Aside from excellent communication techniques, good PowerPoint presentation skills also contribute to delivering clarity and impact of the message that you want to convey to your audiences. The key to a good presentation also depends on one's persuasion skills coupled with the appropriate methods and styles of communication.
A good PowerPoint presentation should be able to grab the audience's attention and clearly communicate your message at the same time. Below are tips on how to hone your PowerPoint presentation skills.
1. Create or Select a Theme
Grabbing the audience's attention starts with focusing on the points that you want to show on your presentation. Take care not to crowd the slides and select the appropriate theme for your presentation. Microsoft PowerPoint presentations come in themes with coordinated colors, fonts and graphic effects. You can also create your own themes with your preferred fonts, colors and slide designs.
2. Use Audio and Video
To illustrate a significant portion of your message, use audio and video in your slides. It will also help you convey your message in a clear manner, plus it's also a great way to catch the attention of the audience. Try using a recorded narration when sending out presentations for others to view by themselves.
3. Use Charts, Graphics and Animation
A diagram, chart or graphics can make your presentation more interesting than plain text which in turn will capture the audience's attention. However, you have to choose your charts and graphics well as there may be instances that it gets too crowded; the presentation's key points are overlooked. Avoid using too much animation and transitions as they distract your viewers from your presentation's key message.
4. Utilize Slide Masters and Layouts
For easy to use and creative presentations, make use of the slide master. It is one of the most important tools in Microsoft PowerPoint as it gives one a central place to add and format content without difficulty. The formatting you apply on the slide master will save you time and effort as it automatically updates the entire slides used in your presentation; it also makes your presentation consistent.
5. Differentiate Print and On-Screen Presentations
If you plan to give out print outs of you presentation, keep in mind that some presentations that look good on screen do not always work well when you print them. Take, for example, dark backgrounds; they do not really look better in print. Just as with footer content on print outs, they tend to distract audiences when presented on screen. However, there's an option in Microsoft PowerPoint that allows you to switch between screen and print presentations.
6. Make File Sizes Manageable
One of the common problems in using PowerPoint presentations is when a file is too large to paste and edit into the presentation. To make file sizes manageable, try compressing them in your files or you may also want to make use default PowerPoint features such as shapes, tables, charts and SmartArt graphics. This problem is also remedied when you avoid embedding and importing medium from other programs.
You don't have to be rocket scientist to figure out how to make a
PowerPoint presentation work to your advantage. All it takes is
practice, practice and more practice.