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PowerPoint Presentation Guide

Presentations are effective methods for assisting teaching process, speech or other multimedia incorporated lectures. Slideshows can be readily produced and easily updated based on the requirements. Among the existing multimedia presentation applications, Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation has gained wide popularity with its efficacy and easiness in preparing and presenting slides. From charts, sound, video, animations, clip art etc. to fascinating colour patterns, PowerPoint presentation is indeed a helpful tool to make a presentation a unique and exceptional one.

Following are some helpful tips to make effective PowerPoint presentations.

 Keep it short and simple.

  • Add only one point on each slide. This will enhance the brevity of the overall presentation.
  • Reduce the quantity of text on each slide since the audience won’t read the abundance of texts on the slide. Better use key phrases instead of including the overall explanation.
  • Keep it interesting. Wisely add graphics, video, audio elements and charts on the slides to keep up the audience attention throughout the presentation. Make sure to choose appropriate multimedia elements that support the content.
  • Ensure consistency. A consistent pattern in terms of overall design, font style and colour etc. will make the presentation more elegant. Opting casual fonts especially, commonly used serif and sans serif fonts can bring about easiness in reading.
  • Unfold in a format- follow a beginning, middle and end. After explaining the topic and important points, sum up what all have said in short. Better plan conclusion first as it helps to remind the important points to be included in the presentation.

Here are some guidelines for making PowerPoint presentations.

 When designing a slide:

  • Place only a single point on each slide
  • Slides should have continuity with each slide leads to the other.
  • Reduce contents into five to six lines. Empty space on the slide will improve readability.
  • Avoid putting words in all caps. It will reduce the readability of text.
  • Select a proper colour that suits the ambience of the topic. For maintaining audiences’ concentration, wisely use a colour contrasting pattern as for dark background, lighter colour fonts and vice versa. However, lighter text on a dark background is best.
  • Avoid overusing special effects such as animation and sounds. It will affect the legibility of the slide.
  • Use relevant and timely graphics. Good quality graphics that complement the content are found easily understandable and effective by the audience. Ensure that the graphics maintain the impact and resolution when projected on a larger screen.
  • Limit the number of slides. As the presenter flip the slide to the next slide, there is possible to lose their audience.
  • Learn to navigate the presentation in a non-linear fashion. PowerPoint allows the presenter to jump ahead or back without having to page through all the interim slides. Furthermore, know how to and practice moving forward and backwards as the audience may ask to see the previous slide again.
  • If possible, view the slides on the screen that will be using for the presentation. Ensure the slides are readable from the back row seats as well. Besides, text and graphical images should be large enough to read. Also, check the audio-video quality.

Before beginning the presentation, bear in the mind the following factors:

  • Explore and comprehend the topic. Researching the topic of presentation will enhance the proficiency of the presenter.
  • Time the presentation. Prior to the commencement of the presentation, allot required timing for each slide.
  • Avoid reading from the slides. Remember, the content of the slides is for the audience, not for the presenter.
  • Remember to keep an eye-contact with the audience. Many presenters seem to face the direction of their presentation rather than their audience.
  • Take feedback in its full sense. It is better to run a trial with someone who has never seen the presentation. Ask them for honest feedback about colours, content, and any effects or graphical images that are included on the slides.
  • If there is something hard to understand, the best method is not to use it at all. If the content is complicated, print the slides so that the audience can take notes.
  • Since it is a matter of technology, the presenter must have an alternative method. Additional materials such as handouts, guide books etc. will complement the presentation to a great extent.

While presenting

  • Plan carefully.
  • Know the audience.
  • Understand the knowledge level of the audience.
  • Give a brief overview at the start
  • Speak comfortably and clearly.
  • Check the spelling and grammar.
  • Go on a trial.

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