Whether we love them or hate them, the truth is that PowerPoint Presentations, or PPTs as they are informally known, are here to stay. Despite all the headache PowerPoint Presentations tend to bring along, they can be effective tools of communication. And, if used right, can add a bit of liveliness to a boring topic or a dull meeting.
The key to an impressive PowerPoint presentation lies in its creation and its presentation. Both these factors are equally important and you need to pay attention to them. In this post, we share a few tips and tricks under the broad ‘creation’ and ‘presentation’ categories that will help you the next time you are looking to make a killer presentation.
All Cramped Up
This is a common mistake many presenters make. They tend to add way too much text on a slide as if they are running out of slides. Well, you aren’t! So, don’t cram too many sentences or, worse, paragraphs into one slide. You need to ensure that your audience, even, the ones at the back of the room can read your slide without difficulty. And clear, spaced out bullet points typed out in a neat font can achieve that. Also, if you are sourcing information from elsewhere, say, a market report, don’t simply cut, copy, and paste it on to your presentation. It will not just look out of place but can also distract your audience. Instead, use salient points of that particular report and add it in neat points.
Pictures Say A Lot
Images can do a fine job of getting your point across. However, you need to use good, clear images to complement the text rather than overpower it. If you are using animations, go ahead. But make sure that they are professional and fit into the context you are presenting. Adding something childish or silly will completely destroy your efforts and make you look bad. Also, skip the clipart. It’s outdated, boring and adds little to your talk.
Infographics Are Da Bomb
Infographics have become a rage in the world of presentations in the past few years. When done well, the simplicity of infographics can convey even the most complex ideas. While, we don’t recommend that you use it on every slide, do use them when you want to break down complex data, showcase numbers, or even share trends. Get rid of those clumsy pie charts, we say!
Colour Me Up
Let’s face it. Nobody wants to look at a plain, black and white presentation for long. Colour is your friend when you are making presentations. You just need to use it well. Don’t add every colour under the rainbow to your presentation. Instead, think of a colour scheme that you can use across your presentation that enhances what you are going to present rather than distract your audience.
Have fun with the presentation! Remember all the age-old rules can easily be broken and your audience is more receptive to presentations being colourful, informative, and fun than they were a decade ago. Use your creativity to play around with the standard templates, the design, and the flow of your presentation.
Script it out
Don’t make up the words you are going to say along with your presentation when you are up there, in front of your audience. Plan and prepare a script ahead and think about relevant things to say for each slide. PowerPoint presentations only help you communicate more effectively; the bulk of the communication still lies with you and depends on what you have to say. It’s not the other way around. Also, take some time out and practice! Present it to your friends or colleagues and think about what you can do better.
If you don’t have any friends, :(, then practice in front of a mirror.
Face Your Audience
Present your ideas rather than just read them out of the presentation. Many presenters simply read out what’s on the slide rather than elaborate on them. Also, don’t turn your back on your audience by completely facing the slides. You are talking to the people in front of you and not to the slides.
Let this not be a monologue. When you deliver a monologue people tend to drift away. So, make your presentations as interactive as possible. You can ask questions and give your audience something to think about. Also, ensure that they feel a connection to what you are saying. Appeal to their sensibilities and emotions rather than just ramble dry lines about market figures and statistics.
Point To Point
PowerPoint presentations give a structure to your idea and what you have to say. Use that structure to build a coherent argument. Don’t jump from one idea to another. This will only leave your audience confused. Explain your point clearly before moving on to the next idea. Here, preparation and practice (we have mentioned this above) will come handy.
Back It Up
Technology can be very unreliable many times. So, ensure that you have a backup. Go into the meeting prepared for any technical glitches and with a Plan B if things don’t go your way. Always carry a backup copy of your presentation so that you are not left embarrassed with a room full of people staring at you.
Found these tips useful? Try them out next time you present … at business meetings, evangelism or even at a hackathon! (Hopefully one of ours …) This might just drive you to greatness!