A good presentation can make or break a pitch. So, you pull out all the stops to make it look good as possible; detailed chart, great documentation, and the PowerPoint. Of course, you can’t forget that; can’t let all that Microsoft PowerPoint training to waste, after all.
But how do you make a good presentation? What do you need to add to your presentation to give it that special je ne sais quoi that makes presentations so appealing? Well, these tips should help get your started.
- Short, sweet, and simple. Presentations are horizontally oriented; in other words, it’s top to bottom. They exist as additional flavour to the real point of a presentation: the message of the speaker. Put it this way, they’re the icing, the message is the cake. The key is using the former to compliment the latter without the former overwhelming the other. That means your slides are as minimalistic as possible, they contain enough to get the main points across, which you then, as the speaker, will elaborate on. For a PowerPoint presentation, less is ultimately more.
As a side note, if someone asks for your digital aid if they missed your presentation. Don’t give it to them. Having actual documentation is better.
- Quality. As a continuation of the above point (less is more), use the best possible graphical material possible. Avoid cartoony clip arts, badly cropped images, or oversaturated vectors for your presentation. Go for professional looking images in your presentations. If the image is the main point, then have it occupy around half of the slide, if it’s secondary, adding a bit of blur and reducing opacity/making it ever-so slightly translucent will put more focus on the sharper text. If you’re using charts, pay attention to colour and emphasize what’s really important by having that portion of data be larger than the rest. Remember, space is limited; waste not.
- Avoid templates. You need a visual theme for your presentation, but a template is not the way to get that. Remember, template, means mold or a source of a pattern, which suggests that your presentation is ultimately nothing special. You don’t want that. You want to be unique in your presentation; special. Do you need to be professional? Make a professional presentation. Inspiring? Make an emboldening presentation.
- Colour does a lot of things; there’s even an entire discipline called colour psychology centered on what it can influence in a person’s mind. Cool colours, like blue or green, are more professional, and stand out less, making them great for backgrounds. Warm colours, like red or yellow, are more explosive, they’re more noticeable and energetic. Hence, good knowledge of both will allow you to control which parts of the presentation your audience focuses on; using warm tones for highlights, and cool colours for less important details.
Those were some tips for making the most of your Microsoft PowerPoint training, remember, that the key to the presentation is the message you’re trying to send. The visuals are there to help, and they can cover for your mistakes if they’re done well enough.