Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program included in the Microsoft Office Suite of products. PowerPoint has become the industry standard for making presentations and it provides a number of advantages over conventional presentation methods, such as:
- Saving printing costs, especially since many presentations are saved to USB drives;
- Providing vibrant slides with the use of color, clip art, and different font styles and;
- Allowing for dynamic content on slides, in the form of the Internet and Video insertions even polling an audience by using a wireless audience response system.
However, with all these advantages, often presentations are lackluster and unsatisfactory to the audience because the presenter uses the Powerpoint presentation software and equipment in ways that are not helpful in getting their message communicated. The tool becomes a distraction or worse yet, the presenter merely reads the slides.
Below, are some simple DO’s and DON’Ts in putting together your next presentation to make certain your next speaking engagement or product launching event goes off without a hitch.
Do’s and Dont’s of putting together a great PowerPoint presentation
First, even before turning on PowerPoint, create a rough storyboard idea of your presentation. Write it out on note cards and put the ideas in order with an intro, body, and conclusion. Now, you are ready to begin with PowerPoint.
DO use large fonts. For your headings, a 24 pt font or larger is best.
DO make certain you are using only 1 or 2 font styles through out the presentation. Add clip art and photographs only if they enhance the message. Consider adding an interactive survey with an audience response system rental.
DO use the 6 by 6 rule. No more than 6 words across and no more than 6 lines down the page. PowerPoint is there to enhance your presentation, not replace it. Keep your slides and presentation simple.
DO plan on the “2 minute per slide” rule. For example, if you have 60-minute presentation, the MAXIMUM number of slides you should have are 30. Too many presenters rush through their slides and give their audience very little time to think about the content.
DO have the presentation printed so if the powerpoint presentation equipment fails, you can read from a paper copy and continue your talk.
DON’T leave the laptop on standby power. If you engage in a discussion with your attendees, the last thing you want is for the laptop to go to sleep.
DON’T leave your screen saver on either. This is another unwanted distraction to the presentation.
DON’T use dark backgrounds in poorly-lit rooms or light backgrounds in well-lit rooms because the slides become too hard to read.
LASTLY, DON’T be the only one to review your presentation. Give it to co-workers, members of your association or even a family member to review. Take their edits and comments to heart.
Now that you’ve mastered putting together a presentation, learn about the PowerPoint Presentation Equipment you will need in Part 2 to be posted on Monday.
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