Creating a PowerPoint is one of the basic skills that everyone is taught in school, moving pictures around the screen and transitioning through slides is not a difficult skill to master. However when giving a presentation in a meeting room, it should not remind anyone of a classroom or a school project.
Use the templates
PowerPoint comes with a vast array of good templates. All of these are eye-catching and there will be one which is appropriate for your personal situation. The template will allow you to create a good looking and fully functional presentation, even if you do not know much about PowerPoint.
Find useful animations
PowerPoint comes packed with animations, these are designed to draw attention to an object entering or exiting the page. They can even be used in sequence to make a series of objects build up into another shape. Using the right animation at the right speed will take the attention of the audience directly onto that object and emphasis any point you are making.
Don’t overdo the movement
It is very easy to put an animation on every object. To make all the text appear as if it has been written on a typewriter. To make all the pictures spin across the screen on their way into the picture. However, this really is not the way to go. It will make the presentation look very unprofessional and as if a school pupil has made it. A simple and elegant animation is sufficient on a page and these really should be used sparingly.
Make it look different
Whilst the templates are a great starting point, they are available to everyone who uses PowerPoint. You will want to create a presentation, which leaves the whole of the meeting room asking who you were and how you created it. There is a lot of merit in making your own background and creating your own theme for your slides.
Fewer words and more thought provoking images
A slide overcrowded with words will do two things to the audience. Firstly it will make them squint to read it all and secondly they will almost instantly become bored with reading them all. There is no need to have your entire speech on the screen, you should put up a few key words and then make sure that the audience is listening to you. An image will always say a thousand words and can be seen by everyone in the meeting room.
Practice your speech
A great PowerPoint will be a helpful guide through your presentation. The slides will run at the same time as you are talking, emphasising your key points. To get the timing right, you will need to practice your script and know when and where you are having to click on the PowerPoint.
Add notes on the slides
At the bottom of every slide is a comment box. You can use this to make notes for yourself, your script, when to click and any questions to ask. When you print off your slides, if you select the note view print, then you will have a useful guide to use when you are actually giving your presentation.
As with all presentations, the key to it being successful is to be prepared. Practicing the script, the timing, the clicking and knowing that you have made an engaging and imaginative PowerPoint will set you in great stead for when you walk into the meeting room and start to present your ideas.
Jerry works for a start up business in west London and writes on a range of business topics from how to win new business to how to keep your staff happy and motivated.