Our Top 8 Tips for Creating a Successful PowerPoint Presentation
Our Top 8 Tips for Creating a Successful PowerPoint Presentation.
A well curated PowerPoint presentation can help deliver your desired message to your audience. Following, you’ll find our top 8 tips to guide you along the process of designing a memorable and polished presentation.
1. Work from a Template
If you are in business, then working from a PowerPoint template is very beneficial. If you don’t already have one designed, we highly recommend you dedicate the time to doing so. At Slidesho, one of the first things we check for when a client submits their presentation to us, is if they have a template. We have previously written a more in-depth post on the 4 reasons why you need a PowerPoint template, but in brief, the benefits are:
- It helps with consistency
- Ensures you stay on brand
- Saves you time
- Makes formatting easier
2. Stay on Brand
Simply put, a brand is a marketing concept that helps people identify a company, product or person. Consistent branding will make you memorable. So it’s only logical to make sure all your presentations are on brand 100% of the time. As we mentioned (in point 1.) a template is a fantastic way to ensure this. Any corporate or business presentations that are created without taking brand and design into consideration, can look unprofessional and may therefore not be an accurate representation of you or your business.
3. Limit Text
One of the main mistakes people continue to make when creating a PowerPoint presentation is they use too much text on their slides. The problem with too much text is that your audience will not focus on what you are saying because they are too busy trying to read the text. This is why you should avoid using paragraphs and complete sentences. We recommend converting your text heavy slides into more of a visual format by including either graphs, infographics, photos, videos or icons. Visuals are more appealing to the eye and will therefore be more likely remembered. For more easy tips on how to improve your slides, read our post on the “top three tips to improve text heavy slides”.
4. Don’t forget layout and formatting
The appearance of your presentation from a layout and formatting perspective is vitally important. For example, if your presentation has shapes or text that are not aligned or distributed properly, it will look unprofessional and give the impression that the presentation was created in a hurry with little care taken. When doing a final check of your presentation, remember to not only check for spelling errors but also check your layout and alignment. If an audience member notices something out of alignment on a slide, it becomes hard to ignore and can be distracting to the eye.
5. Use high-quality images and graphics
A presentation that has blurry or grainy images does not look professional and can ruin the look of what would have otherwise been a sleek and polished presentation. Always use or source high resolution images. If you have an image that would convey your message beautifully but is of poor quality, we recommend you don’t use it.
6. Use speaker notes
PowerPoint comes with so many useful features and one of the best (but overlooked by many) are the speaker notes. Within each slide in PowerPoint, there is a specially reserved space where presenters can add notes for themselves. These notes can be used for various purposes such as adding key facts, messages, and figures to help prompt the presenter. Utilising the speaker notes section can help you become a better presenter and storyteller. You can read more about this great feature in one of our early posts called “Why you should use speaker notes in your PowerPoint presentations“.
7. Keep it Clean and Simple
Presentations that have too much information and graphics on each slide can be confusing to follow and difficult to digest. For the audience, they are a cause of distraction as too much time is spent trying to absorb the information, instead of listening to the presenter.
Some tips for keeping a presentation clean and simple are –
- Use contrasting colours for text and background. E.g. Light text on a dark background or dark text on a light background. Patterned backgrounds can look busy and reduce the ease of reading.
- Limit the number of words on each slide by using key phrases and only including essential information.
- Don’t overuse special effects (like animations and sounds), or flashy transitions. Using too many of these can lead to distraction and could negatively impact your presentation.
- Leave empty white space around the text and images.
8. Know your Audience
When you have a PowerPoint presentation to put together, don’t focus solely on the content and information you want to deliver. One of the most important aspects of delivering a great presentation is to keep your audience in mind.
For example, the style you use to present to an audience of corporate professionals will be very different to how you address an audience of young university students. Your audience will (or should) influence your choice of language, graphics, style and use of examples. Every presentation should be designed to communicate a particular message to a particular audience and remember, no presentation spontaneously appeals to every audience.
Keeping these easy to follow and practical tips in mind will help you either improve your existing presentation or get you on the right track to creating a new one.
Download our complimentary presentation checklist below to help you along the way.
If you know your skills and talents are in presenting rather than creating, save yourself time and outsource your presentation to a specialist design agency. It is our business to deliver the presentation you need so that you can confidently and effortlessly present your message to your audience.
Written by Almis Mestrovic for Slidesho