I was asked to come up with tips on making a good PowerPoint presentation. Being a public speaker, I thought this was a great blog topic with random points I feel are important for a great presentation. The focus of the presentation is not PowerPoint, you should be able to give the presentation without any visual aids. Here are 15 quick tips I came up with to consider.
Slides are not the focus of the presentation, it is you and your message. The slides are complimentary and can help reinforce the message.
- There should be minimal to no reading (text) on slides. Powerful imagery to compliment presentation. E.g. a photo, a big number, a pie chart. The explanation is throughout the presentation. Don’t want people concentrating on “reading/looking” at the slides.
- Make sure any images are not cheesy. Use professional stock images or real photos.
- Don’t use transitions. That is a thing of the past (or was it ever in style?). No spins. No dissolves. Just display the slide.
- Avoid sound effects unless you know what you are doing and it works. Generally it is a #fail.
- Know the audience and adapt. The message needs to be tailored to them.
- People LOVE stories. Make it personal to reinforce or explain a concept.
- Make use of color. People hate boring looking slides. Make them vivid or contrasting.
- Keep the number of slides small. Don’t have many. People don’t want to feel like the presentation is never going to end.
- Leave time for Q&A at the end. Perhaps even put “Q&A” on the last slide perhaps with your contact information if they have further questions they want to ask offline.
- Make any text legible. Use a large enough font. Don’t make it small. It needs to be big and bold. Focus on under 6 words. Even a single word.
- Engage the audience. Ask them questions. Take a poll. Have a contest. Walk around the crowd. Don’t stand at the podium. Avoid bad habits. Speak to them. Make eye contact. Project your voice. Speak clearly. Don’t be monotonous.
- Don’t hand out printouts of your slides. They don’t mean anything without you presenting.
- Use interesting typography. Default fonts are boring. But make sure it is very legible, bold, easy to read.
- Have other people proof your slides. Check for grammar/typos, these stick out like a sore thumb. Make sure it all flows.