Power Point – 7 Ways to Improve Your Power Point Presentations

Have you got a Power Point mindset that’s comfortable as an old shoe for you but causes your audience to zone out? You can increase your comfort level and excite your audiences with these 7 tips for using Power Point.

1) Stop bullet overload. Two or three short phrases that you bullet are more than enough for any one slide.
TIP: Write phrases that capture the essence of the thought and are easy to read quickly. Then the audience will turn their attention to you for the complete content.

2) Forget the bells and whistles. Flying text, builds, and other slide effects distract from your message. When you use them, you are essentially commanding the audience to get their kicks from the slides rather than from your content. Your audiences are not at the movies or on a video-game console.
TIP: Enhance the business environment and your status by avoiding these effects.

3) Minimize the template. Templates make the graphic designer or the marketing department happy but they distract the audience.
TIP: Create a well-designed cover slide and then use a small piece of that design on each slide to create a sense of the brand without the design repeating over and over.

4) Avoid image only slide decks. Images are attractive but just like anything that’s overdone, a slide deck that is all images loses its appeal. The audience has to figure out what you intend the images to convey, which is extremely tiring.
TIP: Combine images with short text to make it easy for the audience to get your idea-then elaborate with your spoken content.

5) Don’t open with corporate overviews or “why us” slides. The audience easily can get this information online; it delays the “good stuff” or the meaningful content too long, during which time the audience will tune out; and it’s hard for the presenter to talk about.
TIP: Open your deck with a colorful description of the problem that’s on the audience’s mind.

6) Avoid summary slides at the end of your deck. When people hear or read the word ‘summary’ they think “I’ve heard this already” and mentally they move on to the next thing in their day.
TIP: Your closing should be a call-to-action that excites the audience, so they leave thinking “Yes, I’ll do that!”

7) Stop using slides when you don’t need them. Not every bit of your spoken content needs to be covered by a slide. There are times when a blank screen will be astoundingly effective compared with yet another content slide.
TIP: Insert some blank blue slides into your deck at the places when you’re going to tell a story or use a prop or invite audience participation.