Giving presentations via PowerPoint doesn’t have to be boring. No matter who your audience is, you can create slides that are engaging, effective, and to the point. PowerPoint slideshows can record videoto be converted to DVD, PDF and more†
Determine the purpose of your presentation before you create the first slide. What do you want your audience to learn, understand and do by the end?
Make an overview, do your research and take your audience into account. Map out the key points you want to deliver, add supporting details, and determine where visuals will have the most impact.
This article outlines ten tips for designing a presentation to deliver a compelling PowerPoint slideshow.
- Tell a story.
- Don’t use too much text.
- Visually represent your content with images.
- Make effective use of bullet points.
- Font and size.
- Add some humor.
- Add some metaphors.
- Don’t tell them, show them.
- Current date with SmartArt.
- Transitions and animations.
Tell a story
When planning and preparing your sketch, think of the content as a continuous story.
Structure your presentation the same way you would a speech or essay. Start with an introduction, add supporting points, and close with a summary and call-to-action (CTA).
Don’t use too much text
PowerPoint is a visual aid for your PowerPoint presentation. Your slides should contribute to your speech, not replace it. Too much text can be confusing and distracting for your audience.
In the above example, the audience will read the slide and not hear what you are saying.
Divide the text into several slides and develop them further as you present. Try something more straightforward and concise, like the slide below:
The slide above is your title slide. The colors and font size draw attention to the short text. It’s easy to read quickly, so your audience can focus their attention on what you’re saying instead of reading a slide.
For subsequent slides, use the salient point of what you are going to discuss and make it visually appealing as in the example below.
You should use the text as a summary to emphasize your topics of conversation.
The human brain processes images faster than text. Use images or other visual elements in your presentation to get your point across, amplify what you say, and evoke emotion in your audience.
To illustrate this point, let’s replace the first slide above with too much text, while staying with the same content on how businesses can target their B2B audience.
When you move to the slide below in your PowerPoint presentation, it tells the audience that a businessman is happy and has achieved the goal.
There is no need to use words on the screen to convey this message, as the image tells the story itself. The audience will see it, immediately understand what it means, and then turn their attention to what you’re saying.
Use bullet points effectively
Bullets are useful in PowerPoint when you’re trying to break up chunks of text that will make your audience read your presentation instead of listening to you.
Use bullet points to simplify content and list important information. Limit the number of bullet points to no more than five per slide. You can also add a little creativity by using a different bullet point concept icon. See the screenshot below.
Make one bullet point at a time appear during your PowerPoint presentation. Discuss the content related to each bullet point before moving on to the next.
Avoid using full sentences as this defeats the purpose of only getting the main point across.
Font style and size
The font you choose should be legible and legible on a screen. If you are planning to import it into Visme for a business presentation or to save it for a google slideshow, make sure to use a font size big enough for everyone in the room to see. It’s okay to use exciting, eccentric, or fun fonts, but do so in moderation.
Highlight headings and focus on words by using larger fonts and different colors to make them stand out from the other text. Be consistent in your PowerPoint presentation so as not to distract your audience.
Add some humor
Using humor during your presentation will help build a bond with your audience, put them at ease, and make them more receptive to your content.
Tell personal stories based on your real-life experience or use a funny analogy. Make sure your humor is relevant to your audience and your overall objective.
Use humor wisely, sparingly and with discretion. Avoid anything offensive. If you’re not sure whether your joke or story might offend someone, don’t use it.
Below are a few ways to add humor to your PowerPoint presentation:
- If you can think of a movie that is relevant to the topic of your presentation, find a clip of it and embed it in your PowerPoint.
- Use a funny meme that captures your point.
- Insert an animated GIF into your presentation.
If you use it sparingly and with good taste, humor can lighten up your presentation.
The image above is an animated GIF. When you play your slideshow, the animation is displayed.
Add some metaphors
Metaphors bring a conversation to life. They keep your audience engaged when used in a presentation. A metaphor is a figure of speech that is representative or symbolic of something else.
For example, if you want to talk about a business trip or roadmap, use an image of a real road with street signs like the one in the slide below.
Using metaphors will add some creativity to your PowerPoint presentation.
Don’t tell them, show them
PowerPoint presentations are visual aids. Instead of talking about something and using text to describe something, include it in your slides. For example, if you’re pitching a new website design, you’ll add site visuals to your slides to showcase the new design to your audience.
Using the same example of a new website, if the site is live online in a beta or sandbox environment, link to it from the presentation to show it in action.
Presenting data with SmartArt
PowerPoint includes a diagramming tool called SmartArt. Use it to visually present information and data and creatively communicate your ideas. Convert bullets to SmartArt for a more unique design option when you want to turn them into informational and explainer videos.
Transitions and animations
Animations affect how the elements on your slide move during a slideshow. They can improve the look of your slides and help you control the delivery rate of your presentation.
Subtle and simple animations are most effective because they are not overwhelming. For example, for bullet points, use a swipe from left to right or top to bottom instead of letting them fly in and out.
Don’t bore your audience and make them wait for too many animations on one slide. Transitions refer to the type of animation between slides. Don’t use a different transition for each slide. Stick to two or three different transition effects.
Using too much of both will make your PowerPoint presentation chaotic, confusing, and tedious.
Practice makes perfect
After you’ve created your PowerPoint presentation, flip through your slides and practice how to present them to an audience. Also practice your tone, delivery and timing.
Follow the suggestions above to make your presentation more appealing. Walk through it as many times as you need. You want to be confident and prepared when conveying it to your audience.