Ever since its introduction back in the 1990s, Microsoft PowerPoint has helped revolutionise how business presentations are made and given. Gone are the days of dull office presentations with very basic layouts only to be replaced with engaging and dynamic ones. At the same time the presentation still contains useful information for the audience.
While the software has grown in features and functions, many users are still in the dark about how to tap into the full potential of the PowerPoint. In addition, some people seem stuck in the old ways of putting as much of information as possible on a single page.
Below you will find some useful tips on how to create interesting and effective presentations that can hold the attention of others.
Use as a supporting tool
Keep in mind that presentation should only be used as a supporting tool that lets the audience see greater details of data – if necessary. When you are giving a presentation of sales statistics, graphics and charts do paint a thousand words more rather than you detailing them verbally. This also lets the audience to digest the data better and see the most important information that you’ve highlighted.
Less is More
Many people tend go overboard with what they put on the presentation. They cram as much as information on a single page in the hope that the audience will appreciate the presentation more. However, this will only create confusion on which part you’d like to focus on. Remember the first tip, how you should use the presentation created by PowerPoint only as supporting tool. Your audience should be more interested in what you have to explain. Keep your presentation to simple bullet points instead of cramming dozens of paragraphs. Put only one or two important points in each page. You want your audience to listen to you and not just looking at the presentation.
Keeping it Simple
Similar to the above, tone down the amount of effects, features or images that you use on the presentation. Use only images if they can really improve the message that you’re trying to come across. Otherwise, it is better to keep it simple. Do not use overly colourful graphics that may take away the essence of the presentation. Overall, the presentation should be easy to read for your audience.
Your audience will appreciate the fact that you are distributing handouts of the PowerPoint slides, given that some important points about the presentation are on the slides. If you are quite convinced with your presentation skill, you can distribute the handouts prior to giving the presentation. Distributing the handouts after is recommended if you want to have your audience focusing on you and your explanation.
Practice your presentation
Make sure you are familiar with the content of your presentation and that you have practiced giving the presentation on a few occasions prior to giving it to a live group or audience. Your knowledge with help in giving a better and more informative presentation.
All told, remember that PowerPoint slides should only be used to help provide clarity to your presentation and not make them the foundation of the whole thing. Use the slides only when you want to highlight key points or show graphics and charts relating to the presentation.
Creating and using an well prepared PowerPoint presentation will help improve the effectiveness of the presentation and how the information will be understood by the audience.
You can view our Microsoft PowerPoint training courses here