Along with Word and Excel, PowerPoint is a part of the Office- package and is used for creating presentations that can be displayed on a big screen using a projector. Today PowerPoint presentations are very widely spread because they are very convenient and are used in business fields, for educational purposes, etc.
Not always, however, we manage to create a flawless and useful presentation. That’s why, in this article I will offer you a few rules that will add to improve your presentation skills in this area.
It is very important to select a conventional font that is easy to be read, such as Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial. Remember to increase the size so that people won’t be straining their eyes: 16-18 is perfectly acceptable.
Use different fonts sparingly - only for the subheadings.
Bet on the simple and refined design. You can add a variety of effects, but do not overdo it, because otherwise people will find it difficult to concentrate and follow the ideas that you present them.
The best choice is black letters on a white background – this way the slides are most easily read. However, if you have to put a dark background, you must choose a lighter color for the text. If you opt for a combination of different colors, first think about whether they will be clearly visible on the background you select.
Align the text to the left or to the right. Remember that the centered text looks unprofessional and is being read harder.
Do not write complete sentences and paragraphs, because your audience would start reading and stop listening and that is not the purpose of the presentation. The idea is that they extract the essence of what you’re saying. So do not in any case include in the slides all the information you intend to present. Instead, you can take advantage of the option that allows on your computer screen to appear notes that are not visible to others. Another option is to open a separate document, which you don’t show the others.
Duration of presentation
Scientists found out that adults can concentrate for about 20 minutes. Try to fit in this time interval, and if this is not possible, try to give a break to the people who are listening to you. Steve Jobs’s advice is to turn on a blank slide designed to help listeners to "take a breath". Another option is to tell a story.
You can enumerate, but sparingly. Moreover, the subsections should not be many, and the text in them should be really short - a few words or maximum a row, but not more than that.
Regarding the images in a presentation, people are divided into two groups. According to one of them, pictures distract the audience while the other group sees pictures as a way to make the presentation more interesting and to facilitate the adoption of some ideas. Our advice is to use pictures when you find it necessary, but without overdoing it.
If you want to include figures as a part of some statistics, for example, let them be approximate, not exact.
Sometimes tables and charts present information more clearly than enumeration, so use them when necessary. Try not to overdo the information presented in the table and never use bullets in it. Remember that your table can appear gradually in the course of the presentation.
Audio and video files
Use them to keep the interest of the audience and to convey information in a more interesting way.
Do not read the slides
As already stated, the presentation should include only key ideas, not all the information. Therefore, it is inexcusable to stand in front of a group of people and start reading slides. You are expected to speak. Furthermore, if you decide to read, you would turn your back to the audience, and this is a gross violation of the etiquette. Remember these three things: point to the screen, turn to people, talk . This is the best way to present a PowerPoint presentation.
Correspondence between the slides and what you say
You should remember to change the slides during the presentation, so that what you say matches what people can read. Do not include in the slides information that you will not present. However, the opposite is correct in full strength.
Follow the rules
Yes, rules should not be violated, but if you think that it is appropriate in a particular case and would improve the perception of the information, do it.
It is a good idea to include a few questions as individual slides. Give people around you some time to think and then give the answer in a new slide. This is an excellent way to make the audience involve the discussed topic.
From the aforesaid it is clear that we need to make efforts to create a useful and interesting presentation that does not weigh down people who are listening to us. For this purpose it is advisable to follow the rules listed, and to avoid any possible errors.