How to Create the Ultimate PowerPoint for Your Next Presentation

If you are told that you are going to have to sit through a PowerPoint presentation, chances are you will be dreading it.  In fact, people have even coined the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” because these types of presentations oftentimes leave attendees bored to tears.  However, what if you could create a PowerPoint that is dynamic, engaging, and interesting?  It is possible with the right techniques.  There is no reason to ban PowerPoint simply because many presenters don’t use it properly.  After all, Microsoft PowerPoint software is one of the most user-friendly and widely available tools on the market.  Here are a few helpful tips that can help you create the ultimate PowerPoint for your next presentation.

Decide on a Message

Before designing a single slide, it is important to determine what you want your audience to learn from your presentation.  If you are pitching a product or service to investors, your goal is to make the presentation eye catching, compelling, and direct.  Conversely, if your presentation is geared toward an internal sales meeting, you will want to focus on a particular strategy or product that includes clear and concise information.  Once you decide on a message, you will be able to build a PowerPoint presentation that is appropriate for that particular audience.

Keep it Concise

If your PowerPoint gives all of the information about your topic, then you serve no purpose.  Your audience can simply read the information for themselves.  You are not there to read to your audience, but rather to elaborate on the basics.  Your PowerPoint should emphasize key points and provide visual information to help your audience understand the message that you are conveying.   Instead of filling slides with tons of words and information, select the main points and illustrate those.

Check for Readability

Nothing is more frustrating to an audience than straining to read the words on the screen.  Just because it might look fine on your computer monitor doesn’t mean it will display well for a larger audience.  Choose a font size that is easy to read and avoid fancy fonts that are difficult to decipher.  Test your PowerPoint on a large screen prior to your presentation so you can be sure even those sitting in the back can easily read it.

Consider Aesthetics

The use of colorful and informative graphics can turn a mediocre presentation into one that is highly effective..  Clip art, charts, photographs, tables, and videos are all great ways to visually display information and make your presentation a little more interesting.  That said, you should be careful not to clutter your slides with too much bling.  Using unnecessary transitions, animations or sound effects can end up distracting your audience.

Don’t Rely Solely on the PowerPoint

While your PowerPoint is a great way for audience members to follow along and gather information, it shouldn’t be your only means of communicating with the audience.  Incorporate handouts, props, or volunteers from the audience to help make your presentation more meaningful and engaging.