How to use PowerPoint for efficient presentations

From ArticleWorld

Nowadays, presentation not accompanied by some graphical material are becoming somewhat of a rarity. Nevertheless, many of these presentations use the graphical material so poorly, that in some cases it totally spoils the entire effort.

This got the name of "Death by PowerPoint", when the overuse or poor use of PowerPoint slides ruins an entire presentation with an otherwise interesting project. Such presentations are profoundly despised by those who have to attend them.

Outlined below are the steps to take when creating the multimedia content used with your presentation, along with a few basic advices.

Start with:

  1. Start by outlining your presentation and finding out exactly what to say. You may want to write it, but be spontaneous when talking and do not stick to the papers for anything but the content and the essential parts of the shape.
  2. Identify the parts of the presentation that absolutely need the multimedia support. For example, when commenting a sequence from a movie, you will need that sequence displayed for easier comprehension. These are parts which will require you to adapt the presentation for them.

Put the slides together

  1. Presentations can be graphical without sticking to the usual bulleted lists. Try to think about the documentaries you see on Discovery. These are nothing more than presentations, only the background is even more multimedia-heavy.
  2. Design the content and the slides. When doing this though, you should:
  • Make sure everything can be literally be used. No matter how big the final screen will be, a slide full of 12-point text will be useless. Nobody will bother to read it.
  • Remember that the slides are the background you use and not the presentation itself. You will do the talking. The graphical part is used for creating the context. Therefore, when presenting a company's financial results, you will have to mention them completely, not just say they are excellent and let the audience figure the rest from the slides you show.
  • Do not read slides aloud. Your audience can read. If you cannot say anything more than what can be seen on the slides, why are you there in the first place?
  • Put only the essential data in the slides, things that need to stick to the audition's mind, which you will name, read and show at the same time. Everyone in the crowd will be sleeping halfway through the presentation if you show tens of slides full of numbers and equations, no matter how interesting these are by themselves.