Anyone can create a presentation, but not everyone can create an effective presentation. We all know some of the basic rules of PowerPoint presentation – use bullet points, keep texts and multimedia to a minimum, etc. But unfortunately, this information can only help you create mediocre presentations. Here’s how you can avoid a PowerPoint disaster and create professional-quality presentations. Use these tips the next time you decide to make a PowerPoint presentation:
Keep Texts To A Minimum:
Slides should supplement your presentation; do not use long sentences, or, repeat what you have to say. Do you copy chunks of texts to the presentation; instead, opt for short and catchy sentences. Nothing irritates an audience more than presenters reading from their slides. If you have to use sentences, limit them to a single line
Use The Right Font Size And Style:
Use sans serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Arial Narrow. Presentations are usually made to an audience that is away from the screen; fonts with serif are not clear when viewed from a distance. Use a minimum of 24 pt font size so that the text is visible even when viewed from 15 to 20 feet away. Avoid using fancy fonts like comic sans or papyrus. Stick to using only two types of fonts – one for the titles and headers and another for body text.
Keep The Presentation Consistent:
Consistency is very essential for a professional presentation. For example stick to using a subset of colors throughout the presentation. And as we said earlier, do not use more than two or three fonts – using too many of them distracts the audience from the intended message. And if you are using images, remember to pick pictures and clip arts that are similar in style. Slides that use different formatting styles look disjointed and extremely unprofessional. Spend time to make sure that the images, animations, fonts, etc. are consistent throughout the presentation.
Contrast Between Background And Text Color:
Black on white or white on black are the safest color contrasts, but you cannot use them always. Use color contrasts effectively so that audiences can read the text clearly, or do not have to complain about the colors being too bright. Gradients are commonly used when explaining a flow diagram. But light texts on light gradients can be difficult to read. Use darker colors when starting with the lighter gradients, or use darker texts for the lighter objects and then gradually shift to lighter text colors for darker gradients. Some colors are rarely visible when projected on the screen. And some color contrasts cause headaches and even make people nauseous.
Use High Quality Images:
Agreed, a picture can speak a thousand words, but using too many of them or using the wrong image can make your presentation look horrible. For one, do not use pixilated images or those that have watermark on them – they look absolutely unprofessional. Use visuals that can be seen clearly. For example, if you have to use an image with a slide that has a lot of texts, rather than using a smaller image, use half the slide for images and other half for texts. Presentations with too many slides can be overwhelming and deviate users from the intended message; use them only when relevant. And the most important aspect of all – do not use cliparts.
Know your audience before you plan a PowerPoint presentation. If you are targeting a specialized audience that knows the topic well, but not about the aspect that you shall be presenting, work accordingly. But if the audience needs more than an initiation into the topic, focus on in-depth slides.