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PowerPoint presentations can range from incredible to frankly embarrassing. In the former case, they can be a powerful tool for educating and persuading people as well as presenting your ideas to the world. In the latter case, you can become a laughing stock of your professional field. How does one avoid such a fate? Simply read this article about the secrets of making great presentations.
- Know Your Audience: The first thing you should do when creating a presentation is think about the people who will listen to it. Are they your colleagues or superiors? Do they agree with your position? Are they students or adults? All these factors should influence the style of your presentation.
- Start with an Outline: Have you ever been to a presentation where the speaker just wondered aimlessly from a slide to a slide and rumbled on without presenting a cohesive narrative? Well, that person most probably neglected to create an outline. People are busy and don’t have the time or the patience to listen if you yourself have no idea what to say to them. Write out the points you want to make. It does not have to be a formal outline. It just needs to give you the structure that is necessary for any convincing speech. And if you want to take an extra step towards excellence, try recording yourself. This will allow you to see all the weak points in your performance and tweak it accordingly.
- Appearances matter: When making a PowerPoint, the way it looks is equally if not more important than the statements it makes. If your presentation looks frumpy and outdated, uses cheesy effects, or has garish colors, the audience will spend more time thinking about this then about your words. Additionally, if the text is hard to read, it will not matter what it says. Nowadays, you don’t have to be a designer or have great taste to create stylish PowerPoints. There are numerous beautiful templates available online for free. Just download one and save yourself a lot of time and nerves.
- Don’t type out your speech on the slides: At the end of the day, PowerPoint is just a tool. It should complement your public speaking skills instead of being a crutch. It is good for illustrating your points or reiterating some of the statements, but it should not become a crutch.
Use these PowerPoint presentation tips to become better at public speaking and gain advantage at you place of study or employment!