30 million PowerPoint presentations are made around the world daily. That’s almost 21,000 powerpoints per minute!
Now imagine having to sit through another bad boring PowerPoint presentation that no one wants to listen to can be pure torture. A much worse scenario could be you are the one giving that presentation. . .
The truth is that we all want all of them to be much more engaging, to the point, and effective. Follow these 16 PowerPoint presentation tips to create a presentation that is out of this world.
1) Start your ppt with the Audience in mind
Who are you going to be presenting to? Who are they,What’s their age? What’s their educational background? What’s their profession? And maybe you need to know their income? These details will help you create and craft a PowerPoint presentation designed for that specific audience.
2) Is Your Message Important?
Of course it is, so custom tailor your message to the audience to help them understand how they can benefit and you can help them solve their problem.
This infographic is a great source to help you craft your presentation.
3) Keep each Slide Short and To The Point
Each slide should contain only one key point. When people put too much information on one slide it will become confusing to the viewer. A story…I have trained and coached 1000´s and I´ve seen this time and time again. I was coaching a large petroleum firm in Europe for a M&A witha private equity. And the CFO amongst others in this multinational were all trying to include as much financial data as possible on each slide. I looked like a maze or worse a bad piece of art!
Try to focus on putting one main point and then some supporting bullets explaining or supporting main points. Images can have a significant impact on your audience. See section #6 of this article.
4) What you don’t have PowerPoint?
Don’t have PowerPoint, not to worry! Here are several excellent free options that you can use to make a great presentation.
Try Canva its a great tool to create images and visual aids. It has fantastic variety of fonts plus filters to create easy yet powerful, professional presentations. Canva includes hundreds of free design templates with the ability to customize your presentations to your exact needs
5) 14 Free PowerPoint Presentation Templates
Here are 14 Free PowerPoint Presentation Tips and Templates. They will help you design a powerpoint presentation according to your style. You don’t have to use every single tool that PowerPoint provides you with. These are some that you can definitely use to take your presentation to the next level.
6) Only Use Visual Aids and Pictures When…
Only when the images will add impact clarify a keypoint in your Presentation the reason to use visuals in your powerpoint presentation is to help you get your point across but not to distract from you the messenger.
Because in step #1 you prepared and researched your audience. Now you should know well what your audience needs and how they should react.
Here are some examples of slides I use in my training:
Which of the 2 Images Impact you more?
Annual Traffic Deaths in Spain
Annual Traffic Deaths in Spain
7) Use Bullet Points don't use Paragraphs
Bullet points gives the audience an outline to follow of the key points from the slides of your powerpoint presentation.
It can also help keep you on track by providing you with prompts if you lose track where you were during the presentation.
However, don’t overload your slides with excessive and unnecessary bullet points. You might confuse the audience as if they’re looking at a powerpoint designed picasso!
Your objective is to keep your audience focused and engaged with you and the presentation, not reflecting on the abstract form surrealism in your slides.
Your presentation shouldn’t be the slides. If they are, then why not just email everyone the ppt and save them the trip!
Try to limit your words to 7 words per line, and 7 lines per slide. George Miller the magical 7, plus or minus 2
8) PLEASE Don’t Read OFF Your Slides
SO VERY OFTEN when I´ve trained corporate students, their idea of a presentation was to just read from the powerpoint slides. As I said early if that’s the case then you can just email the ppt and save them trip! 🙂
But this great for me because it, assures my more training gigs
Your PowerPoint is a supplement to support what you have to say and help emphasize the key points. Use your slides to get your key points across in a simple way. As a public speaker use your slides to expand the information, don’t read them word for word. If you are using bullets, use them as a reminder to help you elaborate by telling an interesting story or a joke.
9) Always Use Easy To Read Text
This another common mistake I encounter in the field when training students is that people often try to fit the entire wikipedia on one slide. Then try to use some bizzare micro-font that you could only see with a microscope and wonder why people are falling asleep!
Please use text that is easy to read for your audience when you are giving your presentation. Fonts such as Arial, Calabria or Helvetica are great but Save fancy text for large headlines in your presentation.
10) Bring Your Own Equipment
It’s always best to bring your own laptop to avoid issues and have a backup copy on a USB. In fact, I bring 2 or 3 of everything just to be sure. I have countless personal stories of near disasters because of issues with projectors, cables or laptops provided by organizers etc… Sometimes these technical issues can take place at well known IT companies. So bring your own equipment and test everything before you leave the house. In fact, I save a copy on the cloud plus I email myself the presentation. You can do the same and save it on Dropbox, google drive or icloud etc…
Keep in mind the level of preparedness and professionalism or lack of, will demonstrate and influence the impression the audience and organiser will have of you. Even if the technical issues are the fault of the organizer it will still reflect poorly on you.
Lastly, alway arrive early so you have plenty of time to test out the equipment, sound systems, fix whatever needs fixing and for you to get a feel of the room.
11) Try To Keep It Under time limit
Have 2 presentations, on hand the full presentation and a short version for an executive brief which you can present in 5 minutes or less.
The reason is twofold, First sometimes things happen at events and your alotted presentation time gets cut short, at the very last minute.
The second is much more common if you’re presenting to a group of senior executives.VERY commonly they’ll interrupt you early into the presentation. They don’t do this to be rude but they are busy and have to make decisions quickly. They generally don’t have time to hear your whole spiel. They’ll ask you what it is they think they need to know to make a decision.
So for this eventuality you should be prepared with an executive summary of the most relevant point for the executives. Make sure it’s the points most important for them to know, so they make that decision. And be extra prepared to answer questions, that could catch you off-guard. But don’t worry, just do your homework and be prepared.
Another point to keep in mind, a study from the University of Tennessee stated that the average attention span of an adult is 20 minutes. The attention span deficit is probably worse today than in the past.
Try to keep your presentations under 20 minutes. Ask yourself why does Ted Talks keep their presentation typically under 20 minutes.
If you have to go over time give your audience a break by showing a short video or demo to keep them engaged interested and involved.
12) Short Videos can help Engage your audience
- Use them only when they are beneficial.
- The video Communicates your idea in 2-4 minute max.
- Make sure that the production value of the video is good.
- Only use videos that add value to your presentation.
- The video should be directly related to your presentation.
13) Focus on Quality NEVER on Quantity
Don’t waste your audience’s time with filler, fluff and BS. Your slides should provide quality information and strength your presentation. When presenting remember the old adage “Less is more”. The waffling and excess words on your slides, is the perfect recipe for your audience to get bored, jump on their phones and tune out.
14) Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to an effective presentation is preparation. First, write yourself an outline of your talk with key points followed by bullet point details, fact etc…. Second, record your talk into your mobile and then listen to it. This is an amazing technique because you´ll hear where and what to improve in your presentation. Sometimes simply changing the order of points enhances their impact.
15) Learn From The Best PowerPoint Presentations
Some presentations are better than others. Look at other presentations for ideas before creating your own. Keep an eye on how the use of visuals and layouts.
Here is a couple of great books on presentation that can help you by Nancy Duarte or Seth Godin Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint by @slidecomet : based on an ebook by @ThisIsSethsBlog
16) CTA Call to Action
At the end of your presentation ask your audience to take action immeditately. This is to end the presentation on a high note with a bang!
This is where you bring everything together and wrap it up into a nice bow. Including all parts of the presentation, the intro, the body and conclusion of the presentation.
What do you want your audience to do when they walk out of the room? How should they put into action what they learned into action?
Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Share them in the comments below. Or contact me help you create a compelling sales presentation that includes everything you need to make it successful.