Top 10 Presentation Hints
Hints on better presentations when using PowerPoint
Hint One: Slide builds
Never have all your points on a slide appear at once. If you do, while you are discussing Point One, your audience will be reading ahead (you know this is true – after all, you do it!).
Instead, only bring up a point when you are talking about it.
Hint Two: Visuals or words, not both
The brain cannot assimilate both an image and words at once. Therefore, don’t have both appearing at the same time, or the audience won’t be able to make immediate sense of what you’re saying.
Instead, click to bring up either a visual or words, never both.
Hint Three: Chapter headings
Just as a book is split into chapters to make it more manageable for the reader, so to should your presentations.
If you have, say, three main sections in your presentation, before each section, include a “chapter slide” which says what the section is going to cover.
These chapter slides split the presentation up for the audience, help their attention span and most importantly make it easier for them to understand.
Hint Four: PowerPoint is a visual medium
Because PowerPoint is visual, its best use is for visuals – charts, images, graphics, diagrams etc...
However, due to its visual nature, PowerPoint is not effective when it has lots of long sentences everywhere. Sentences are not visual. They are best delivered verbally, i.e. by you and not on the screen.
Therefore, when creating your PowerPoint, think carefully what goes on the slides. Don’t just load them with words to act as a Speaker Prompt.
Audiences hate this.
Instead, only put content on the slides that is appropriate for the medium.
Hint Five: PowerPoint’s best function
PowerPoint has lots of great functions. Bullet points can ping in from the left, swirl in from the right and so on…you can even insert video clips and audio files. But none of these is its best feature.
The best feature about PowerPoint is the B Button on your keyboard. If you press it blacks the screen out removing it from the audience’s eyes which means their sole attention is on you, not split between you and the screen.
This is imperative if you want 100% concentration on you.
Because there is only one way to stop people looking at the screen: not let them see it!
If you don’t like the thought of blacking out the screen, you can always press “W” that whites the screen instead. A white out is useful in darker rooms as it provides some light at the same time.
Hint Six: Colour Contrast
Ensure the colours you choose, as well as ticking all the right Corporate boxes, are aesthetically pleasing.
Don’t have white writing on a yellow background this is hard to read. Also, avoid the eye strain of 80s-style yellow font on blue background.
It is becoming more and more important to get these sort of things right, or your audiences will think things about you that you don’t want them to think.
Hint Seven: Font Size
When creating your PowerPoint, take account of the size of the screen it will be shown on.
Approximately one in ten people has bad eyesight, so using fonts that are too small does nothing whatsoever to increase audience attention.
In fact, it can be downright frustrating for them.
As a general rule, writing should always be at least 20 point sized.
Hint Eight: Changing Fonts
If you are constructing a slide and want to change the font you have used, simply highlight the appropriate word(s), and press “shift F3 on a PC” to scroll through the various options you have.
Hint Nine: Using Shortcuts when Presenting
PowerPoint has lots of shortcuts, and a quick training course will show you the more useful ones.
However, for now, here are two for you:?
1. F5 – press this to get your presentation in “show mode”. This is quicker than clicking on the toolbar and selecting the appropriate dropdown menu etc. ?
2. If, during your presentation, you decide you want to go straight to a particular slide, simply type the number of the slide and press enter. So, say you wanted to go to Slide 12, simply press both the “1” and the “2” keys, and press enter. This will take you to Slide 12.
Hint Ten: The Golden Rule of Presenting
Remember: presentations are “audience things” not “speaker things”.
The Golden Rule of Presenting?
Everything you do should only have one aim: to ensure your presentation works.
And this means making sure you do everything in your power to give the audience what they want (which is not slide after slide of bullet points!).
PowerPoint is a tool to help you present your information. It is not your presentation! You are the presentation, spend more time preparing yourself to present.
If you would like to see more tips/hints like these then just let me know i.e. comment