A great PowerPoint slideshow can really add to your presentation. Not only can it provide a great visual for the audience to follow along, but it can enhance your presentation through photographs, charts, graphs, and video clips. Although it can make a good presentation better, there are also plenty of ways it can make things worse. From poor font choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the important content you are trying to share with your audience. That’s why it is important to learn how to create a slideshow that is as effective as it is attractive. Consider the following tips for designing great presentation slides.
Present One Idea Per Slide
In order for your slides to be effective, you need to remember that “less is more.” You don’t want to cram several ideas into one slide. Instead, you want to make sure that there is only one idea presented on each slide. Although this may increase the number of slides in your presentation, it will also increase the effectiveness of each slide. Too much information on a slide quickly becomes wordy and confusing.
Keep Text to a Minimum
You should avoid text-heavy slides at all costs. It’s like giving your audience a handout while you are speaking. Instead of listening to you, everyone begins reading the handout. The same is true with slides. If your audience is so busy reading text, they won’t be able to listen to what you are saying. Remember that your slides are only intended to enhance what you are saying, so short, simple text is all you need. Avoid using complete sentences and if you are using bullet points, unveil them one at a time as you need them.
Go for a Consistent Look
In a great slide deck, each slide feels like it’s part of the same story. Things should look and feel consistent meaning you should use the same fonts, colors, backgrounds, and imagery across all your slides.
Change Bullet Points to Meaningful Pictures
It has long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so consider replacing bulleted text with meaningful pictures. Research shows that people are more likely to remember pictures than words, so you can make your content more memorable by using pictures to help tell your story. For example, instead of typing bullet points to discuss sales in each territory, use a map with color-coded boxes to present your information.
Customize Your Slides
PowerPoint comes with plenty of stock templates but people will likely recognize these templates and they appear old and boring. Capture your audience’s attention by designing a custom template. Perhaps you can incorporate your company’s brand or you could design something completely unique. Whatever you decide, just try to stay away from generic templates.
Limit Effects and Transitions
Presentation software comes with a lot of effects and transitions, but these tend to do more harm than good. They end up being more distracting than enhancing and they can sometimes even become irritating. If you must use them, keep them subtle and consistent.
Choose Simple, Classic Text
A significant part of your slide deck is text so it is important that you choose a font that is easy to read. You want to choose something that can easily be read from the back of the room. Therefore, avoid fancy scripts or text that is too small to read. You also want to choose something that conveys professionalism.