Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading software for creating slide presentations, but the tips here can be applied to any workflow using open source, commercial or proprietary software, on a Windows PC or an iMac. Of the many commonsense tips for writing, designing and delivering an effective presentation, the top eight are below for your consideration.
1. Key phrases, essential info – Use key phrases and essential information only. Repeat key phrases from your top three or four points. Text should be short and sweet with a maximum of three bullets, as “negative” surrounding space makes it easy to read.
2. Go with the flow – Make your presentation easy to follow by having the title at the top of the slides. If you are using one of CRE’s Audience Response Systems rentals you should confirm with your audience that they can see the slide copy from the back rows.
3. No font follies – Use fonts designed for reading, like Verdana, Arial or Times New Roman. Use two fonts at most, one for headings and one for copy (no hard-to-read script). A MacBook Pro, or any other late-model Mac, will have excellent typefaces for all uses.
4. Simple language and NO CAPS! – On slides, punctuation marks diminish readability, and thus understanding, as do obscure words and all capital letters. All caps is also interpreted in our Internet culture as SHOUTING, but all it screams is, “low class!”
5. Play it safe– Themes or templates must be appropriate for the target viewers. For business, a no-nonsense layout is best. If you display your slides on a large-screen plasma display rentals, you can use any colors you like and get bright, clear, lifelike images.
6. Use images often – All kinds of images “speak louder than words” – charts, photos, graphs, even embedded video – and help keep your audience tuned in. Don’t do too many text-only slides.
7. Don’t overdo it – A reasonable number of slides ensures that the presentation will not be too long. One slide per minute is a common benchmark. Use digital recorder rentals to get your spoken presentation in sync with the slides.
8. Keep it simple – Transition effects and animation can add some emphasis (and fun), but the slides are visual aids for your presentation, not the focal point. Use a single transition style consistently.