If you have ever had to sit through a boring PowerPoint presentation, you know how much of a bother it can be. Most people do not know how to come up with slideshows that are not boring, drawn-out and lifeless. Therefore, as the presenter, you will also be as much a victim as the audience.
Following below are 10 amazing tips you can use to improve your PowerPoint presentations and make them as fun and as engaging as possible (Source: lifehack.org):
1. Use a Script
Planning is essential to giving PowerPoint presentations. This ensures that yours do not fall into the category of presentations that have no reason or rhyme. Since you want to expand and illustrate some information to the audience, you need to know exactly what you have to say. After that, you can figure out how the audience will visualize and take in your findings.
This means that you need to outline or at least write out the presentations before you try putting the slides together. Ensure that the script follows the best storytelling conventions: format it with a beginning, a middle and an end. You ought to have a clear arc building towards a climax. This way, the audience will appreciate all the slides. They will also be quite anxious to follow through to the next slide to find out more. Where possible, leave your audience always wanting more and more (Source: http://money.howstuffworks.com/).
2. One Step at a Time
You should only talk about what is on the screen. People in the audience tend to read each slide immediately after you display it. They are always steps ahead waiting for you. Therefore, they will hardly be listening to your points.
You thus need to plan the presentation in such a way that you only display one new point at a given moment. Reveal the bullet points one at a time. Then, add charts into the next slide for reference when you reach the data displayed by the chart (Source: http://www.microsoft.com). As the presenter, you will need to retain greater control over the information flow. This will keep your audience in sync with the PowerPoint presentation.
3. No Paragraphs
Most authors are deluded into thinking that they need to produce a stand- alone document. They will thus put all their information in the slides as large chunks and blocks of text. If you ever had to sit through such a presentation, you know how boring it can get.
Instead, the slides are illustrations for the presentation and not the presentation in itself. This means that you should use the PowerPoint slides to reinforce and underline what you are saying during the presentation (Source: http://www.inc.com). Save the paragraphs and blocks of text for the script.
PowerPoint has a function for displaying notes on the presenter screen without sending these out to the project. You can also use your memory, a separate word processor or note cards. So long as you do not add these paragraphs on the screen, you should do well.
4. Concentrate on the Design
PowerPoint presentations offer ways through which you can add a visual flash to the slide. This means you can insert flashing texts, swipes and fades on a mouse click. However, you need to take great care that you don’t dress your pages with awful effects. On the contrary, focus your attention on the simple design basics.
Use Sans Serif fonts like Calibri, Arial or Helvetica for the body text. These are the easiest to read when projected onto screens. You should also only use decorative fonts for slide headers. To this end, art nouveau, psychotic handwriting, futuristic, flowers, German blackface, calligraphy and others are harder to read and need to be reserved for larger headlines. As much as possible, stick to classy serif fonts like Baskerville or Georgia (Source: http://www.makeuseof.com).
You should also use light backgrounds for dark text. This will ensure that your PowerPoint presentations are easier to read. If the background is dark, use light texts (like pastels, light grey, cream or white) and increase the font size twice or thrice.
Additionally, align the text to the right or to the left. Centered text looks amateurish and is hard to read. Then, avoid clutter by using very few images, some bullet points and the occasional headline. Anything more will confuse your audience and distract them.
5. Use Less Images
Images keep audiences engaged and add visual interest. They can also be an unnecessary distraction. You therefore need to use images when you are sure that they will make abstract points more concrete or add important information.
6. Think beyond the Screen
There is more to PowerPoint presentations than what you have put on the screen. Give more thought to the manner in which you are going to give the presentation- what you will wear, how you will move around and how you will hold yourself. Note that everyone will focus their attention on you, irrespective of how interesting the PowerPoint slides are.
7. Hook the Audience
The best PowerPoint presentations hook audiences and reel them in. Ensure you open your presentation with something intriguing or surprising. This will catch the attention of your audience and keep them interest.
Employ hooks that have a direct appeal to the emotions of your audience. Offer something awesome to the audience or scare them off. Then, use your PowerPoint presentations to actualize the awesome thing you promised.
8. Ask Questions
Questions engage audiences, pique curiosity and arouse interest. So, you need to ask lots of questions. With questions, you can build tension before you move onto the next slide.
9. Modulate Your Voice
Change your inflection often. Speak like you are talking to a close friend. Practice before you give the presentation to learn how to keep your tone of voice lively and personable. This will give your PowerPoint presentations more voice and personality.
10. Break the Rules
At times, some of the above rules never apply to PowerPoint presentations. If there is a very good reason why you need to break any of the rules, just do it. Only by so doing will you be able to ensure that your presentations are not shoddy and boring. If you have to break a rule to regain the attention of the audience, you need to do so. Overall, with the above tips, it should not be hard for you to come up with and give some awesome and memorable PowerPoint presentations.