Slide show presentations are very effective tools that make presentation of information and data more lively and entertaining. It’s a modern day canvas that can feature a wide spectrum of media from plain text to video clips. PowerPoint presentations are truly an important tool that brings more color to any topic of discussion.
But like any canvas, it depends upon the user to bring out the masterpiece. The same principle applies in making PowerPoint presentations. It will depend upon the purpose of your slideshow. In our article, we will be focusing on making PowerPoint slide shows for presentation purposes. Here are some key tips to keep in mind.
Prepare. It is crucial to do the necessary preparation and research on your topic of choice. The depth of your knowledge will make it more convenient for you to construct your presentation, since you can focus more on organizing your ideas rather than learning and organizing at the same time.
Text, font size and style.
- The ideal font size for slide titles is 28 to 34 in bold.
- You may use the same fonts for subtitles and written details. But the size of the titles, subtitles, and details should be different to make the presentation convenient for the eyes.
- Try to limit the amount of text that you include in your presentation. Try to use only key terms. Keep main ideas as short and straight to the point as possible.
- Try to follow the rule of seven: at most seven words per line and seven lines per slide.
- If you prefer to emphasize some key terms, you may opt to change the font of that term to italic or bold. You may also opt to change the color of the font using striking colors like red or yellow to attract the attention of the readers.
- Pictures should be used according to purpose. If it helps in enhancing the presentation and makes that topic easier to visualize, then the picture or graphic should be used. Illustrations should never be used for the sole purpose of design.
- Limit the number of pictures in a slide. Multiple pictures may cause confusion and make the slide look cluttered.
Videos and other media
- Music and other media like videos should be used according to their purpose. A video embedded in a PowerPoint presentation of a giraffe in its natural habitat will be more informative and useful compared to presenting details of what a giraffe looks like. Make sure that the media you post in the place of or alongside guided text will help improve the presentation.
- Use animation in moderation – choose a set of animations that you may use throughout the presentation.
- Use subtle animations for business related presentations, lively animation may be used for more informal presentations.
- Make sure that the animation you use will not distract the audience. Use subtle animations if needed.
- You may include hyperlinks in your presentation if you want to link some terms to different websites, presentations or media that can enhance the learning experience.
- You may also use hyperlinks in making a virtual menu on your PowerPoint presentation, enabling the presenter to navigate through the slideshow much easier.
- Make sure that the color of your background is in contrast to the color of your text. (e.g. background color – white, font color black).
- Make sure that the colors are relaxing (e.g. blue, green). Avoid striking colors (e.g. red, yellow, orange) because readers will have difficulty focusing due to the sharpness of the background.
Review your presentation
- It is best to review your presentation to check for typographical and grammatical errors.
- Make sure that the slides are arranged accurately and all the important terms are included in the slideshow.
- You can also review how the presentation looks through a projector. Some colors and pictures may not appear as expected on a projector screen. This will help you make the necessary adjustments when needed.
Making effective PowerPoint slide shows is a challenging but productive endeavor. The efficacy of a slide show lies not in the number of pictures and videos but rather in the balance of text and visual media compiled in an organized and coherent manner. It takes a mind that knows how to organize information, identify the target audience, exhibits a deep understanding of the subject, and an eye for design that makes PowerPoint slideshow making an art in itself.