Tips for Creating the Most Appealing PowerPoint Presentation

Creating a PowerPoint presentation seems really easy. The program is so user-friendly that it practically does most of the work by itself. This is the reason why PowerPoint presentations are used everywhere by pretty much everyone, from young students creating a school project to employees of Fortune 500 companies who have to give presentations to their board members. Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to understand that there is an art to creating an effective and appealing PowerPoint presentation. It’s not a matter of entering relevant information, inserting some cute pieces of clip art and spicing the whole thing up with fun slide transitions. PowerPoint may be an easy tool to use, but it will still be up to you to create something that is informative as well as appealing. Here are a few tips that might help.


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1. Create a Structure First

When students have to write research papers for school, they never just jump into it and start writing. After they complete all their research, they most likely create some kind of outline that represents the narrative of the paper they want to write. Creating an effective PowerPoint presentation should be looked at the same way. Before you even create your first slide, sit down and create an outline for your presentation. This will help give it a logical and easy-to-follow narrative structure.

2. Use a Minimum Number of Slides

When it comes to writing, it’s always best to keep things short and to the point. Once again, the same thing goes for PowerPoint presentations. If your presentation is long, it should be because you have a lot of information to cover, but you shouldn’t be using ten slides when you can get your point across with five. Keep your sentences short, and go over your presentation to see if there are any slides that you don’t need. If they seem unnecessary, take them out.

3. Use Fonts and Colors that are Easy to See

A PowerPoint presentation is a visual medium, so you should be making it as easy for people to see and read as possible. Keep your backgrounds simple and clean, and choose a nice contrast between colors and text so that everything is easy to read. If you want to add artwork keep it relatively simple and something that won’t be too much of a distraction. Finally, make sure you use a font that is easy to read and make sure that it is large enough to be seen from the back of the room.

4. Use Visuals Whenever You Can

Visuals are usually easier to understand and remember than text. While you should have text in your PowerPoint presentation, try to keep it to a minimum. When you have to use text keep the sentences short. Most of your presentation should be graphs and tables that are easy to follow. Just make sure that your visuals don’t clash with your background and overall visual theme.

5. Practice Your Presentation

Always remember that creating your PowerPoint slideshow is only half of your job when you’re putting together a presentation. The other half is actually getting in front of a crowd and presenting your information. This can be nerve-racking for the best of us and if you aren’t prepared it will show. Before you present your slideshow take the time to go through it the night before. Act like you’re actually presenting it and time yourself so you know how long your presentation should be. You can even practice in front of a friend or family member to get an idea of what a live presentation is like. You should be relaxed when it comes time to give your presentation and you will be more relaxed if you know what giving the presentation will be like.

Paul Matheson is a freelance writer specializing in Microsoft programs, computer software, marketing & advertising, exhibits, website development and other kindred topics. Whether you’re a business owner, employee or independent professional, having polished presentation skills is universally beneficial, which is why serious professionals should consult to further their knowledge in this area.

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