Power Point Presentation Do’s And Don’ts

29th May 2017


Slide presentation Softwares such as PowerPoint has become an integral part of instructional settings, especially in large classes. PowerPoint presentations enable the speaker to organise and structure the presentation and create a professional format. Although it is considered highly effective in increasing the audience focus and create visual impact by providing an illustrative background and animated contents, it can be disengaging if not done properly. Learning to present with PowerPoint will enhance the employability of a student as it is the world’s most popular presentational software and the employers are looking for graduates with excellent communication (written, oral, and listening) skills. Hence, a student's presentation in the classroom becomes an important component in delivering positive learning experiences.

A number of features have to be considered when designing an effective PowerPoint presentation. Given below are some do’s and don’ts to be adhered to while creating a presentation so that you can create slides that will be comprehensible to your audience.

1.    Do prepare the presentation well in advance by outlining the objectives and the key messages that you want to cover on paper before you start creating it in Powerpoint. Never just wing your presentation as it will show. 

2.    Don’t assume that your audience has the same level of knowledge as you do. This is very important and the speaker should be able to provide sufficient detail in speaker notes for the lowest level of knowledge.

3.    Do send the draft presentation to interested parties for feedback where appropriate before you make the original. Your peers may be able to pick up on errors or add additional information to your presentation.

4.    Don’t just create your presentation based on what you want to say, it should rather be based on what you think your audience wants to know.

5.    Do limit the number of slides. It should ideally be one slide per minute. Make sure the slide is not crowded, the font size is legible, keywords, phrases and pictures are used. Remember a picture speaks a thousand words.

6.    Don’t talk too fast or use any acronyms without spelling them and explaining what they mean. Neither should you read from text bullets or use complete sentences in your slides. Your slides shall only support your story.

7.    Do have a Q&A session after your talk for 2-3 minutes and a quick wrap up session illustrating your message after the Q&A session. The last slide can be a key question which would encourage further discussions. Also, include your contact details in the last slide.

8.    Don’t end by giving a simple summary of your talk. Instead, show that you want the audience to benefit from your talk.

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