Amazing MS PowerPoint Presentation
If you are the sort who needs to present often in front of a live audience, then you’re sure to have tapped into the pretty power of MS PowerPoint presentations. To an audience craving entertainment along with any learning engagement, an MS PowerPoint Presentation content may well be Queen!
In this post, we discuss 8 MS PowerPoint Presentation tips. To aid your PowerPoint presentation learning, we’ve divided this post into 2 parts; the first part focuses on presentation hacks and the second part focuses on MS PowerPoint presentation Microsoft hacks. The intent is to encourage you to collectively use this tool better, so you deliver and present with PowerPoint better.
MS PowerPoint Presentation Tips
PART 1 – Presentation Hacks
Keep it visually appealing
This is perhaps the most important tip for any effective presentation, so we will take some writing space for it. Our eyes are intentionally our most powerful sense organ. So if you intend alluring the audience with your PowerPoint presentation, you have to cater to them first with a visually appealing act.
Some tried-and-tested rules for this are included below.
Don’t bite the bullet list!
PowerPoint tradition demands that you keep your slides extremely basic, as either a picture or a bulleted list. Well, we’ll happily tell you to break this tradition!
Bulleted lists are passé in today’s e-times. Sure, they have their uses to quickly summarize important information. But with reducing attention spans, we’ve now found more effective ways to grab audience attention: vibrant graphics, customized clipart, charts and graphs, embedded videos, live-feed screenshots, etc. As the revised adage would probably say, a picture (or a media element) speaks more than 1000 bulleted lists!
Keep it spiffy!
Before you argue that “spiffy” is not an English word, let us re-iterate to you the importance of holding the audience’s attention. And this cannot happen as one visual animation drags after another. (Another non-English word there!
Whatever visual factor you do choose to introduce, ensure that it inserts seamlessly into your MS PowerPoint presentation without drawing undue attention. (This means a firm NO to heavy animations after every slide.)
Keep it simple!
Finally, don’t miss the Key principle, ever! Yes, we did use the words “visual” and “appealing” in the same sentence. But don’t treat this as an exercise to create a Disneyland of visual wonder even as you unleash a crazy riot of colors, graphics, designs, and animations on your unsuspecting audience. This can come across as “gimmicky” and take away from the authenticity of your presentation. You want your audience’s focus on your topic first, always. So retain visual balance.
Step up into the e-age by embedding e-media
That’s online multimedia elements for you.
In today’s e-age, we bet that you rely heavily on the internet to prepare for your presentation. Whether it’s material content, social media, YouTube videos, blogs, live feeds, etc., the world wide web connects you to a whole host of extra information related to your topic.
Return the favor to your audience in a seamless manner.
So, for instance, if you have a video from a particular site that you want to showcase in your PowerPoint presentation, you’d probably include a link on your slide and then open it up in a separate window. This can, however, be terribly distracting and it takes the focus away from your presentation.
With integration tools like LiveWeb, you can now seamlessly include the external video into your presentation, so it opens up in the same window (much like an embedded video), likewise with live feeds and other online media elements. This small tip can take the overall effect of your presentation to another level, much like an integrated webinar or a live demo. Nice!
And that’s it, that’s the end of Part 1. These 2 simple yet potent suggestions are all you need to follow before you get your hands dirty with the actual PowerPoint Presentation. And you can do this easily with the PowerPoint hacks we give you below.
PART 2 – Office Powerpoint Hacks
Keep it consistent with the right MS powerpoint Theme
Have you been privy to an MS PowerPoint presentation that showcases a blue theme? No, wait, it’s yellow. Err, blue again, and…. pink… purple… white? Drat, there’s no theme. By the seventh slide, you’ve got eye-burn!
There is a definite limit to the amount of visual variation we can comfortably digest. So keep your presentation visually consistent by endorsing a common theme. In fact, do this even before you start designing your slides, so you don’t have to individually correct them later.
The good news is that PowerPoint comes loaded with a bunch of default MS PowerPoint presentation themes that you can use with a single mouse-click (all available through the Design Tab). Each theme comes with its own set of backgrounds (includes page color, watermarks, shapes, images, and graphics), special effects, fonts, and color palette. It’s an effortless way to maintain consistency across your entire MS PowerPoint Presentation.
For instance, here’s an example of how you can use the built-in Austin theme to back the “Go-Green” flavor of a topic, even as you keep it consistent yet interesting.
While you cannot completely modify a default theme, you can manually edit certain facets like colors, effects, etc. Read on to learn more about this.
Make friends with the Design Tab.
The Design Tab is your key to make your MS PowerPoint presentation “visually appealing”. In addition to popular PowerPoint presentation themes, it also has a whole host of features (like fonts, colors, etc., all explained below) to enhance the look and feel of your presentation.
Here, spend a few minutes to figure out:
This determines the size and orientation of your slide. You may want to revise the default settings to fit special sizing needs for your visual projector in rare cases.
A theme makes consistent use of Serif or Sans Serif fonts, so your typeface remains clean and legible. The default fonts (of Calibri, Cambria) are chosen for their universal appeal. However, your theme may have a different need, so don’t hesitate to explore different fonts for your theme. Also, spend a few minutes exploring the character spacing in your font. Depending on your font type (too long or too short), you can choose to modify the default sizing and spacing of individual characters.
