How to Create Professional PowerPoint Presentations
Presentations are an integral and important part of any business. Whether designed for training purposes, introducing new products, or discussing corporate hierarchy, PowerPoint presentations serve a valuable purpose in both the business world and in the educational fields. In order to maximize a presentation's impact, it needs to be polished and well executed. The following tips can aid you in taking your PowerPoint presentation to the next level.
There are a number of websites that provide professional-quality PowerPoint templates at very reasonable prices. Match the template's theme to the topic that you are speaking about. If you are unable to locate an appropriately-themed template, use a generic template that contains professional quality graphics and images. For example, templates can be found at "PPT Templates" ( http://www.ppt-templates.net )
In order for the audience to discern the text contained on the slide, be sure to contrast the colors used in the presentation. That way, the text will be easy to distinguish from the background. Avoid using colors that blend into the background or that are difficult to see, such as yellow.
In the presentation, use bullets as talking points. Resist the temptation to fill the PowerPoint slides with excessive text. Graphical Presentations should be graphical in nature. Use charts and graphs to illustrate concepts and ideas, and to show data results. Graphs are far more powerful for illustrating trends or surprising results than mere words can be.
Each slide in a presentation should have a consistent look and feel. Use the same fonts, colors, and backgrounds throughout the presentation. The continuity of the presentation will give it a professional appearance.
The easiest fonts to read are Sans-Serif fonts. The fonts used in the presentation should be large enough to be seen from the audience, and a minimum font size of 32 is usually recommended. Dark text on a light background is typically the easiest for audience members to read.
It goes without saying the PowerPoint presentation should contain relevant information that is topical in nature.
Presentation software can now do all sorts of fancy and creative scene transitions. But in business-related situations, most presenters will want their audience to focus on the content of the presentation, rather than on fancy graphic transitions. In order to keep the focus where it should be, minimize the use of transitions and animations within the presentation.
Don't over-do the slides, and do not make too many slides. At a minimum, you should be able to speak about each slide for one full minute or more.
If you are presenting a business presentation, be sure to include your website URL on all slides. The URL can be included subtly and unobtrusively in the bottom-right or bottom-left corner. By including your URL on each slide, your identity and brand will be passed along as well if the slides are later printed and circulated to others.
Test The Presentation
It is important to actually test your presentation visually on a projector and screen if possible, rather than testing it only on a computer monitor. The projected visuals appearing on large screens can often be drastically different than they appear on a computer monitor, especially if cheaper or less-powerful projectors are being used. For example, text and background colors may look just fine on the computer monitor, but may not be nearly as visible and readable when projected to a large screen.
Presentations are common place, but they are not always professional. Use the above tips to maximize the impact of your PowerPoint presentation.
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Published - November 2009
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