6 quick tips to avoid death by PowerPoint
- Keep your audience in mind
This may seem an obvious point but it’s important to remember that any PowerPoint presentation should be for your audience, not an aid for you to remember what to say. Of course, you can utilise the slides to offer prompts to remind you where the presentation is going, but the first mistake many users make is to fill the slides with text and then just read this back to the audience. This renders either yourself or your PowerPoint presentation obsolete and makes for an uninteresting experience for those watching. When designing your presentation, view it through the eyes of your audience, is it interesting? Does it look appealing? Is your message clear? If not, then you need to go back to the drawing board.
- Use a video to break it up
Many PowerPoint users will include images and attractive graphics to make their presentation nicer to look at, but why not also use videos to make your point? If you include an interesting video this can break up the sometimes-monotonous slides, hold your audience’s attention and bring some life to your presentation. PowerPoint enables you to embed YouTube videos and get creative with how you choose to convey your information and make your points. PowerPoint offers some really cool tools to customise the display of your videos such as applying presets and editing the display shape.
- Rely on graphics
They say less is more and this is also the case when it comes to the use of images and graphics on PowerPoint, however this is not to say that they should not be used! Tasteful use of graphics and images can change a dull presentation into something interesting. We are of the view that if you can say it with a graphic instead of text this will be more captivating for the viewer, this requires you to really think about the text you are using and what will be the most effective way of communicating your point. Got a statistic? Don’t just tell your audience, use a graphic to show them.
- Find your style and stick to it
If PowerPoint is a tool you will be using regularly it is a good idea to invest some real thought in to developing a style. The importance of a clear brand identity cannot be overstated so this should translate into your sales, marketing and training collateral. Moving forward this will make the production of PowerPoint presentations a lot easier and having a continuous style throughout your presentation will pull it all together and give it a more professional finish. Many businesses will have worked hard to design an attractive website and logo, pulling design aspects from these into a PowerPoint presentation can help project a strong brand identity.
- Be prepared
Again, this may seem like an obvious tip to give but knowing the message you want to convey is half the battle. If you are well-prepared then the presentation will flow much better than if you are relying on reading the screen! Rehearsal of a presentation will not only build confidence but will also bring your attention to areas which work well and others which may require a rewrite or elaboration. Should you suffer some IT disaster, being prepared and knowing what you need to say is imperative in dealing with such issues in a calm and professional manner.
In order to pull off a great PowerPoint presentation delivery is the final piece of the puzzle. Think about a presentation you have enjoyed and one that you haven’t and work out what about each made you feel the way you did. This will give you an idea of what to do and what not to do. Be experimental with the flow of the presentation, throw in some questions for the audience, design slides which are interesting to look at, and be enthusiastic – it’s contagious!
When used correctly, PowerPoint can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal. We hope that these tips have been useful in getting a better understanding of how to avoid death by PowerPoint, still need some assistance? Why not get in touch with RMA? We can assist with all aspects of marketing, including PowerPoint!