Effects determine the influence of your theme on all media elements used in your presentation (like shapes, lines, fonts, color changes, images, etc.). PowerPoint provides 3 flavors of effects: subtle, moderate, or intense (names are self-explanatory). But it is the combination that provides interesting effects on your presentation. Your chosen theme automatically sets these. But should you need to customize them for your presentation, you can do so using the drop-down tab in the Design View. Simply highlight the text, shape, picture, or other media element you want to customize, and click on the related drop-down box to change default settings. (Changes will run across the entire presentation.)
Use this drop-down tab to change your background page’s color, shape, graphics, style, and texture. If you additionally want to hide the MS PowerPoint presentation graphics while keeping the top layer shapes, you can check the “Hide Background Graphics” box right below this tab to customize the slide.
We also encourage you to proactively explore the Format menu (for any media elements like text, shapes, graphics, pictures, charts, sound/video objects, etc.) and uncover the hidden gems that MS PowerPoint provides. You can do this with a right-click on your chosen element and then click on the “Format…” option in the drop-box to enter a new world of customized settings. You can use this to add shadows to your text, make it pop with a background glow, change the texture of your background page, change the spacing between text objects, give it a 3D look, and a whole lot more.
Be unafraid to experiment with Colors:
Every theme comes with its own color palette that contributes to the background image, shape, font, etc. While you cannot modify a theme in totality, you still can cleverly change the palette used in your theme to get contrastingly varied styles with the same theme.
For instance, the above picture showed a title slide created with the “Grid” theme (one of PowerPoint’s built-in themes). Here’s a preview of what happens when you experiment with different color palettes on the same theme.
As you can see, this is mighty effective in providing varied styles with just a few mouse clicks. However, do note that whatever color palette you choose will run through all slides of your MS PowerPoint Presentation.
Another trick you can use is to manually edit the color palette and apply high contrast colors for a defining slide. Here’s an example.
As you can see, it’s another effortless way to add instant visual drama to your slide and heighten its impact!
Create your personal brand template
The best PowerPoint presentations aren’t just visually appealing; there are well laid out with content. Design your personal brand MS PowerPoint presentation template that’s user-friendly and hence easy for your audience to digest. We’ve seen some enthusiastic designers overload their fancy MS PowerPoint presentations with a hefty dose of audio/visual elements. Unfortunately, they are laid out such that it takes away from the main topic.
Here are pre-defined MS PowerPoint presentation templates that are our suggestions for you. But of course, you must customize this to capture your own personal PowerPoint presentation brand template!
- Opening slide – This should be a high-impact Title slide with minimal distractions.
- Intro – Use this to introduce yourself to the audience as you share why you are the expert, some fun stats about yourself, and your contact details.
- Section headers – Introduce them, so the audience gets a breather between sub-topics. These are also good placeholders for jokes, audio/video clips, gimmicky animations, and the lot so insert them after such planned.
- Data points – Powerpoint slides with actual content. These should be easy to read and digest with no more than 2-3 lines per slide. Avoid bullet lists where possible, as it’s the easiest way to put your audience to sleep!
- Graphics – Introduce a slide or two between data points that contain PowerPoint presentation pictures, charts, tables, video clips, etc., to break the monotony. These work best with one high-impact statement.
- Questions – Most presentations encourage this. Depending on your situation, set a slide (and time) to address audience questions. This also improves audience participation.
- Next steps – Always leave the audience with something more: perhaps suggestions for further reading, a URL that gives further information, the download link for the PowerPoint presentation file, etc.
Use the Presenter’s View to manage your notes.
Have you noticed how your notes often become redundant during the live show? Considering they don’t show up on the actual slides, they’re not much help during your live PowerPoint Presentation.
With Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (and above), that has changed.
Version 2010 (and above) provides you with a “Presenter View,” accessible through the “Slide Show” tab, and allows you to pan 2 views.
- One for you, the presenter. This includes the slide sorter list, the actual slide, and your powerpoint presentation notes (so you can refer to these talking points during the live session).
- Two, for the audience. This contains the slide (only).
But of course, this MS powerpoint presentation view works only when you have 2 displays, ideally your laptop/ desktop (for your own view) and another display projector to capture the audience’s view.
This MS powerpoint presentation view gives you much more control as you get a peek into upcoming slides and can accordingly schedule a break, introduce the next topic, and overall pace yourself better.
Play with PowerPoint’s awesome features!
We know; this sounds like too generic a tip. But really, we’re reserving this space for some last-minute shout-outs on better PowerPoint Presentation design.
- Keep your slide layout “clean”. This means that you align objects and media elements and keep them visually consistent.
- Use high-quality images, always.
- Don’t forget to customize your text/ graphics/ media element using the Format. You can add a reflection, change shadow settings, edit the shape, remove the background part of a picture, and plenty more. It’s well worth your time!
- Play with PowerPoint’s Shapes and SmartArt (available in PowerPoint 2010 and above). These are accessible through the Insert tab and empower you to create plenty of ready-to-use templates like org charts, flow charts, message bubbles, etc. With the Smart-Shapes picture tab, you can effortlessly showcase a collage of photos. Nice!
- If you’re going to switch across PC/Mac systems for your final act, save your MS PowerPoint presentation as a series of images (available through the Save As option), and import them on the final system to maintain consistency and compatibility.
The final piece…
A good MS PowerPoint presentation is backed by solid design, a clean process delivery, and a lively disposition. We believe we’ve armored you with the first two here. Don’t forget to wear your best-friendly face to land the final piece!
This has been a guide to how to create an amazing MS PowerPoint presentation. Here we also discuss the 8 MS PowerPoint Presentation tips. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –