11 tips for a powerpoint presentation

There is a school of thought that ‘great’ and ‘PowerPoint’ should never be used in the same sentence, and it is true that there are many other ways to engage your audience.

However, PowerPoint is a fact of business life, and it can be an incredibly impactful tool when used in the right way.

Too often it isn’t.  So here are a few tips to help you prepare your next one.

Preparing it

  1. Create a structure that focuses around the key point you want to make.
  2. Work from a Master Slide (or slides) – this makes it a lot easier to change things later on.
  3. Aim never to have more than 10 words on one slide.
  4. Remember that a relevant image or illustration will be immeasurably more impactful than a sentence.
  5. Let slides build with your story, rather than giving away the outcome before you have delivered it.
  6. As with all speeches and presentations, check whether it is relevant to your audience, approaches the subject in an interesting and original way, and sets things out simply.

Delivering it

  1. Don’t forget that the audience are there to watch you, not your slides.  Use the presentation to back up your message, not to replace your role in delivering it.
  2. Don’t repeat the words on the slides behind you.  It is a fact of business life that most of your audience will be able to read them too.
  3. Make it clear when you are referring to a specific part of a slide rather than just gesticulating randomly into the air between you and it.
  4. Avoid handing out a printed version of the presentation beforehand.  Your impact will be nullified if your audience know what’s coming next.
  5. As with all speeches and presentations, speak clearly, interact with your audience wherever possible, and emphasise key words and messages.

Many of the keys to a successful presentation come down to common sense.  Preparation is key.  You can never think too much about original ways to entertain your audience.  Nor can you rehearse too much.  Knowing what will appear on each click through the presentation is a must.

I would be delighted to review an existing presentation you have written or to help you create something original and impactful. In the meantime, I hope this helps.