Making presentations isn’t as daunting when your PowerPoint slides help you tell a powerful story. To create great slideshows, learn the tips that take you beyond the basics of this incredibly versatile software. Your presentation will be infinitely better because your slides will do half the work for you!
To help make your next presentation impressive and engaging, here are six great PowerPoint techniques.
6 Pro Tips for Great PowerPoint Presentations
If you’ve never used PowerPoint before, don’t worry. You can still benefit from the beyond-basics tips. Some of these tips are techniques while others are general ideas to apply to every slide your presentation.
1. Remember Who the Star of the Show Is
Presentations are scary, which causes a lot of presenters to hide behind their PowerPoint slides. That’s wrong: you are the star of the show and your slides are merely there to support your story.
So make your presentation a good story: define a clear beginning, middle, and end and stick to the plot. That way, your slides will enhance your performance, thereby not having to carry the full weight of the outcome.
2. Ditch the Eye Charts
One of the greatest pet peeves (and presentation killers) is when the font is so small it makes your slides look like eye charts. Remember the poor folks in the back row of the conference room and keep your font sizes large - say from 26 and up.
While we’re on the subject of text, please override any tendencies you may have to load up your slides with too much of it. The idea is that these slides are for supporting what you’re saying, not for duplicating your words!
3. Use ‘Presenter View’
Another pet peeve is when the presenter isn’t good at time-management. Having to rush through the last half of your presentation in two minutes is embarrassing for you and annoying for your audience.
There’s a function built into PowerPoint called ‘Presenter View’ that helps. It will show elapsed time on your display screen so you can pace your presentation.
Presenter View also shows the notes you may have written for each slide, although the audience won’t see them. Presenter View only shows on your screen while the slide alone will appear on the projector screen for your audience.
4. Don’t Get Too Fancy
In Tip #2, we warned against using a font that’s too small and using too many words. That means tons of images is great, right? Nope- many a PowerPoint presentation has been ruined by the excessive use of images, videos, graphs, charts, crazy fonts and, worst of all… clip art.
Here’s your mantra for creating great sides: keep it simple. Think of each slide as marketing collateral. Don’t junk things up and remember your brand. Don’t pollute your brand’s image with clip art that everyone has seen before. Select images wisely and don’t be afraid of one-word slides. They can be very effective.
5. Make Use of Design Ideas
‘Design Ideas’ is a pop-up that appears when you insert an image. It’s new with PPT 2016, as are other cool new similar features. Design Ideas offers suggestions for layout that can give your presentation that polished, cohesive look.
6. Become Handy With Morph Transitions
‘Morph’ is another new (with PPT 2016) feature that’s incredibly useful. Well-executed transitions between your slides can take a ho-hum presentation and turn it into a professional-looking job.
Use the ‘Morph’ tool to go beyond the normal set of options for slide transition. The slides must have one object in common, so a little prep is key. It adds animation to your slide transitions that make the common object(s) appear to move from one slide to the next in a fluid, movie-like motion.
A Final Word
PowerPoint has been in use for a long time, but it’s great to know there’s always something new to learn. Always be on the lookout for new ways to make your presentations sing and before you know it, you’ll be considered a PowerPoint pro.