How To Prepare Effective Power Point Presentations

Preparing and giving PowerPoint presentation is not an easy task, especially if you are doing it for the first time in front of a big audience. The outcome of your presentation will be affected by your communication skills, quality of your presentation and ultimately, by the time you spent in preparing the presentation. In order to prepare effective PowerPoint presentation, we provide you with some advice which will help you in that process.

Prepare your presentation

- Prepare concept of your presentation – For example 1. Introduction 2. Problem 3. Proposal (Solution) 4. The result 5. Next steps
- Choose effective PowerPoint template that will be consistent with the topic you present
- Design simple slides – do not overdo it. Don’t put too much text on your slides. Presentations are not books. Usually put only key words, not full sentences. This will keep attention of the audience to your slides while you are speaking.
- Use images to complement your message – Do not use images for decoration, only to highlight message you are delivering.
- Be consistent – use same font on all slides. Do not write in capital letters and preferably choose text with no serifs as it is easier to read slides.
- Prepare notes – use bigger font on your notes so that you can easily remind yourself of important points. Always put numbers on your notes in case they mix up or fall on the floor so that you can arrange them easily.

Giving presentation

- Prepare the stage – set everything up, check out that projector is working and go through your presentation (you can do this while the projector is off). Prepare notes.
- Beginning of the presentation – eye contact with the audience, firm standing. Try to find 2-3 familiar people in the audience and look at them.
- Greeting and introduction – try to start with a friendly beginning, with a smile or a joke.
- Do not just read text on slides – this is a common mistake which makes presentations uninteresting and audience sleepy. Instead, explain points you made on your slides. The idea is to keep the audience focused on your slides while they are listening to you.
- Use notes – if you have notes, never show them to the audience, not because you want to hide something but because you want to keep their attention on your presentation.
- Keep eye contact with the audience – do not look down too often. Stay focused on your audience as you speak.

Overcoming presentation anxiety

- Try to find 2-3 familiar people in the audience and look at them from time to time.
- Start with a friendly greeting and a smile.
- Practice your first minute. It is the most important part to get rid off nervousness.
- Practice your presentation in front of the mirror. Practice your body language and voice tone.
- Practice in front of your brother or sister or someone you trust and ask them for opinion about your performance.
- Turn focus of your audience to your slides, not yourself – make interesting, creative slides with images and charts, refer to important points on your slides and the audience will most of the time be focused on your slides.

Avoiding unexpected problems

- Always prepare print-out of your slides so that you can make your presentation if computer crashes or projector stops working. In PowerPoint you can print several slides per page so that your 24 slides presentation can be printed on 12 or even 8 pages.