How To

How to make an effective PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint presentations are widely used by individuals, businesses and organisations to present new ideas, product launches or innovations. These presentations act as a visual aid to communicate the message of the presenter. It consists of a series of slides that contain information in the form of text, images and videos. PowerPoint presentations are used in the background to keep the audience engaged and help them understand something new in an interactive way. In this article, we will tell you how to make your PowerPoint presentation effective.

1. Pay attention to the structure

As a PowerPoint presentation is a visual aid, it must be well-structured with all the points neatly laid out one after the other. Split your content into multiple small points to make it easier for the audience. Using bullets and headings for every slide will further enhance the overall look of your presentation. The audience is likely to get overwhelmed with an overuse of clip art, slide transitions, and word animations. Thus, avoid the use of these elements and stick to a neutral and professional theme. However, you can consider adding graphs, diagrams, tables or charts to organise your ideas.

2. Keep your slides free from errors

An effective PowerPoint presentation is free from spelling mistakes, punctuation misses and grammatical errors. As you will be presenting your slideshow in front of a large audience, make sure to pay special attention to grammatical and language errors. A grammar checker can be used to check the spelling, grammar and punctuation of your presentation. Correct grammar can improve the communication process and make it easier for the audience to read and understand your message. Similarly, proper use of punctuation can create a logical structure between different words and improve the flow of words.

3. Choose an appropriate theme

Microsoft PowerPoint comes with a wide range of built-in themes. These themes are based on different categories and can be easily applied to any presentation. Themes can also be used as templates to decide the background, font style and colour of the slides. Although themes are designed to enhance the overall look of the presentation, choosing an inappropriate theme is likely to make your presentation look unappealing. Based on your industry, choose a theme that complements your topic of discussion. To make your presentation appear professional, limit the use of bold colours, irrelevant font styles and animations.

4. Pick up the right font size

Choosing the right font size for the presentation is important. Your aim should be to use the presentation in the background for reference and explain the points listed in your slides. Moreover, as you will be presenting the slideshow from a distance, make sure the font size is readable for the audience seated at a distance. Generally, the ideal font size used for headings is 20pt and for text is 18pt. Using a smaller font size will make it difficult for the audience to read, whereas a larger font size will make the text appear dominating on the slide. Additionally, try to limit the text to 6 to 8 lines or less than 30 words per slide.

5. Create different slides for each subtopic

When creating the presentation, do not stuff a single slide with all the information. As a rule of thumb, split your content into multiple slides. Additionally, do not present the same information in all the slides. Add variation to your slideshow by adding different elements. For example, you can start with a title slide that consists of the title of the topic under discussion in bold. This can be followed by your agenda or the table of content slide. You can also add a slide to introduce yourself or your organisation. Next, add different slides with each subtopic and its contents listed in bullet points. You can finish the presentation with a slide consisting of key takeaways or questions and answers, followed by a thank you slide.

6. Embed multimedia

An amazing feature of PowerPoint is that it allows users to embed multimedia in their slides. This not only makes the presentation attractive but also makes it easier for the audience to understand the message. You can embed multimedia in different formats, such as audio or video, in your slides. By embedding media, you can directly play audio or video clips in your presentation. This will help you save time in switching windows and will keep the audience engaged for a longer time. To embed a video in your PowerPoint presentation, go to the toolbar ribbon, select the insert tab, choose video, then select online video and enter the link of the video you wish to display.

7. Align your objects

To make your PowerPoint presentation interactive, you will have to use a lot of objects in your slides. However, while using these object pay attention to their alignment and quality. For example, if you are using images, then use high quality images with good resolution. Additionally, do not randomly insert any objects such as images or graphs in between the slides. Align them to the left, right or centre to complement your text. This will make your presentation look polished and professional.

8. Know your audience

Before you make your presentation, make yourself familiar with the audience in front of whom you will be presenting the slideshow. Understand the job roles of the people, their interests, demographics and expectations. Use bias-free language in your presentation to give equal respect to people coming from different cultural backgrounds or perspectives. Knowing the audience in advance will also help you identify certain key points and pressure points of discussion. It will prepare you for the questions that will follow after your presentation. Additionally, you will be able to alter your language and tone based on their expectations and instantly make a connection with your audience.

Conclusion

While anyone can easily make a PowerPoint presentation, it takes creativity and skills to make a visually attractive presentation. A good PowerPoint presentation will highlight your key message and illustrate all the important details in a structured manner. By following the above tips, you can make your presentation engaging and give the audience something to remember for a long time.

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Shazam Khan

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