PowerPoint Tips: Presentations Don’t Have To Be Awful
Using a PowerPoint presentation or one created with Google Slides to convey your message is a great way to enhance your presentation with visuals. Do you dread sitting through a presentation that uses PowerPoint or Google Slides because they’ve been used in the same way so many times that you expect the same boring outcome the minute the screen flickers on?
Slide presentations don’t have to be awful. When you use a tool like PowerPoint or Google Slides, it’s an opportunity to creatively entice your audience with graphics and images that drive your message home.
Slides of text and pie charts are boring and useless – everybody knows that. Rather than creating slide after slide of text that your audience will hate, consider implementing these slide deck presentation tips to help you put the software to better use so you can wow your audience with a presentation they won’t forget.
Ditch The PowerPoint Templates
You know what a PowerPoint slide template looks like — we can all pick it out a mile away: A large, black, centered heading in a sans-serif font followed by several bullet points in the same, boring font.
The templates you get with PowerPoint and Google Slides are boring and unengaging. They’re usually text-heavy and unoriginal, so it’s better to stay away from them and build your slide presentation from scratch or have someone knowledgeable in PowerPoint or Google Slides to design an original template specifically for you.
Mix things up and get creative with your slide presentation. You’re bound to grab your audience’s attention and get your message across more effectively when you use this type of tool to add a visual dimension to your presentation.
Color Makes Your PowerPoint Presentation Pop
Black and white PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation lack personality. It’s rare that a monochromatic presentation will deliver the exciting results you want, and even less so when you deliver a presentation that’s only in black and white.
The exception, of course, is if all you have are black and white images (in the case of a historical presentation, for example), or if you’re attempting to create a specific effect using black and white pictures.
Colorful images and graphics will appeal to your audience more, and they’re vital if you’re building brand recognition, so use them whenever you can. One thing to note is that PowerPoint presentations and presentations created with Google Slides look better when you use flat colors (as opposed to gradations). Selecting contrasting colors will also help make your PowerPoint slides pop.
Choose Your Fonts Wisely
Maybe it’s a stretch to suggest a good font will wow your audience, but choosing the right font will definitely leave an impression.
Consider how you view a basic font like Times New Roman. It’s used every single day in all kinds of documents. It has very little visual appeal and there’s nothing extraordinary about it. And depending on the size of the font, it can be difficult to read.
Comic Sans is an example of a bad font choice because it offers absolutely no visual value. A simple font like Helvetica, however, is clean and easy to read. It’s classic and people like to use it for that reason. It’s a good idea to use your brand’s fonts as well. Make the most of brand recognition!
One word of advice: Don’t use too many fonts in your PowerPoint presentation. Being consistent is key. When you use only one or two fonts, your presentation will look and flow better; your audience won’t be overwhelmed by too many visuals that don’t match, and they can focus more easily on your message.
Don’t Weigh Your PowerPoint Slides Down with Text
Text-heavy slides will turn off even the most attentive audience member, so keep the amount of text on each slide to a minimum. It’s better to have more PowerPoint or Google slides in your presentation with a few words on each than to have fewer slides jammed full of text.
By the way, your audience can’t read and listen at the same time, so if you’re reading your slides, eventually your audience will stop listening to you and read for themselves, which means they probably won’t hear anything else you say (even the words that aren’t on the slides).
Use your PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation to complement what you’re saying. Use very little text (or none at all) and instead use graphics and images for your audience to see while they listen to you speak. When the words coming out of your mouth are tied to an image (rather than text), you’re appealing directly to your listener’s sense of sight and sound, both of which are important for memory retention.
Images say More Than Words
Further to my previous tip about using more images than text in your PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations, pick your images wisely. Yes, it’s cliché, but a picture is worth a thousand words. The right image will grab your audience’s attention and make your message more powerful, so choose your images and graphics carefully and make sure they help to enforce your message.
Bigger is Better. Always.
Since you’re keeping text on each slide to a minimum, there’s plenty of room to go big, bold and striking. Catch your audience’s eye by using large fonts that stand out. Consider each of your PowerPoint or Google Slides as an advertisement and make it eye-catching and engaging.
Use Infographics in Your PowerPoint Presentation
If you want to display data in your PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation but you’re not sure how to do this without it looking boring, an infographic may just be the answer.
Unlike pie charts (which are very boring, by the way), infographics are simple yet sophisticated and visually engaging ways of displaying data. Not sure what an infographic is? If you’ve ever seen a statistic illustrated using stick men, you’ve seen an infographic. There are so many creative and original ways to use them in your PowerPoint presentations and Google Slides that it’s pretty much a guaranteed way to wow your audience with information they’d probably overlook in a pie chart format.
Find Inspiration for Your Slide Presentation
Inspiration is never far, all you have to do is look for it. Google is always a good place to start to find impressive PowerPoint and Google Slides examples. You can also find them on Pinterest, design blogs and SlideShare.
There’s no one size fits all design for PowerPoint and Google Slides presentations, which is why I don’t recommend using the templates, so do a little research and come up with something original that works perfectly for your message.
Always keep your audience in the forefront of your mind: What design, flow, and length of a slide presentation is going to resonate with them? How do they like to receive information?
Wherever your inspiration comes from, remember that with a PowerPoint or Google Sides presentation, less is more. Lean toward minimalistic rather than cluttered. Don’t distract your audience with a design that’s too fancy; keep it simple so you can keep their focus on your message.