Proven Principles To Create Effective PowerPoint Presentations:
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1. Outline Your Story
- Quickly define your purpose or message, then switch the focus of attention from the slides to your message, explaining your goal for the presentation itself.
- Don't allow the slides to dominate your presentation. Reading from your slides, or having too much text on them defeats the whole purpose because your audience will simply tune you out.
2. Support Your Message or Story
- Reading slide content may cause your audience to ignore important points listed or assume that they aren’t important if you do not highlight them verbally.
- Support your message by emphasizing listed points - but give your audience more than what is on the presentation.
3. Use Graphics
- Images or graphics often outweigh bullets because they help your audience relate to your topic and remember what you talked about.
- Cartoons are good, but should not be overdone.
- Be selective of the images used and be sure to blend your images with your topic - the audience will respond positively and be more attentive.
- Use bullets on a slide then on subsequent 2-3 slides, reinforce or restate your message using an image, graphic or just one word. This approach offers a break for the audience, and invariably pulls their attention back to your words … very effective.
4. Less Results In More
- Streamline your content. Simplicity is more effective. This isn’t a Broadway show; it’s a meeting to communicate your message to an interested audience.
- Minimalize slide content and them simple. Eliminate as many words as possible, use graphics as mentioned above, and, if you use a graph or table, simplify them down to the essential elements that matter to the audience.
- Avoid using standard Excel graphs.
- If you use a logo, do so with caution. Try using corporate info on the intro page and then on the last page. Small logos are fine in the 'footer' area next to the date.
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5. It's All About Telling a Story
- Build a story into your presentation, keep it interesting, and absolutely related to the topic in some way.
- If you use a story, ensure it is based on benefits in a real-world application rather than just presenting boring facts and figures that your audience will quickly forget.
If you aren't using PowerPoint presentations in your marketing portfolio, maybe you should be. If you keep your message on point and allow the presentation to become a backdrop for your story or pitch, the rewards will surprise you.