Many of us use PowerPoint to convey a message to both small and large groups. Too often we see "death by powerpoint" in the corporate environment where people don't use it effectively. Get clever when using your PowerPoint this article has 20 tips for becoming a more engaging presenter when you use this tool.
Only use a maximum of six (6) words on each line. Too many words is too much clutter and hard for your audience to read.
Only use a maximum of six (6) lines of text on each slide. If you have too many lines of text your audience will spend their time reading your slides and not listening to you speak.
Keep slides clear and uncluttered. Avoid using many graphics or too busy with information - make your message clear.
Use animation where relevant but don't overdo it. This feature can really highlight a key message... or distract your audience if not done correctly.
Use sound effects and movie clips to enhance your presentation. This is a great technique when it works! Be sure to test your presentation in the live environment before you show your audience. Just because it worked at home or your office... doesn't always mean it will work when your audience appears.
Don't talk to your Powerpoint remember you have an audience that can read. Don't insult the intelligence of your audience and assume they can't read your slides. Use different words to the ones on your slides.
Keep your slides to a minimum people want to hear your message not be distracted by too many slides. They have come to hear a real person, not an electronic presenter. Only use slides to enhance and reinforce your message.
Don't use dark coloured backgrounds - this makes it hard to read from the back of the room. Be aware of the effects of different background colours.
Use large font only as small font is too hard to read from a distance.
Change the font size of words on the same slide to emphasize key words. Don't make every word the same font - if you want to make words stand out, use different colours and fonts.
Don't rely on your PowerPoint technology can sometimes fail us know your content and also have a hard copy of your presentation with you at all times.
Get creative with photos and images <- use your own photos rather than existing clipart. Most people are aware of the clipart available, show them something they haven't seen before.
Don't use Italic font - it is too hard to read.
Avoid using all capital letters as it is also difficult to read. In email etiquette this is seen as shouting, PowerPoint could be interpreted the same way.
Test the colours on a large screen as some may change from your laptop to the large projection.
Create a master slide - this might include your logo and in your corporate colours to reinforce your brand.
Use a remote controlled mouse or plan your movement and slide design so that you are not bound to your keyboard location.
Know how to navigate Powerpoint - in the event you press your mouse incorrectly or your system falters it is important to look like you know how to use this tool.
Learn how to insert tables, graphs, graphics and photos to enhance your presentation rather than just using text.
Attend a course to increase your Powerpoint skills and learn creative ways to use this tool.
Don't kill your audience with 'death by PowerPoint' - find creative ways to use this tool and you will become a more engaging and on-purpose presenter.
Neen is a Global Productivity Expert: by looking at how they spend their time and energy and where they focus their attention Neen helps people to rocket-charge their productivity and performance. A dynamic speaker, author and corporate trainer, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing things. With her unique voice, sense of fun and uncommon common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Subscribe to Neen's free monthly ezine at http://neenjames.com/