[info]This blog will show you: How to repair a presentation before you start with 12 points on slide show effectiveness.[/info]
The wrecking formula is quite simple. Plenty of slides with lots of text, little or no practice, and insufficient time to prepare – in other words, the modus operandi of the majority of presenters in our modern day. Truth is more people than ever are being subjected to appalling presentations by people who should know their stuff and think they know how to present but don’t, primarily due to a combination of ignorance, arrogance and work pressure. But you can unWreck your presentation if you put these tips in place before you go live.
Before we continue, let’s deal with something important. Can you get away with not having a PowerPoint slideshow? Yes, you can. In fact, no slide show is better than a bad one. Well then, why bother? Because a great slide show can dramatically enhance the power of your message under the right circumstances. Assuming that you can see, did you know that of your five senses, the eyes provide you with by far the most information each day. Although your words have a significant impact during a presentation, this may explain why a poor slide show does such immense damage to a presentation. The purpose of a slideshow is to enhance your performance, not replace it. So then, what are the secrets? The following tips will make your slide show look far more professional, and take you a quarter of the time to put it together.
1. Use slides to illustrate key points, not every point. A presentation with 15 slides is far more powerful than one with 35 slides. It also takes far longer to prepare 35 slides and usually cuts into your practise time. There – I’ve just cut your preparation time down by more than half and we’ve only just started!
2. Use the same font throughout your slideshow. Choose one font that looks good and stands out well – and stick to it. Also remember that if you go below font size 32 on a slideshow you run the risk of people at the back not being able to read it (not to mention that you’ll be tempted to write too much!).
3. Keep points brief and avoid sentences – especially long ones. If you use a long sentence make sure it’s the only text on that particular slide – apart from your heading.
4. Clipart died at Christmas in 2001 when Santa got stuck in the chimney after one helping too much of Christmas pud, and various attempts to resuscitate it have failed. Use photos and the occasional graph.
5. A standard slide has a heading, some bullet points and a photo. The old company template, a favourite with company directors, with logo perched in the corner bottom right like your Gran’s ancient ailing parrot is a bit “yesterday” and just distracts the viewer from the message.
6. Once you’ve chosen a transition that you like, it’s best to use that same transition throughout. If you’re going to use different transitions, it’s going to take you much longer and you’ll need to check the show a few times to make sure they work.
7. On the menu bar at the top, use the “Custom Animation” tab to bring points in as you discuss them. If you’re not familiar with PowerPoint, it takes some tinkering to get the hang of it.
8. If you’re going to chat to your audience about other things in between your slides, place a black slide in between.
9. Simple slides are more effective than cluttered ones. Avoid too many special effects.
10. Eliminate all unnecessary text. Pictures are always better. Long headings must go. In fact , ask yourself if you need them at all?
11. If you feel you don’t have the time to learn how to use PowerPoint effectively by tinkering around, it may be worth investing in a one or two-day practical course to learn the tricks.
12. Review the flow of your slideshow at least twice before going into the first of your two or three practise sessions. If you find that you have a slide that does not enhance your overall message – scrap it, no matter how attached to the slide you’ve become.
And just by the way, if you’re still using overhead transparencies, don’t despair. A good OHP presentation knocks the socks off a bad PowerPoint show, and will still do so in 2020.