also, you should avoid using too many fonts. Choose a serif font (like Arial) and a sans serif (like Times New Roman) that will complement each other. Save fancy fonts for the title slide or the ending slide.
#5 – Use Pictures and Graphics
Pictures and graphics must be colorful and large. Your pictures should be at least 50 percent of your slide with limited text. Your slide engage and attract your audience not bore them. Appropriate pictures and graphics (not clip art) are your most effective types of content, especially pictures of people your audience knows.
#6 – Use Video
Insert video into your PowerPoint for a change of pace, especially if your presentation is a long one. A good video from You Tube or a similar site can be used to add humor or relief from the usual routine. Or even better create some of your own videos.
#7 – Tell a Story
People enjoy stories and will be much more receptive to what you have to say if you have captured their attention with a story. Stories help you connect with your audience and get them to accept you and your message. So, make sure that your content, slides and pictures tell a story.
Author: Darrell Causey