November 4, 2016| Category: Writing Tips
Has it ever happened that you struggled to create a PowerPoint presentation but have not succeeded? Have you ever felt fear or anxiety when just heard your PPT assignment? Have you always been harassed simply thinking of making PowerPoint slides? In fact, it can happen to everyone. So, here are several tips that help you in writing a professional PPT.
Draw Up a Plan
It is well known that the first stage to success is a good plan. A PowerPoint presentation is not an exception in this case. The purpose of slides is to demonstrate what you intend to tell your viewers. Thus, you have to distinguish what you’re going to say and how to illustrate your words. It is important to come up with the presentation’s outline before attempting to assemble slides. It will help establish a clear structure, including the introduction, main body, and conclusion.
Use One Point at a Time
What you are saying should be displayed on the screen, but wordiness is not good for PPTs. Neither long sentences nor heavy paragraphs work. Keywords and phrases are to be shown as soon as you reach them, whereas graphs may be placed on the following slide. In general, slides should just highlight and support your speech. As a presenter, you must regulate information flow to keep viewers synchronized with your text.
Think of Design
The PowerPoint package suggests using different visual effects, such as blinking text, transparency, shadow, autoshapes, etc. But you should be careful not to overload your slides instead of focusing on the project itself. Here are the main pieces of advice:
- Arrange your text right or left as it will be easier to read and to follow;
- Dark colors are appropriate for the text while the background should be light;
- Install sans-serif fonts for the body text;
- Decorative symbols can be used only for headers;
- Don’t fill a slide with too many things. It concerns images as well as bullet points;
- Don’t overuse images. It’s better to make sure they add valuable information to the text of your PowerPoint presentation;
- All graphics, comprising photos, should be of high quality. Illustrations tend to catch people’s attention!
Pay Attention to Speaker Notes
What are speaker notes, and what should you write there? Such questions may arise when the professor asks you to prepare a spoken PowerPoint presentation. Usually, speaker notes are added as text in the Notes panel below slides. It will be your actual speech because it is not recommended to use slides as notes. Hence, build well-organized paragraphs with helpful transitions and impressive closing. Moreover, you should consider word choice and sentence structure. If you are not sure of a particular word pair, feel free to select a better substitute. Lastly, listen to the language and rhythm of your PowerPoint presentation. When it sounds not complete and smooth, it means speaker notes require some changes.
Keep the Audience in Mind
One of the most important things is to keep your audience concentrated. If you lose viewers’ attention, the whole effect will be missing, no matter how words are clear, colors are brilliant, and PPT design is creative. A pleasant and confident speech will help attract the attention of the target audience and persuade them by arguments. Besides, you should keep eye contact with viewers. Working on pauses, smiling, and using positive visualization are additional skills in engaging the audience actively.
To summarize, these are just a few ways to make a professional PowerPoint presentation. However, as Microsoft regularly suggests some upgrades, they help create PPTs quicker, enjoyable, and easier than before. By learning them, you will definitely develop your presentation skills in the future.