How to Create Good PowerPoint Presentations
- It is important for presenters to know their audience: Who will be listening to you? Why will they be attending? Are they interested? What is it they want and need?
- Establish your objectives: Your goals should be S(specific)M(measurable)A(achievable)R(realistic)T(time-specific).
- Make sure your message is compelling: It is best to keep your message simple, solid, credible and of benefit.
- Draft a presentation outline: An introduction saying why your audience should care is the best place to start. Set out any notable benefits. Use facts to support your main message. Add a single sub-message to each slide and conclude by calling on your listeners to take some action.
- Be careful when arranging the elements on your slides: Choose font types and sizes, contrasting colors, and shapes that generate a good impression.
- Choose an interesting theme: Select font styles and a color scheme that is representative of you, your organization, and the position you are taking. People often try to add brand recognition to their presentations.
- Be selective about the visual aspects: Around 40% of an audience respond well to material that is visually appealing and around 65% find it easier to retain information when visuals are attractive.
- Hooking an audience early on is important: It is estimated that five minutes is the average person’s attention span, so they are unlikely to remember 50% of what you say. A mistake that some novice presenters make at the beginning is spending too long talking about their credentials. In fact, it is best to leave this to someone else while you focus on ensuring your slides are authoritative and have the desired impact.
- Try and measure how effective your notes and slides are: After your speeches, pay immediate attention to the number of people who want to speak to you. The more contact and business cards you get, the more highly you can rate your performance. Additionally, with so much mobility today, it is a good idea to encourage people to text you or subscribe to your newsletter(s).
Essentially, the amount of business you can generate from an audience straight after a presentation or from any networks you are invited to join shows how successful your presentation has been. Receiving invitations to speak at other events is also a good sign!