When you’re putting together a PowerPoint presentation, it’s easy to get so bogged down in creating the slides that you miss a few key elements and end up with some mistakes. Follow these tips to help you build quality presentations with few mistakes. Over the years we have seen people make these mistakes and always had a comment to make after the presentation.
So here are some of the basics to make a great PowerPoint presentation.
Choose the Right PowerPoint Template – No matter how many times we have mentioned it in our previous blogs and our speaking sessions, we still see presenters using the really bad PowerPoint template. It’s really not hard to pick the right PowerPoint template when you already have a huge array of templates to choose from. If you don’t like any of the built in PowerPoint templates, then make your own using Podium for PowerPoint our flagship product that create amazing PowerPoint Backgrounds and templates in minutes.
Choose the Right Font – The readability of your PowerPoint presentation is critical and the font that you choose for your slides can have a huge impact. You need to be aware of how large the projection area is, and you’ll want to choose a font that can be read from even the furthest points in the room, if at all possible. Don’t choose a font that’s too scripty or pretty. All of those curls and pretty angles may make it harder for someone to read. Use a standard high impact font that has clear and sharp lines in the characters
Choose the Right Colors – Just as important as your font, your color choices can make or break your PowerPoint presentation! Your background color should provide a strong contrast to your font color, to make your font easier to read. Try to avoid doing a dark background with a light font. Just like on websites, that doesn’t work well in most PowerPoint presentations! If you’re unsure of your color choices, have someone peek at your slides.
Avoid Having Too Much Stuff – Many people try to cram a bunch of stuff into their PowerPoint presentation. They’re thinking, correctly, that they are only going to have a limited time in front of their audience, so they should make the most of it. The thing is, people may turn off way before you’re done speaking. Remember that PowerPoint is an extension of public speaking, and a good public speaker knows that the key to successful communication is brevity! This should hold true during your presentation, too. To avoid adding too much stuff to your presentation, weigh the value of every slide that you’ve created. Must the information in this slide be conveyed during your presentation, or can you include it with follow up material for your attendees to read at a later time? Does that photo really make the point that you need it to, or can you do it a different way? Does that one topic really need 13 subheadings, with a slide for each one?
Keep it Simple – You don’t need to animate every slide, or include a picture to drive home every point. If you can get your point across without a lot of additional touches, then do so. While a photo here and there and an occasional animated slide are great to change things up, you don’t need to depend on them to carry your point.
You are the Star – PowerPoint is a tool. People have come to the presentation to see you, not your power point. You should use the PowerPoint part of your presentation to help you make your points or keep your audience focused, but you need to be the main attraction. Practice your presentation, but keep your mind ready to be flexible. If someone has a question, roll with it-even if it interferes with the flow of your PowerPoint. Work your audience. Walk around the stage or speaking area, make eye contact with your audience, and get feedback. These, much more than your PowerPoint, will make for a great overall impression!
Used properly, a great PowerPoint presentation can lend a lot to the overall image that you’re trying to convey. Remember that you should be using PowerPoint to help your audience, not overwhelm them, and you will do great!