5 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations

256px-thumbnail (1)Whether you work as a consultant or another position in the business world, chances are you have worked with PowerPoint slides. In fact, for many professionals, PowerPoint presentations are essential for updating project statuses and delivering pitches. No matter what the purpose is behind your PowerPoint presentation, it’s important to catch (and keep!) the attention of your audience. Here are five tips for making your slides more effective.

1. Don’t rely on text to get your point across.

The purpose behind PowerPoint presentations is to persuade. However, the number one mistake people make when creating their slides is to say too much because they are afraid they will leave out something important. Your audience should be able to get the point in just seconds, but the only result of using huge blocks of text on your slides is an audience that is completely tuned out. So how do you prevent that from happening?

2. Include plenty of visuals.

Think images and symbols. Where can you find them?

–Buy them at stock photo websites
–Download them from Creative Commons
–Take your own photos

But images aren’t the only way to keep the audience involved. You can even…

3. Draw on the screen!

Even if you’re new to PowerPoint slides, drawing on the screen is easy. Simply press Ctrl-P to display a pen on the screen. Then draw on the slide using the left mouse button. If you make a mistake, no problem. Press the E key. Of course, you have to use some text, so…

4. Pay attention to the font.

Another way to make your presentation stand out is by using the best font style. That means don’t use the default type. Choose a font that suits your audience. For example, in a business setting, stick with a common font found on most computers. But if you are presenting to an artsy audience, be more creative. Stay away from scripts and italics that can make the slides too confusing to read. Also, be careful not to overdo it. For your presentation to look streamlined, stick with the same one or two fonts throughout. After all, you can always change it up if you…

5. Add diagrams.

Charts and diagrams give you the opportunity to really get your point across. You can purchase pre-designed slides or make your own. If you decide to go the DIY route, remember to keep it simple. Here a few ways to eliminate distractions:

–Remove background color so it matches the slide
–No borders–let the data do the talking
–Use colors sparingly
–Stay away from bolds and underlines

Try these five tips and you’ll raise the quality of your presentation When done well, PowerPoint presentations can make a difference between convincing–and not convincing–your audience.

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