16 Ideas to Create Excellent PowerPoint Presentations

30,000,000 PowerPoint presentations are made around the world daily. How many more bad ones should we have to sit through?

Sitting through a long, boring, PowerPoint presentation that no person wants to listen to can be torture. The much worse scenario is that you are the one giving the presentation that nobody likes . . .

The truth is that we all want all of them to be much more engaging, to the point, and effective. Follow these 16 PowerPoint presentation tips to create a presentation that is out of this world.

1) Start With Your Audience

Who are the people that you are going to be presenting to? What is their age, who are they, what is their income and occupation? These things will help you to craft your PowerPoint presentation.

2) Your Message is Important

Tailor the message to your audience to help them understand why you are presenting and to reach your goal. This infographic is a great source to use when deciding how to craft a presentation.

9 Tips for an Effective Presentation #infographic

Source: visualistan.com

3) Keep Your Slides Short and to the Point

Each slide should only be about one key point or take away. If you put too much information on one slide it will become confusing to the viewer. Try to focus on putting one point and then some bullets explaining it on each slide.

4) You Don’t HAVE to Use PowerPoint

If you don’t have PowerPoint you don’t have to worry! There are some great free options that you can make a great presentation with as well.

Canva is a great and powerful photo editing tool. It has great fonts and filters to make it incredibly easy to create powerful, engaging, professional and custom presentations. Canva gives you access to hundreds of design templates and gives you the ability to customize your presentations to your exact specifications. The best part is that all of it is free.

canva-powerpoint-alternative

Check out canva.com for more information.

Prezi and Google Slides are also both web-based, free options that allow you to give a presentation anywhere from the web.

5) Use These PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Use these 14 PowerPoint Presentation Tips and Templates. They will help you create a presentation with style. You don’t have to use every single tool that PowerPoint provides you with. These are some that you can definitely use to take your presentation to the next level.

 

Crop-to-Shape

Source: hubspot.com

6) Use Pictures and Visuals When They Add to the Presentation 

Use visuals in your presentation that help get your point across. Know your audience. Here is a great Slideshare on creating visual presentations.

 

7-tips-to-create-visual-presentations-13-638 7-tips-to-create-visual-presentations-15-638 7-tips-to-create-visual-presentations-14-638

Source: Slideshare.net

7) Use Bullet Points Rather Than Paragraphs

When you use bullet points on your slides, it gives your audience key points from your presentation. It also gives you speaking cues, incase you lose your train of thought. Don’t overload your slides with bullets. This will keep your audience engaged with you and not reading slides.

Your slides shouldn’t do the talking for you. Limit your words to 6 words per line, and 6 lines per slide.

8) Don’t Read Your Slides Word for Word

Your presentation should help to supplement what you have to say and give key points. You are the presenter, use your slides to get your key points across keep them simple. Elaborate on the information in your slides, don’t read them word for word. With each point, if you are using bullets, you can then elaborate by telling an interesting story, or a joke.

9) Use Easy to Read Text

Use text that is easy to read for your audience when you are giving your presentation. Use text such as Arial, or Helvetica. Save text that is fancy for large headlines in your presentation.

using-light-text-in-a-presentation

10) Bring Your Own Hardware

Formatting is important if you bring your own USB. It’s best practice to bring your own laptop that you want to use. Just make sure you have prepared how to connect it. Bring your presentation on a USB flash drive as a backup just in case. It is also possible to email the presentation to yourself, or save it on dropbox.

11) Try to Keep it Under 20 Minutes

A study at from the University of Tennessee stated that the average attention span of an adult is 20 minutes.

Try to keep your presentations under this amount of time or give your audience a break by showing a video or demo to keep them interested.

12) Use Videos to Add Engagement

Sometimes a video will add a little something extra to your presentation. Use them when they are beneficial. Communicate your idea in a 2-4 minute video. Ensure that the production value of the the video is good. The video should directly relate to your presentation. Ensure that you are only using videos in your presentation to add value.

13) Quality Over Quantity

Don’t waste your audience’s time with fluff and nonsense. Use your slides for quality information and only use them to enhance your presentation. Less is more. The more words and fluff on a slide, the more chances your audience will have to tune out. You don’t want that.

14) Practice, Practice, Practice

Preparation is the key to giving an effective presentation. So, write a complete outline of your talk in bullet point detail. Don’t write it word for word, but write it out as bullet points. Next, dictate your talk into a voice recorder or cell phone, and then listen to it. It’s amazing how much different it sounds when you hear your own voice. You’ll see ways that you could have presented it differently.

Sometimes just changing the order of points increases their impact.

15) Learn From the Best PowerPoint Presentations

Some presentations are better than others. Look at other presentations for ideas before creating your own. Keep an eye on how the use of visuals and layouts.

Here is a great presentation to fix your really bad PowerPoint based on Seth Godin’s e-book.

Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint by @slidecomet : based on an ebook by @ThisIsSethsBlog from SlideComet

16) Make it Actionable

Provide something at the end of your presentation that your audience can do immediately to take action. This is the exclamation point at the end of your talk. It’s where you wrap everything up and bring everything together. What can your audience do when they walk out of the room to put what they learned into action?

Conclusion

Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Share them in the comments below.

If you liked this post, and want to end the cycle of bad presentations, share it with your friends.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • sherry

    Great tips! Thanks Brian

  • Sergio

    I have heard that we should use, on average, one slide at every 3 minutes. So, a 60-minute presentation would require, at the most, 20 slides. What’s your take on that?

  • Dr. Mukesh Chauhan

    Beautiful tips by as usual impeccable Brian

  • Jetfabrik

    We can help you to finish your project 🙂 Download this powerpoint template http://bit.ly/Motagua-PPT twitter.com/Jetfabrik/status/568142556745191425/photo/1

  • http://slidemodel.com/ German Viera

    Hi Brian

    Great List. I would say that point 14 (practice) is the difference between a good and great presentation. I work daily with professionals helping them with their presentations visual communication through the use of PowerPoint Templates (http://slidemodel.com) and even with a great presentations deck, people may struggle to tell a story. And not because the deck is not appealing, or the speech is weak, but because the lack of rehearsal reduces the chances of the presenter to ignite the audience interest. My two cents for people that really want to excel at presentations is to create a rehearsal roadmap, make sure you are presenting regularly (twice a week). When an important presentation will come, you already have been exposed to the exercise and presentations will be much more enjoyable, for you and for your audience.

    Thanks

    GV

  • http://www.andersonenvy.com andersonenvy

    I remember Guy Kawasaki recommending a 10/20/30 Rule …
    10 Slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font
    The biggest powerpoint mistakes he identified were small fonts, literally reading the slides (as if the audience can’t read), and going on too long

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