“What was acceptable in PowerPoint presentations a decade ago isn’t acceptable today. Your audience wants more and deserves more!” – AmondaRose Igoe
In the world of technology, we can certainly get carried away with PowerPoint slides. Most of us realize a PowerPoint Presentation is a great way to have your entire presentation outline in front of you. When it is done well it provides a fabulous visual aid for your audience. However, it is not meant as an opportunity for you to read your entire presentation. PowerPoint slides are a “Tool” and should not be used as a “Crutch”.
Here are the 7 Laws of Successful PowerPoint Presentations That Everyone Needs to Know.
- If you are using a PowerPoint Presentation, use upper and lower case letters. Typing everything in an upper case makes it more difficult for your audience to read and understand the words. Only use all upper case in the slide titles.
- Don’t overload your slides with too much text or data. The less is more principle works great here. Remember, when you are reading during a live presentation you are disconnecting yourself from your audience.
- Let the picture or graphic tell the story. They will also act as the perfect memory jogger. When I am using a Power Point® presentation, this principle works so well that the majority of slides are pictures with a little bit of text. For me, it ends up being the perfect outline so I don’t need to use notes. I use simple, fun, expressive and colorful pictures. I do prefer actual photographs instead of drawings or paintings. They seem to have more impact on my audience.
- Determine the right number of slides for your presentation. If you have 84 slides for a 45 minute presentation you have way too many. I would keep it to a minimum of 10 so the focus is on you and not on your slides.
- Font size must be large enough to be easily read. Size 28 to 34 with a Verdana bold font is recommended and seems to be the easiest for your audience to read. Stick to a maximum of 4 font colors. If you exceed that, your presentation will look disorganized and sloppy.
- Be consistent. You need to have a consistent background and font to maintain a professional appearance. You can easily add a design style or a color to the background. Remember that PowerPoint® colors appear lighter when projected.
- Proof read everything, including all text and numbers. Learn from my experiences. Each time I do a workshop or presentation I come up with new ways to make it even better. The last time I made changes, I didn’t think I needed someone to proof it for me. I was so wrong. I learned a valuable lesson after a rather embarrassing moment when an audience member shouts out “You spelled that word wrong.” Ugh! I never want that to happen to you.
When it comes to speaking, mistakes are very common. Some of them are costly mistakes. I am here to help you avoid those big blunders than many speakers make and some they aren’t even aware they are doing. Make sure you comment and/or ask questions below. I will get back to you as soon as I am able. I look forward to helping you.