PowerPoint can be a very powerful tool, however overused and misused it can become staid and boring. Microsoft have introduced so many great new features as the versions have moved forward but not everyone knows what the benefit is, and people tend to carry on using the tool as they have always done.
The term “Death by PowerPoint” has become well known as people sit through presentations of 100’s of slides gaining nothing out of them. However, it does not have to be like that! If used properly, PowerPoint can be innovative and slick and a great way to get your point across.
Here are my top five tips for getting the best out of PowerPoint:
Setup a proper Slide Master. So many people do not know these even exist and these are the key to consistency and ease of change. With proper slide masters you can make sweeping global changes with a couple of key presses.
SmartArt was introduced about 10 years ago but not everyone uses it. These are a great way to take a dull list and make it standout and engage the audience.
Use Layouts when you create new slides, don’t just pick the default and delete things off. By using layouts you have pre-defined formats for your slides and if you need to make overall changes to your presentation or apply a new templates this can be done with much less effort.
Ensure that any graphics you used are property aligned. There is nothing worse than items that don’t quite line up, they just mean the audience is focussed more on this than what you are saying. Remember you can just type into a shape you do not need a text box as well.
Try out the new Screen Recording feature, a great way to insert a short screen demo into your presentation.
And finally, these are my 3 golden rules for presenting:
With text, less is more. You should never have more than 6-8 bullet points per slide. These should be summary points and not what you are going to say.
Don’t overdo the animation. A swish animation once is fun and could re-engage the audience but overuse them and people will just switch off.
Use a mixture of media, text, graphics, diagrams, video and audio. It will keep your audience engaged and make your presentation much more interesting. But please use meaningful images and test out the tech first. There is nothing worse than things not working as it just puts more pressure on you.
If you are an existing user of PowerPoint and want to improve your PowerPoint skills or would like to learn how to use it, you can book onto our virtual training session. Visit our Public Training Programme page to see the next available date for this course.
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