Two top tips for powerpoint users

Two Top Tips For PowerPoint Users

For those of us who regularly attend meetings and pitches that are dominated by PowerPoint presentations we might often feel as though we are drowning in a sea of slides. If you make use of PowerPoint for your presentations and you want, at all costs, to avoid having the tide of slides and boredom come in and drown those who are attending your presentation, below are a two ideas on how to avoid what has become known as ‘death by PowerPoint’.
Limit the number of slides and the words on each slide
This will ensure that those attending your presentation will be listening to you instead of reading ahead of you and then tuning you out completely. The purpose of a presentation is to communicate (both visually and emotionally) with your audience, but PowerPoint is an assistant in that process and therefore should not take over your role as chief imparter of information.
An error that most presenters make is that they use their own presentation as a teleprompter and end up reading off their own slides instead of using the slides as a brief summary of the information they want to communicate. The slides, and what is on each of them, should reinforce what you are saying and not say it for you, nor repeat what you are saying. Therefore, try to avoid having more than 8 words on a slide so that each slide is essentially no more than a summary of each point that you are making.
Balance the visuals and the content
This is a balancing act that needs to be carefully managed as you want to avoid your audience remarking on how wonderful/ creative/ detailed the slides were but not having remembered what it was you were communicating to them. Take a focused approach on what the desired outcome of your presentation is and work out a plan, in point form, on how you want to reach that outcome, and then create one slide per point.
Once you have the key words or phrases (remember, not more than eight per slide) you can select backgrounds and graphics that will compliment or summarise your point. This is where your creativity can take free reign. Instead of using the standard clipart graphics use the internet to seek out photos and images that communicate your message.
An example is if you are doing a presentation on water pollution; instead of a cheesy animated picture of a pool of water with an unhappy face superimposed on it make use of photos that show the effects of the pollution, such as a photo of dead fish at the water’s edge. Your audience will sit up and pay attention to what you are going to say that will fit in with the picture on your slide.
Microsoft PowerPoint can be a very effective presentation tool that can compliment and reinforce your message. Consider a PowerPoint 2007 course so that you can gain full advantage of the workability of this application.

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