Some of these things include knowing who you’re presenting to, where you’ll be presenting, how much time you’re given to present, and of course, the ultimate goal of the presentation.
But just like anything else, there is a right way and wrong way to give a talk using PowerPoint as a speaking tool. If you have ever sat in on a presentation where the speaker used PowerPoint unwisely, you know that the tool can become as much of a curse as a blessing to a public speaker. So it’s good to have some guidelines on how to use PowerPoint to help your presentation and not hurt it.
- 5 Powerful Steps -
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The following are some really great suggestions that can help you make an unforgettable PowerPoint presentation.
1. First of all, you’re going to need to know exactly who your audience is so you can start planning out your content. Once you have created your outline and know what you’re going to say, you can now begin to pick and choose the best PowerPoint designs. The content should be the driver when it comes to choosing the best PowerPoint designs for your presentation, not the other way around.
2. If you are limited in your choice of templates you can download PowerPoint templates in order to give you some more choices. Remember that your content is going to help decide which template will best suit the presentation. Or, if you work for a corporation you may think about using blank slides with the corporate brand or logo strategically placed on the top or side of each slide.
3. Use only one thought or idea in all of your PowerPoint slides. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information so it’s best to keep every slide as simple as you can so as not to distract or take away from the intended message.
4. Adding images, photos, charts and/or diagrams to accompany your words is a great idea. Make sure you find the right balance by making the most important pieces of content stand out, which is important in a visual presentation. Don’t feel that you have to add an image or a graph to every single slide, as again, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information. Sometimes all you need is a visual for the audience to look at while you talk about what they are seeing.
5. Try to speak with authority so people will believe what you’re saying. Although many people tend to get nervous when talking in front of an audience, try to look at it as a way of simply teaching people about what they need to know. And since you are the one that created the PowerPoint you are the expert so there’s really no reason to be nervous. Share your expertise!
What to Avoid
Now that you know exactly what you need to do in order to make an unforgettable PowerPoint presentation, you should also know what to avoid.
- Don’t fill up the entire slide and instead leave some empty space around the words and/or images.
- If you feel you must use fancy transitions to move from one slide to the next, use them very sparingly.
- Don’t highlight all the words in bold, only the ones you want to place an emphasis on.
If you feel that by following the above suggestions you won’t be able to get your message across in its entirety, or that your audience might miss some important details, create a sheet of information to pass out to everyone before you start presenting. In fact, if you can get it to your audience at least 10 minutes before you start, they’ll have time to read over it so they can have all the information you want them to have.
Above all, do not turn your back on the audience to read a PowerPoint slide to them. This is the number one most common mistake people do when speaking using PowerPoint. Turning your back on your audience is always a bad idea. So if you must discuss what is on the slide, do so facing the audience. But to turn your back and then read a slide to them is insulting and boring to your audience.
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By Mark Doyle.
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