For my final presentations in my senior year of high school, I had to do two forty-five minute presentations (each was in a group of three, so really only fifteen minutes of talking time per person). I’m SO GLAD to have been put through this! Besides the fact that the presentations themselves were unusually long for a high school assignment, one of them was presented under the ultimate task-mistress of powerpoints. If you did not do your powerpoint correctly, you lost a lot of points. She explained it to us and that was that. Her way or fail.
This probably sounds overly harsh, especially considering that as long as the powerpoint looks good, who cares how its put together? Well, either way, her methods have gotten me through many presentations since and I’ve gotten an A on every one of them. So I’d like to share her guides with all of you!
- More pictures, less writing!
Now, this doesn’t mean crowd each slide with too many pictures, make sure to keep it classy. Overlapping images usually look dumb but more pictures is always more aesthetically pleasing and interesting than blocks of text.
- Don’t use full sentences
Think bullet points! The powerpoint is there to back you up, not the other way around. If there are full sentences, people will be tempted to read it rather than listen to you. Bullet point your ideas so that people have to pay attention to you.
- Start with the built-in templates
It can be tough, figuring out what background, text color, and font that you want to set your powerpoint up with. And sometimes the colors can get jarring or hard/unpleasant to read. Use the built-in templates as a starting point in order to avoid this.
- Know your stuff
Make sure you know what you’re talking about. If you made your powerpoint correctly, the bullet points on the screen are only mere hints towards what you are going to expound upon. By making your presentation good, you have removed a crutch for yourself (but really, nobody likes to watch somebody read off the screen so this is a good thing).
And thats pretty much the basics! If you have any questions on how to use powerpoint, remember that the program has a great help section. Microsoft’s website also has a whole section dedicated to how-tos on using their programs. If you have any questions about designing a powerpoint, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!