eSource: Ten Qualities of an Effective PowerPoint Presentation
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eSource: Ten Qualities of an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

Handy tip or trick

Knowing how to use PowerPoint is just one step in creating an effective presentation. Careful planning and preparation can help you create a presentation appropriate for your audience.

1. Uses the right PowerPoint design
The design you choose should depend on the audience and the way you plan to present. Use blues and greens to make your audience feel good or relaxed about a topic. Use bright colors like reds and yellows to get an audience excited and happy. Using high contrast, such as dark backgrounds with light lettering or light backgrounds with dark lettering, will make your presentation easier to read when projected on a screen.

2. Designed and formatted appropriately for the audience
Slides and handouts are your support material; the primary message should come from you. Each slide can include a few main points; you can talk more about them in your discussion. Limit your slides and only include necessary information. Too many slides and too much information will loose your audiences attention.

3. Tightly focused on the subject
Is your audience familiar with the topic? If they know nothing about it, make sure you define the basic terms. If they’re experts, follow-up with questions and plan on using hidden slides to support your answers.

4. Includes the right amount of text and appropriate font
Your audience will pay more attention to you if they are not trying to read paragraphs of text at the same time. Make your presentation easy to read by selecting an appropriate text size and font. Use Sans-Serif fonts (without ‘feet’ or ‘tails’) in headings or short lines. Use Serif (with ‘feet’ or ‘tails’) in paragraphs of text, which is easier to read.

5. Uses artwork purposefully
Images, WordArt and clipart should enhance the presentation, not overwhelm your audience. Younger audiences may enjoy flashy images while older participants want more substance, less flash.

6. Uses graphs and charts rather than raw columns of numbers
Several types of graphs and charts are available; choose one that’s appropriate for your presentation.

7. Uses sounds and video to create interest, but does not allow effects to dominate
Add multimedia effects after the content and overall image of your presentation is solid. Don’t let the bells and whistles outshine your presentation, keep the main focus on you.

8. Uses animation and transitions if appropriate
Even the most boring presentation can benefit from animation and transition. Animations are simple movements of the objects on a slide. Transitions are animated ways of moving from slide to slide. If animation and transitions are used, be consistent.

9. Offers audience handouts
If you give handouts before the presentation, will people read them and not listen to your talk? If you wait until after the presentation, are people writing like mad trying to take their own notes? There’s no real solution, decide what’s best and makes the most sense for you.

10. Concludes with question and answer session
Leave a few minutes at the conclusion of your talk to answer questions from your audience. They will leave your presentation knowing you took the extra time to address their concerns and listen to their comments.

Submitted by: Admin ACES Technology Help Desk
Date submitted: 10/28/2005, last modified 10/04/2012
Categories: Computers and Technology