For over 20 years, PowerPoint stands as the staple of presentations for all facets. Whether in classrooms, meetings, or any other organized setting, PowerPoint helps as the visual medium to convey a message for the speakers.
In today’s world, a presentation must be utilized effectively to reach the audience and enrich them with the idea, approach, or direction of the material at hand. To do so efficiently, one must engrain these simple tricks of the trade to ensure a quality performance. Let’s take a look at several techniques to remind us of creating a sound presentation.
- Less is More– The number of words per slide hallmarks our top of the list of techniques. The audience needs to focus on the words of the presenters and not on the slides. An audience needs simple, short and sweet bullet points to have their message reached. The goal is for our information to mean something to the audience, not to bore them.
- Stay the Course– The audience will notice if there are flaws in the presentation, so we must be consistent. All slides should have a flow of meaning, with the most important information guiding the discussion. Inconsistency can often leave the audience with the wrong impression.
- Paint a Picture– In essence, most people are visual learners and pictures create a mental image for the audience. Stick with no more than two images per slide to keep the story clear and moving. In reading Dr. Joseph Somerville’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of PowerPoint” he points out that slide transitions and sound effects are the leading factors in the attention shift of the audience, which can distract them from the message.
- Opposites Attract– Contrast creates importance of words on the slide. White background and black text is a great start, but also can be the most boring. Set yourself up for success with basic color contrast so your words and convey meaning. Warning: Avoid RED when possible.
- – The speaker must be engaging. If you sound unsure or shaky, they audience will recognize it. Eye contact is important, and controlling the energy of the presentation correlates with a lasting impression. Ellen Finkelstein, a coach in PowerPoint supports the “Tell n Show” technique, the audience first becomes aware of the visual material, and then has an aid to reimburse it. This gives support and back up to the presentation as well as the message you are conveying.
These are 5 helpful techniques to creating a successful presentation.
In the grand scheme of things, these are merely stepping stones in, but all very effective and legitimate improvements to PowerPoint presentations. We hope these nuggets will enrich your next PowerPoint and garner a lasting impression from your audience. Remember- YOU are the Presentation!