PowerPoint slides can support your presentation, but be sure not to use them as a crutch. Depending on them too much can zap your presentation of the liveliness and authenticity audiences are looking for. Remember these tips when developing your visuals:
- Simplify your slides. Keep your slides clean and orderly. Don’t overload them with graphics, busy backgrounds or too much text.
- Make yourself the focus. Your PowerPoint slides shouldn’t be the main portion of your presentation. Move around and use appropriate gestures and tone inflections to ensure that you stay the center of attention.
- Don’t read your slides. If you have to read them to keep you on track, you haven’t practiced enough. Practice until you can give your presentation without even looking at your slides.
- Keep slides to a minimum. Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many slides.
— Adapted from “How to Avoid Killing Your Audience With PowerPoint,” Jeb Blount, www.quickanddirtytips.com.