The infamous PowerPoint is still around.
Badly delivered presentations, whether in Keynote on a Mac or PowerPoint on a PC, will make your audience wish they had skipped the buffet.
We’ve all seen dreadful slide presentations with lengthy lists of unintelligible bullets and pixelated clip art, presented by speakers who incessantly face away from the audience so they can read off the screen.
I have excellent news, though.
When used selectively and at the right moment, well-designed slides may be stunning. Heck, they might even elevate a solid presentation to great status.
If you’re aware of what to do,
This will be useful if you’ve ever found it difficult to make engaging slides or worried that they’re too wordy or that you have too many of them.
Here are my top 10 suggestions for how to improve any PowerPoint presentation.
1.Construct your slides last.
You might be tempted to play around with the slides while you draft your speech, but resist the urge. It’s similar to building a road; installing sidewalks and planting trees is useless until you know where the route is going. Your slides are not meant to replace a well-designed speech; rather, they should ADD to it.
2. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE YOU.
People come to hear from you so they can understand your ideas, perceptions, and insights. Lots of text, flashy transitions, and YouTube video detract from the quality of your message and delivery.
Keep in mind that whenever you use the clicker, the audience turns away from you and toward the screen.
3. APPLY A UNIVARIOUS THEME.
As you go from an issue to a solution, a unifying theme ties the variation in your pictures and content together. You could use the pre-installed themes that come with PowerPoint or Keynote, but I don’t since I like a simpler, more distinctive appearance.
I design a unique theme using just my titles, a constant white backdrop, and occasionally my logo or the logo of one of my clients.
4. MUCH MORE IMAGES, FEWER TEXT
Want to swiftly update a worn-out PowerPoint presentation? Reduce the text and enlarge your photos (I’ll show you where to find free images in this post). Keep in mind that this post’s main premise is that your slides should enhance your speech rather than draw attention away from you.
Since the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times quicker than words, employing a huge image helps you make your message without detracting from it. And a quick set of bullet points only serves to make it easier for your audience to follow your argument.
5. A STORY FOR EACH SLIDE.
Depending on the intricacy of the content or the number of anecdotes I share throughout my 60 minute speech, I could need 30 to 35 slides. A entire tale is represented by each slide. I may be imparting a lesson, recounting an incident that serves as the basis for a lesson, or sparingly providing facts.
I always limit myself to one tale each slide, though.
6. DISCOVER EACH BULLET ONE AT A TIME.
When presenting material, such as a brief list of bullet points, the challenge is to get your argument over without losing the audience. To disclose one bullet at a time is one method. Right-click your text box in PowerPoint, choose Custom Animation > Add Entrance Effect, and then pick the desired effect. Click Animate > Build in in Keynote and select the desired effect.
Are you a blogger? You may receive rapid comments and an evaluation of your title from the BlogWorks Amazing Headline Analyzer. Just give it a go!
7. LET DISNEY HANDLING THE FIREWORKS.
It’s nice that you can make words burst into flames and visuals whirl, but Disney should handle the fireworks. Make yourself the star; that’s your duty. Simple transitions, clear typefaces, and large, eye-catching visuals consistently outperform PowerPoint techniques.
8.APPLY THE 2/4/8 RULE.
I have a trend when I look back at my most popular slide decks, which I refer to as the 2/4/8 rule: I have a new slide roughly every 2 minutes (approximately 30 slides for a 60-minute lecture), with no more than 4 bullets each slide and no more than 8 words per bullet.
Use the 2/4/8 rule as a general guide, and then adjust the components as necessary, just as with any recipe.
9. WHEN TALKING, FADE TO BLACK.
The focus should be on you, not your presentations. The moment the screen goes dark, you recover the audience’s interest. For instance, after presenting one answer (which is also displayed on the screen), I’ll fade to black and explain how to use the solution in your work before returning.
Similar to a close-up in a movie, the speaker is the only thing the director wants you to pay attention to. When looking for a remote, be sure it has the black screen option because some don’t.
10. DUMP IT WHEN IN DOUBT.
Slides can be helpful for describing CO2 emission patterns if you’re Al Gore, but they can also be annoying. Will it improve my speech? I ask myself this question whenever I’m having trouble deciding whether or not I need a slide. If not, I throw it away.
Keep in mind that absence is not missed.
One final point. Spend the $80 and bring a remote if you’re flying alone without an A/V team (with spare batteries.) Watching a speaker continuously lean down, search for the correct key, and then peck away to progress the slides is the worst.