Delivering effective and powerful presentations is critical to business success. It’s about making an impact that influences your audience.
1. It’s About You, Not the Slides
The presentation needs to stand on its own; the slides are just something you layer over it to enhance the listener experience.
Switch the focus of attention from the slides themselves and onto your message, your expertise, and your grasp of the content -- not to mention your ultimate goal for the presentation itself.
You won’t be able to do that if you let the slides themselves dominate the presentation, if you read from your slides, or have so much text on your slides that the audience themselves read the slides instead of listening to you.
It helps to think about your slides last. It is better to think about your main message, structure its supporting points, practice it and time it—and then start thinking about your slides.
2. Let Your PowerPoint Slides Support Your Point, Not Make It
So, don’t develop slides so you can read them. Develop them to support you. Start with what you need to say by developing your outline, then create slides that complement and emphasize your points rather than starting with a slide and then scripting what you say around the slide.
Less is More
When creating your presentation slides, it is best to minimize the use of text and this will help you create slides that support your point. People recall information better when images are paired with it (as opposed to text), so to help your message resonate with the audience, focus on visual content when you create your slides.
"Since stories are best told with pictures, bullet points and text-heavy slides are increasingly avoided at Google."
Sundar Pichai, CEO - Google
3. Create a consistent look and feel.
In a good slide deck, each slide feels like part of the same story. That means using the same or related typography, colors and imagery across all your slides. Using pre-built master slides is a good way to do this. There are Sentient Science approved PowerPoint template available for download, whicih include the master slides. This template slide has all the branding requirements set-up within it.
4. Go Easy on the Transitions and Effects
Powerpoint comes with a lot of effects and transitions. Most of these don’t do much to enhance the audience experience. At worst, they subtly suggest that the content of your slides is so uninteresting that a page flip or droplet transition will snap the audience out of their lethargy. If you must use them, use the most subtle ones, and keep it consistent.
For videos, do not use autoplay. Set the video to click to play. That way you have more predictable control over the video start time, and even select a poster frame to show before starting.