Many people who are going to make a PowerPoint presentation was completely stressed out just thinking of it. Where do I begin? What format do I use? How do I make the audience focused? Keep on thinking about these questions will do no good but only postpone your preparation. Here we try to offer some help on how to prepare and make a great PowerPoint presentation.
1. Map your mind
If you don’t know where to begin your PowerPoint presentation writing, you can use this Mind Mapping technique. Basically it works like this: start with the “core” word, then think rationally a list of different keywords relating to the “core” word, and see where it leads you. A mind map can not only help you see where to begin, but also realize what is missing.
2. Pay attention to text design
For most PowerPoint files, text is the most important part which carries the most information. Whether your PowerPoint presentation gets the effect you expect depends on how do your format PowerPoint text. Focus on these simple design basics to avoid the temptation to dress up your pages with cheesy effects:
- Use a sans serif font for body text. Sans serifs like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri tend to be the easiest to read on screens.
- Use decorative fonts only for slide headers. Decorative fonts –calligraphy, German blackface, futuristic, psychotic handwriting, flowers, art nouveau, etc. – are hard to read and should be reserved only for large headlines at the top of the page.
- Put dark text on a light background. A bright contrast between the text and background will make your PowerPoint slides more readable.
- Align text left or right. Line up all your text to a right-hand or left-hand baseline – it will look better and be easier to follow.
- Key points only. You cannot write everything on the PowerPoint. Remember to write only keywords, key points, outline and a brief introduction on the slides – to avoid the risk losing your audience as they sort it all out.
3. Keep your audience focused
- Add some pictures and music. Ideas cannot be fully descripted by words. Besides, PowerPoint slides with only text will be boring. A few pictures will make your PowerPoint easy readable and understandable. PowerPoint with background music will make your audience more relaxed.
- Use animations to clarify a model or emphasize an effect. Animations can be added to text and pictures to make them alive, not just placed there.
- Ask questions. Not just the ordinary Q & A part at the end of the PowerPoint presentation. You can for example, build tension by posing a question and letting your audience stew a moment for the answer before moving to the next slide. For questions arouse interest, pique curiosity, and engage audiences.
4. Break the rules
For example, when most people are present their PowerPoint directly using Microsoft PowerPoint and get tired to modulate the computer settings every time, Jackson has tried to convert PowerPoint to video or burn PowerPoint to DVD disc and play it automatically with easy operation. “By saving PowerPoint as video or DVD, I don’t have to worry about the PowerPoint versions or computer incompatibilities anymore,” said Jackson. Rules are dead, but people are alive. Strictly follow the rules told by other people may make your PowerPoint presentations great, but not greater. If there is reason to break a rule, go ahead and do it.
Go blank: If you want the audience to take their eyes off the slides, just put the presentation on slide show mode and press “B” on your keyboard. This will blank out the screen and you will have the audience’s attention. Press “B” again and you are back.
Navigate: If you have to navigate through slides, you can simply type in the slide number and press “Enter”.
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- PowerPoint Lecture Room 4: Secrets of professional presentation
- PowerPoint Lecture Room 1: Ways to Make an Excellent PowerPoint
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