This article will share nine simple tips for delivering an effective PowerPoint presentation.
PowerPoint is an amazing presenter’s tool. While many disparage PowerPoint using terms like “death by PowerPoint,” the tools itself is not at fault. PowerPoint has, in fact, many helpful features. It is, rather, the presenter who is at fault.
Past articles, including Say “No!” to “Say No to PowerPoint Week, PowerPoint brings a classroom to life and Choose photos instead of clip art for presentations have offered PowerPoint tips. This article offers some simple things you can do to deliver an effective PowerPoint presentation. Nine of those are listed below.
Eliminate words –The more words, the less impact. There is a tendency to replicate text verbatim on a slide. A slide is not a text document and should not be treated like one. If your text has a header, or an overview sentence that encapsulates the information to follow, then place that text on the slide. Once you have the text on the slide, start eliminating words. Cut ruthlessly. Don’t stop until your text has lost it’s meaning. Then reinsert only those words necessary to recapture the essence of the point.
Increase font size – One was to eliminate text is to increase your font size. This Examiner uses 32 point for the header at the top of a slide and 36 for the first line of text.
Limit the number of bullets – Although PowerPoint provides several layers of bullets, avoid using them. Eliminate the bullet from the first line of text and, as explained above, keep the text at 36 point. The next line then becomes the first line bullet with a font size of 32 point.
Use sans serif fonts – There are two kinds of fonts: serif and sans serif. “Sans” means without and “serifs” are those little extensions, curly cues and other ornamental elements that make fonts harder to read.
Shadow text – To give your sans serif fonts depth, hard shadow them a 2-point distance for a 3D effect and a 1-point blur and 0% transparency for a sharp definition.
Use relevant graphics – Graphics can clutter up a slide. When presenting to adults, avoid drawn graphics. Use pictures instead. Where graphics look juvenile, pictures look adult. Graphics should, however, have a defined purpose. The human eye is drawn to graphics before text. If you use graphics that do not add relevant information, you will actually distract away from your message.
Use animations sparingly – Like graphics, movement attracts attention. Animations must be purposeful. Use them when you want to draw specific attention to a piece of information.
Use sounds sparingly – Music may be the first language. Before humans could form consonants, they likely used vowels and pitch to communicate. Accordingly, music is
Use more, not less, slides – A common trope for PowerPoint is that it is better to use less slides under the theory that less slides equals less dependence o PowerPoint. The theory has it backwards. Less slides actually lead to a longer time spent per slide. Less slides also leads to overloading animations and bullets per slide and more chances for a PowerPoint crash. The highly visual nature of modern learners argues for more, not less, use of the highly visual PowerPoint. In an era where TV, movie and music video images change every few seconds, a more effective PowerPoint strategy is to briskly advance slides. Replace text with visuals, place successive bullets on different slides, and rely on transitions rather than animations to for movement.
Use these nine tips and you will deliver a more effective PowerPoint AND more effective learning.