This brief tutorial will cover ten easy-to-implement tips for PowerPoint presentations which will turn you into a wizard and master of visual presenting of ideas. Get to know interesting combinations of features and learn how to make your content memorable via the change of the slide design.
There are two types of slide orientations for PowerPoint: landscape or horizontal. This software was meant to be convenient in showing graphical information for supplementing the speech of the presenter. Thus, the purpose of the slides is not to be a leading element for the speaker and the audience. All valuable tips for effective PowerPoint presentations emphasize the idea that people come to get information and see the speaker, not to be amazed with an unnecessarily sophisticated, complex, or too elaborately designed presentations. Try to get rid of what Edward Tufte refers to as ‘chart junk’. Try not to appear superfluous. Do not be afraid that your slides may have a lot of white space. It is completely wrong to fill all the negative space with unnecessary images, graphics, logos, or boxes with the text which have no contribution to better understanding. PowerPoint presentations tips advise you to decrease the cluster for making your visual message more powerful.
Remember that you should care about the benefits for your audience, not your own ambitions. You want to provide as many details as possible and bore your listeners to death with countless bullet points! What about the text itself? You will be surprised to know that the top-notch tips for PowerPoint presentations recommend having no text in the best slides. Does it sound crazy for you? No text at all! However, please note again that the main focus of the audience should be you as a speaker and your narration. Even the most effective PowerPoint slides are meaningless if shown without your comments. The main aim of the slides is to support the speaker, not to give an abundance of additional information.
“Sorry, I could not come to listen to your presentation. Could you please email me the PowerPoint slides?” Does this common request have any sense for you? Even the best slides are of little use if a person has not heard the speech itself. Thus, in this case, it is more effective to provide a written document with the highlighted key points of the text instead of PowerPoint slides. A written handout with details would serve the audience better than a copy of the PowerPoint slides. Besides, two very important things for you to remember are not to turn your back on the listeners and not to read the text from the presentation as they are there!
If you look through any tips for PowerPoint presentations for students, you will see that all of them recommend using the slide transitions and object builds (animations) judiciously. It is excessive to have the bullet points and other images animated on each of the slides. It is rather tedious to see a presentation with a ‘Fly’ mode of wiping, although a simple classic ‘Wipe Left-to-Right’ would be perfect. It may sound illogical but a lot of animations bore the audience instead of making them involved. Besides, it is recommendable to use three types of transition effects at most and not place them with every transition.
One of the most essential tips on PowerPoint presentations is to include only high quality photographs and images. No matter where you have obtained your graphics (from professional stock photography, your digital camera, or online images with the copyright, they should be well done. It happens that students make the size of the photos larger merely stretching low-resolution images; thus, they fit the layout, but absolutely spoil presentations. Do not try to surprise your audience with some PowerPoint Clip Art objects – they have seen then hundred of times! What has been great in the 90s would be a demonstration of the unprofessionalism! Not every PowerPoint art is terrible, of course, but be careful using it.
Why do you think the hints on how to make a good presentation give advice to use the images of people in the slides? Right, photos of people help the audience to feel the emotional connection with the presentation. What should you do if the importance of photographic images is secondary? Try decreasing the opacity or add the Photoshop motion filter or Gaussian Blur. However, in case a photographic image should be the main aspect to see, little text should be added to the accentuated image.
Each PowerPoint presentation requires a nice visual theme and the templates you can use look good, but just imagine how many times your audience could see them. What they expect is something unique; otherwise, why should they waste their time on seeing the same? Try to create a new background template customized in accordance with your specific needs and save it as a Design Template (.pot) for your further use. Besides, you can buy professional PowerPoint templates online.
If you ask yourself how to make a good PowerPoint presentation, you should know exactly which details you are going to include. Remember that it is a bad idea to have excessive data in the charts; besides, they should not be the same throughout presentations. The data can be presented in graphic form as:
– Pie Charts with 4-6 slices for demonstrating percentages.
– Vertical Bar Charts with 4-8 bars for showing how the quantity changes over time.
– Horizontal Bar Charts for comparisons between the quantities.
– Line Charts for showing trends in sales, for example.
It is recommendable to use tables for the comparisons between quantitative data; however, the visceral level can have insufficient impact, then a bar chart is a better solution.
Do not forget that emotions can be well presented with colors. You can motivate, persuade, and evoke feelings if the colors are right. Increase the audience’s interest and make the comprehension enhanced with different hues in your presentation. Try to learn color theory at least in some aspects. Differentiate between warm and cool colors, and use the former for the foreground elements and the latter for the background. Just for your information, one of the most influential color schemes is a variation of yellow text on a blue background. A dark background with light text will work fine in a dark setting, but it will be unfavorable with many lights on. Study more about flashes and color schemes to make your speeches memorable.
Be deliberate in selecting fonts as they communicate a clear message by themselves. If you want to know how to make a good PPT presentation, set one main font throughout your slides with no more than two fonts of complementary type. Differentiate between the fonts and get to know the peculiar features of each of them. Mind that Helvetica should be avoided, but San-serif fonts are favorable for PowerPoint presentations. Try using Gill Sans, as it looks both professional and conversational. Besides, do not forget to check if the text can be easily read from everywhere in the room.
Use our tips for PowerPoint presentations for appropriate inclusion of audio and video recordings. It can help you demonstrate specific examples and help the audience learn in a natural way. Mind that you can include video clips either switching on a VCR or in the application. When you use a video clip, you change the pace of your speech and enhance the interest of the audience. Moreover, get the audio clips as well as interviews, but avoid various weird sound effects, like the sound of applause or a horn, as they spoil your credibility among your audience.
People understand the information better if it is given in smaller segments, so it is a good hint for you to know how to make a good presentation PPT in accordance with the multimedia learning theory and its segmentation principle. Use the Slide Sorter view and check on the logical flow of your PowerPoint presentation. You can break up a slide into several parts to make your presentation look logical and natural. Capture the attention of audience with your presentation and make use of the visual data to ensure improved communication and visual clarity.