PowerPoint tips and tricks
Are your PowerPoint presentations attention-grabbing or a yawn?
The best PowerPoint slides may have no text at all!
When it comes to creating a good PowerPoint presentation, remember that people have come to hear YOU and be informed by you and your message. Don't let your message and your ability to tell a story get derailed by slides that are unnecessarily complicated or busy.
Your presentation is for the benefit of the audience, so don't bore them with bullet point after bullet point. In fact, the best slides may have no text at all!
Avoid text heavy (and sleep inducing) slides like this:
Instead, aim for something simple like this:
And this is even better!
Take a look at the above video - it says it all!
The presentation below shows just how
good your PowerPoint slides could look...
PowerPoint slides on their own should be virtually meaningless without your narration. The key thing to remember is that the slides are meant to support the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous. Never ever just stand there reading the text from your slides word for word.
If you wish, prepare a detailed, written document of your presentation for your audience to take away. It is far better to provide written highlights of your presentation, where you can expand on the content, than to give out a mere copy of your slides. Make sure you pass out any handouts after your talk, so that your audience are not distracted from listening to your presentation.
PowerPoint slides should have plenty of 'white space'. White space gives the eyes a chance to relax. The less clutter you have on your slides the more powerful your visual message will become.
Some animation is good, but don't go overboard. Your audience will get bored very quickly if they are required to endure slide after slide of animation.
Avoid using clipart or cartoons. Using real images, especially pictures of people, tend to help the audience connect with your slides on a more emotional level.
Think about the lighting in the room you will be presenting in. Using slides with a dark background in a dark room with white or light text will work fine. Whereas a white background with black or dark text works best in a well lit room.
Choose easy to read fonts and don't use any more than two complementary fonts (e.g. Arial and Arial Bold). Regardless of which font you choose, make sure any text can be read from the back of the room.
Colour evokes feelings and emotions, too. Choosing the right colour can help persuade or motivate and increase interest, as well as improving learning comprehension and retention.
Using video clips within your PowerPoint presentation will not only illustrate your point better, but also serve as a change of pace and increase the interest of your audience.
Your audience expects a unique presentation with interesting content (otherwise why would they attend your talk?); just remember to keep things simple.
My favourite PowerPoint tip!
How to draw on the screen during your PowerPoint presentation
Sometimes it can be valuable to be able to draw on the screen during your presentaton in order to illustrate a particular point of item.
This can be done by pressing Ctrl-P to display a pen on the screen (right click to change pen settings). Then, using the left mouse button, draw on the slide as you wish.
To erase what you have drawn, press the E key. To hide the pen press the A key or Ctrl-H.