We’re all bound to work with PowerPoint to create presentations at one point or another in our academic or professional lives. Unfortunately, many of us are still unsure of how to best utilize PowerPoint to create a presentation that is both engaging and informative.

Most professional presenters that use PowerPoint are in agreement that the most important thing to remember when creating a presentation is not to overwhelm your audience. Slides flooded with facts often confuse and bore, not engage, your audience.  And even worse, text heavy slides are commonly read by the audience, and in the process, the speaker is ignored.

With this in mind, here are 6 suggestions to consider in order to create a more effective presentation:

  1. Telling a story is always an amazing way to present an idea. If you are a good storyteller, stick to a small number of slides to accentuate the story and let your speech do the talking.
  2. If you are presenting how-to’s or other instructional information, try creating simple slides that use a small number of words to make your point, and don’t be afraid to use a lot of slides.
  3. If you are presenting structured information, use bullet points, not sentences or paragraphs to help your viewers’ eyes scan through the slide and catch each point.
  4. If you can avoid it, don’t use Clip Art, animations or fancy slide transitions. When it comes down to it, they distract from your presentation and reduce the effectiveness of your message. 
  5. Focus on branding your business by putting your logo on every page and keeping your presentation consistent with your color palette.
  6. Practice first! It’s usually quite obvious to an audience if you haven’t practiced your presentation using your slides before getting on stage. Avoid the embarrassment and get your timing and speech dialed in before you present.

By using these tips for your next presentation you should end up with a well-balanced and effective presentation that will intrigue your viewers and help establish you as an accomplished presenter.

For more information on how to best utilize PowerPoint for presentations, check out this Inc. article.