Are you preparing for a huge presentation? Use these four tips to create professional PowerPoints that will enhance— not distract—from your message:
- Outline your thoughts first. Know the purpose of your presentation, your ultimate goals and what you want people to do with the information. Then support that and those goals with talking points. Next, in PowerPoint, put a single talking point on each slide. Once you’ve done that, you can go back in and add additional details.
- Don’t repeat the text on your slides. Your slides should back up what you are saying, not serve as your notes. Use as few words on your slides as possible, and integrate images, graphs and charts to illustrate your points.
- Opt for quality over quantity. Few people want to sit through a 100-slide presentation. Ten to 15 well-done slides are often enough to guide the audience to see your viewpoint and understand where the presentation is going.
- Choose consistency over flashiness. A well-placed transition and meaningful image can capture the audience’s attention, but if you fill every slide with clip art and transition every slide to the next, it begins to look unprofessional. Focus first on making sure that the slides are consistent. Position core elements such as slide headers and images in the same place on each slide, and use consistent fonts and colors throughout.
Use these 10 shortcuts to deliver a seamless PowerPoint presentation without using your mouse:
- Enter. Advance to the next slide.
- Backspace. Go back one slide.
- S. Pause or restart an automatic presentation.
- CTRL+P. Change the pointer to a pen.
- CTRL+S. View the All Slides box.
- Tab. Navigate to the first hyperlink on a slide.
- Shift+Tab. Go to the previous hyperlink.
- Enter. While hyperlink is selected, click the link.
- Shift+F10. View the shortcuts menu.
- Esc. End a presentation.
— Adapted from “10 Ways Anyone Can Give Better Presentations Using Powerpoint: Tips for Giving Better Presentations,” Matt Egan, PC Advisor, www.pcadvisor.co.uk.