Most people have had an experience where a PowerPoint presentation failed totally. You don’t know what to think about the presenter and their presentation. But you know they could’ve done better than that. Good news: you can easily prepare powerful PowerPoint presentations that have your listeners paying attention throughout the session. Bad news: anyone can end up with a doomed-to-fail PowerPoint presentation. This page will help you sidestep common pitfalls. In the end, you’ll learn how to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that packs a punch.
Why PowerPoint Presentations Matter
PowerPoint presentations help people communicate more effectively. PowerPoint helps people condense massive information into small, relevant, easy-to-understand chunks of information. Everyone connected to the Internet can access pretty much any sort of information they want anytime. A well-done PowerPoint presentation helps people learn in minutes what they might have learned in hours. Your goal is to save your listeners time by summarizing tons of information into just a few, easy-to-digest points.
In short, a well-prepared PowerPoint presentation makes information easier to remember and more accessible. Having trouble creating your presentation? Find help. Our PowerPoint experts can show you the little things that differentiate successful PowerPoint presentations from failed ones. Read on to know the dos and don’ts of PowerPoint presentation.
The Don’ts of PowerPoint Presentation
A survey carried out at Muhlenberg College collected information about what students liked and disliked about their professor’s classroom presentations. The findings from the study led to the following conclusions:
Clip Art is a No-no
Microsoft PowerPoint has been around for the last 25+ years. Now, that’s quite old. A lot has happened over that period of time. PowerPoint presentation tricks that would have made you look like a tech genius two decades ago don’t work today. For example, clip art might have worked splendidly 25 ago, but it doesn’t look cool anymore. Using clip art makes you look old and might even have your listeners rolling their eyes. It gets worse. Using clip art in your presentation might cause your audience to tune you out completely. If you must use clip art, use it judiciously.
Avoid Having Too Many Words on Your PowerPoint Slides
Your audience certainly doesn’t want you to read material for them. They can read. And they don’t want to waste a single second listening to someone who tries to do something that offers zero value. So, use words as if they were scarce. Use meaningful keywords as they can help you communicate powerfully without saying too much. If there are too many words, your audience will find themselves trying to read them. You’ll cease to be the star of the session. And who wants that?
Avoid Using Italics
It’s not a good idea to italicize your text. That’s because italicized textual content is generally harder to read than normal text.
Don’t Use Too Many Colors
Know how to use colors to your advantage. Use appropriate colors and while at it, don’t use too many of them. Also, avoid using a white background as too much whiteness might be a bit hard on your listeners’ eyes. For the background, cool colors are best. A blue background + yellow text, for example, would look great.
And don’t use too many colors. Using more than two colors would likely lead to distraction.
Eliminate Irrelevant Material
Using background images, animations, sound effects, and music tends to increase the opportunity for distraction. To the extent these elements might minimize the concentration of your audience, eliminate or reduce them. Generally, you can use sounds and animation, but you should do so sparingly.
The Dos of PowerPoint Presentation
Here are a few things you can do to make your PowerPoint presentation great:
Use Short Phrases Rather Than Full Paragraphs
Don’t use full paragraphs on your slides. Instead, use short phrases to capture each main idea. Your listeners get bombarded with tons of information every day and hour. In the digital age, everyone reels from information overload. That’s probably why people stopped reading and started scanning. Use short, scannable phrases and then explain them in a sentence or two.
Use Relevant Pictures
Irrelevant pictures are worse than no pictures at all. If you can’t find pictures that meaningfully support your points, don’t use them.
Use Bulleted Lists
That’s pretty self-explanatory.
About 50 percent of your PowerPoint presentation should be graphics. Use tables, charts, flowcharts, graphs, and photos. Graphics lead to increased understanding of your content. You’ve doubtless heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” While that’s not a proven thesis statement, it does carry loads of truth. People tend to remember graphics better than they do text. That means you can use graphics to make your text memorable.
But you can also use graphics without text. As long as you can explain them effectively, you can use graphics alone. But always remember this: graphics are not the presentation itself. Their job is to strengthen your content.
Focus Your Audience’s Attention to the Most Important Points
Every piece of information you present is important. But it may be necessary to have certain words or phrases stand out. Bold print is highly effective when it comes to making a word or phrase prominent. You can also opt to underline phrases or words you’d want your audience to remember.
Use the Right Font Size and Font Design for Your PowerPoint Presentation
Sans-serif fonts are best. So, go for Helvetica or Arial. You may also use Serif fonts such as Palatino or Times New Roman. But the problem with Serif fonts is that once projected, they’re somewhat harder to read than Sans-serif fonts.
Here are general font size guidelines to help you along the way. For titles, choose 44 pt. For subtitles, select 28 pt – 34 pt. And for bullet points, go for 24 pt or bigger.
In addition, don’t use uppercase unless you think it’s the most effective way to showcase a particularly strong point.
Final Thoughts on PowerPoint Presentation
The world has seen enough failed PowerPoint presentations. And one more crappy presentation would really hurt. The good news is that developing highly effective presentations is pretty easy. Pay attention to the dos and don’ts we’ve detailed above, and you’re going to be ok. If you encounter challenges you can’t seem to hurdle, consider talking to a reliable academic writing service. And it you’re looking for such a provider at this time, Writers Palace might a great company to consider. You’ll like our prices. Plus, we won’t disappoint when it comes to quality. Contact us and forget about your PowerPoint presentation worries.