We have all been there before. Someone has great information to present to a group, but poor PowerPoint slide design makes the presenter seem unprepared and un-knowledgeable.
It is even worse when the presenter uses those same slides as a crutch, turns his or her back to the audience and reads the slideshow to the audience until we have all fallen asleep.
While I can’t do anything to stop those presenters, this blog post can help you NOT BE one of “those people”.
3 Simple Tips to Remember About PowerPoint Slides:
- Slides are VISUAL AIDS, not speaker scripts! Speakers tend to use their PowerPoint slides as speaker scripts rather than as visual aids that support their talks and presentations. More graphics, less text. Visually speaking…THIS SLIDE
SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS SLIDE.
CLICK HERE to see how the above slide was made.
It’s okay to break up information from one slide into multiple slides. Remember, your slides are visual aids to make your points stick with the audience. Multi-modal presentations will present information verbally, visually, and kinetically as much as possible.
- If you have to convey a lot of text, or detailed graphs, use handouts and notes pages. A PowerPoint slideshow should be just one of many tools a presenter uses to convey a message.
Something like this should be broken up into multiple slides with graphics if it is truly vital to the presentation, AND it should all be available in a handout that can be referenced in the presentation. Again, presenters should use the “Notes Page” function of PowerPoint if they have to remember a lot of text like this in the first place.
Side Note: A little extra effort goes a long way. Rather than printing out your PowerPoint as “handouts”, take the time to create a high-quality two- or three-page handout. Includes some of the images from your PowerPoint for more stickiness of your points. Get extra kudos by leaving enough space in one margin for the note-takers in your audience.
- Know your stuff! If you appear prepared and can present off very little cues from your slides, you send a clear message that you know your stuff. Getting away from high-text, bullet-pointed slides benefits you as the presenter as much as the audience. You are freed up from having to remember what the next bullet point will say. Your images and graphics will help you tell a story that will stick. To get here, however, you have to take the time to rehearse a little. Close that office door, start the stopwatch, and run through your presentation a time or two.
Check Out These Great Examples
8 Best PowerPoint Presentations by Kasia Mikoluk on Udemy
Top 20 Best PowerPoint Presentation Designs by Cubicle Ninjas
Great Articles on Slideshow Design
Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 Rule for Presentations – Makes sense since learning should be an active process for the learner. Limit the lecture as much as possible and allow time for interaction, reflection, and active learning. TED Talks are less than 20 minutes, and contain few slides for a reason. The format works!
Making Better PowerPoint Presentations from Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching
Helpful Web 2.0 Tools – Where can you share those great slideshows?
Slideshare.com – Simple, free, and inspiring. I love receiving their e-newsletter with tips and examples of engaging slideshows. While I prefer Brainshark for the voiceover capability, Slideshare is easy-to-use, and easy-to-share.
Brainshark.com – Add voiceovers, give control to the viewer to skip to desired slides, include survey questions, quizzes, and integrate into your learning management system as a presentation, or embed into your website.
Wikimedia Commons – When I need something I can can’t create in my front yard, I can come to this website for a lot of Creative Commons content. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due.
PicMonkey – I just learned about this website, and I love it. PicMonkey is a free, easy-to-use photo-editing, web-based application. Did I mention it is free?! Here’s a sample of what I was able to create for my personal blog recently. Click here.