How to make an effective PowerPoint presentation

The best manner in which an idea can be expressed clearly and attractively in front of an audience is through the use of a presentation. The primary objective of using a presentation is that it helps to retain the attention of the audience throughout the allocated time. You may perhaps have an excellent skill in expressing your ideas, but the fact that memory is better accessed through visual means than auditory, makes a well-organized and vivid "presentation" an ideal way to grasp the full attention of the audience, aiding in your successful presenting.

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The best manner in which an idea can be expressed clearly and attractively in front of an audience is through the use of a presentation. The primary objective of using a presentation is that it helps to retain the attention of the audience throughout the allocated time. You may perhaps have an excellent skill in expressing your ideas, but the fact that memory is better accessed through visual means than auditory, makes a well-organized and vivid “presentation” an ideal way to grasp the full attention of the audience, aiding in your successful presenting. Here are a few factors that can help in creating a good presentation:

Keep it Simple

You may expect to share a set of important, complex information with another party through your presentation. Yet your presentation need not be as complex as the information. This is because the objective of the presentation is to create slides that are easy for the human eye. Its content too should be simple and easy to read and comprehend. In this manner, the audience can focus more on the words you speak and the facts you have to cater to than stressing their eyes through the slides. To make your slide simple,

  • Presenting the same message in a maximum of two colors under one specific theme throughout the presentation.
  • Having one concept or idea only on one slide, irrespective of the number of slides used.
  • The 6×7 rule- Using six words in a line, and a maximum of seven lines in a slide.
  • Try to end your presentation in 10 slides within 20 minutes with the font size not straying below 30.

Ideas

  • It is better to present your ideas in point form rather than using paragraphs.
  • If the facts are presented in steps, use numbers. If they are several points, do not forget to use the “bullet” form.

Colour Pallet

  • Use the least number of colors possible.
  • Pay more attention to colors that ease the eye.
  • Reduce the use of warm colors like red, orange and yellow as much as possible.
  • Use one type of font style. If it is essential to use more, try to limit it to a maximum of three.

Typography

  • Use one type of font style. If it is essential to use more, try to limit it to a maximum of three.
  • Use Regular and Bold fonts instead of Italics.
  • Avoid the use of Curly/ Cursive letters. (eg:- Brush Script, Curlz MT.)

  • Use 32 as the minimum font size and 44 as the maximum.
  • Avoid the use of capital letters/ Upper Case letters.
  • To highlight special facts, use one color in all the slides of the presentation.

  • Try to reduce the use of fonts with sharp, complex edges as much as possible. (eg:- Times New Roman, Cambria, Baskerville.)

Images and Clipart

  • In every slide, use only one high-quality image.
  • In times where there is a need to include a graph, make sure not to use more than one, in one slide. Also, if a graph is used, do not have an image on the same slide.
  • Do not use complex images or graphs that are difficult to be grasped at a glance.

Videos and Audios

If an excessive amount of auditory and visual techniques are used, it could be a reason for the audience to lose interest in the presentation quite soon. Therefore try to minimize the use of audios and videos unless they are necessary.

Transitions and Animations

The use of different animation tactics too often can lead to great stress and difficulty related to the vision of the members of the audience. Therefore it is wise to incorporate one transition and a few simple animations throughout the presentation.

Theme

In every software that enables making slideshows, a set of themes can be found. Due to its efficiency, many use this same set of themes in their creations. This can lead to a monotonous, repetitive contact of the theme with the audience. Therefore let the viewer see something different for a change: use new themes.

Attention

Arrange the focus of the slides in such a manner, that the attention of the audience directly falls on the main points of concern. This can be easily done by small techniques like changing the font size or highlighting with one of the colors chosen for the theme.

Consistency

The formatting, font styles, typography, placement of various elements (eg:- the Logo) done consistently can make the audience aware that all of them are parts of the same presentation. A few tips to retain the consistency throughout a presentation:

  • Use the same typography all through the presentation. Use one font and font size for headlines and another for the content.
  • Maintain the placement of titles, facts, pictures, etc. and the alignment of those facts in a regular, consistent manner.
  • Use the same background.
  • If the presentation is for a company, place the company logo in one place of every slide.
  • It is possible to add an attractive Cover Slide as well. However, be mindful of using the same colors, font styles, formatting on images as chosen for the rest of the slides.

Summary

Here all the facts and ideas expressed through the slides to the audience are collectively and briefly repeated.

Ending

  1. CTA – Call To Action: Save something for the audience to contribute at the end of your presentation. For this, you can introduce a separate slide telling them how and what to do. This Call to Action could even be a link, a telephone number or an email address. Including a few sentences on what the audience has to do is more than enough. For example, it has to be a simple verse like “download this e-book”, “For more information, contact us on social media.”
  2. References: The sources that you accessed to make these slides, where you received the information or pictures from, better be added at the end of the presentation.


More: http://www.lifehack.org, http://www.slidegenius.com, http://www.slideshare.net, http://www.ncsl.org

3. Questions: Use a slide at the end of the presentation to give a chance for the audience to engage with you by asking questions related to what you just presented.

If you too have any more questions about creating presentations, feel free to comment it down below.

Translated by Chathushkie Jayasinghe

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