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7 Solid Tips to Enhance Your Next PowerPoint Presentation

March 3, 2016

 

Whether it is an unintentional font, broken link or frozen equipment - a bad visual experience can ruin your presentation, as well as, the attendee’s experience.

I attended a conference about 3 months ago where the PowerPoint presentation wasn’t lined up adequately to the screen size AND it failed to advance the slide when the speaker was ready to move to the next one. This caused great frustration on the part of the presenter and her messaging was lost to the 150+ attendees.

The morale of the story: All is lost when a good presentation goes bad.

PowerPoint is meant to enable presenters to deliver a better, more impactful message. This article will focus on two areas – Process and Tools – with tips within these categories.

 

PROCESS

 

Tip #1:  Write out your outline on Post-it Notes.

Before going to the computer and typing out slides, figure out what you are going to say, how much time you have to deliver your message and the order of the slides.

Research states that attendees will remember only 10% of your presentation, so make sure your first and last slide are the most impactful.

 

Tip #2: Make sure the presentation represents your story, not your boss’.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have watched someone read slides, jump over them or act confused when one came up on the LCD projector. When asking the speaker about it later, they confessed it was their co-worker or boss’ presentation. Don’t get caught up in this; make every slide your own and the audience will be with you from the start.

 

Tip #3: Have a call-to-action for your last slide and where to find you on every slide.

The last slide should have an action you want your attendees to take – whether it is to buy your book, hire you for their next training session or implement a change in their thinking. 

Every slide should contain the following footer: the name of your company, your Twitter handle and the hashtag for the event so they can find your presentation on SlideShare or Prezi. 

 

Tip #4: Send your presentation to the event organizer 7-10 in advance.

If you developed your presentation on a Mac or different version of PowerPoint, the reality is some of your fonts and visuals may not transfer over appropriately. Most event organizers prefer to rent AV/computer equipment all together, rather than you bringing your laptop. By sending it to the event team early, they have time to load it and check for any problems. In addition, they can check URLs and make certain the right sound solution is in place if you are showing video.  

 

Tip #5: Be onsite at least 2 hours before your presentation for testing.
 

You want your presentation to go very smoothly, so make certain you meet with the AV team to:

  • Rehearse your presentation and make certain your slides correspond to your timing
  • Your microphone is fitted properly and you can be heard in every corner of the room and
  • If you have video, it can be heard by all attendees.

 

Tools

 

Tip # 6: Use bullets, but don’t overkill.

Bullets are effective as a way to remember what to cover and should be used as an aid. However, the less bullet points, the better.

Tip # 7: Use font types that readable, but not predictable.

Some font types are used too often because they are PowerPoint defaults. Use a different type, but make certain it meets three criteria:

  • It is large – most presenters should be using 30 point font type
  • It has contrast – if using color background or photos, make certain the font color doesn’t blend into the background
  • It is readable – don’t use cursive or obscure types because the audience is going to have to work to read them. 

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