I’ve been using PowerPoint for over twenty years now. It is one of the most useful—and one of the most misused—tools ever created. An effective visual presentation should enhance your session, not overpower it. Here are five ways to ensure that.
5 Steps to an Effective Visual Presentation
1. The focus should be on your message, not your slides.
A great presentation is not about pretty; it is about effective. Don’t show mountains or oceans unless they’re appropriate. If people “oh and ah” about your slides, they’re not focused on your message.
2. Use the fewest words possible on each slide.
Eliminate every word you can from every slide. Use bullets and short phrases, and be sure that your text is large enough to be read by that guy in the back of the room.
3. Use color or highlights in a meaningful way.
Rather than color for the sake of color, consider changing color or highlighting the most important word or phrase on each slide.
4. Kill the transitions and glitz.
This stuff was cool in 1996 when you were the only person who could do it. But it adds ZERO value to your message. Kill it.
5. Don’t look back at the screen.
Looking back at a screen shouts “AMATEUR!” Place your PC monitor in front of you so you can face the audience and see the monitor at the same time.