How to Wow Your Audience with the Unexpected in PowerPoint

The minute you walk into a presentation and see the presenter turn on the slideshow, you probably find yourself thinking, “not another boring PowerPoint.” We have all suffered through horrible PowerPoint presentations packed with long lists of bullet points, pixelated clip art, and a speaker who simply reads from the slides. The good news is that PowerPoint doesn’t have to be a snoozefest. In fact, well-designed slides combined with proper speaking techniques can actually make for a brilliant presentation. Here are a few tips for building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation that will wow your audience. 

Build Your Slides Last

Many people make the mistake of jumping right into creating their slides but resist the urge to do so. It’s similar to building a road before you know where it is going to lead. Remember that your slides are there to simply add to your speech, not replace it. Before you begin putting slides, you need to identify the goal of your presentation and the key takeaways that you want your audience to remember. Therefore, start by writing your speech outline and remember that YOU are the focus, not your slides.

Use More Images, Less Text

Keep in mind that your slides are there to supplement your speech, not distract from it. Using too much text in a slide can be distracting because your audience will be reading the slide instead of listening to you. Instead, try using a relevant picture with minimal text. When using images, you also want to choose high-quality images and stay away from default clip art and cheesy graphics. 

Keep Your Design Consistent

The goal of your presentation is to convey information as clearly and effectively as possible and this can be difficult when every slide looks completely different. Too much variation in your slides can be confusing and distracting. Rather, keep the theme and design consistent throughout your PowerPoint. 

Stick to the “Rule of Three”

Text heavy slides that are packed with too much information can be distracting and make it difficult for the audience to follow along. Instead, stick to just one topic per slide and adhere to the “Rule of Three” which states that you should stick to three main ideas to support your point. Each supporting idea should have no more than three details. This helps to keep things simple and keeps your audience engaged. 


Embed Videos

Videos can be a very compelling way to get your message across and it can add visual interest to your PowerPoint. A relevant video can give you some breathing time as a speaker, while also giving your audience a new medium for delivering information. 

Use Live Polling

PowerPoints, when designed well, can actually help speakers engage with their audience. A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool that allows the audience to participate and collect feedback in real-time. It is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience and make them part of your presentation.