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Develop a Winning PowerPoint Presentation

Have you ever sat through a PowerPoint presentation and couldn’t see the words on the screen?  A professional PowerPoint presentation can enhance your delivery to leave a positive impression on your stakeholders. Simplicity is key in a PowerPoint presentation. Build your multimedia presentation with text, charts, links and video for a powerful delivery.

Here are a few smart presentation techniques to spice up your slides while keeping it simple:

Font type. It is best to use a sans-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana than a serif font such as Times New Roman, Century or Palatino.  The difference is that a serif font has strokes at the end of each letter.  It is easier to read a sans-serif font on a presentation screen.

Font sizes, colors and styles. For headers, use 40 point.  Try not to reduce the font size smaller than 24 – 28 point. Bold and underline work fine for impact, but try and avoid italicize as it is difficult to read. With the exception of titles, use upper and lower case. Use appropriate colors, not too bright and high contrast. Be consistent with the style, font and color on each slide.

Background and design. Black text on a white or light background works, but a dark background with a light color font will make it challenging to read the text. It is fine to use a design element as a background, but keep it subdued, after all, it is a background.

Bullet points. Bullet points are great because they highlight your presentation without the use of complete sentences. Summarize your main points and avoid cramming too much information on one slide.  As a rule, try 4 – 6 bullets per page.  One thought is the 6 x 6 rule. This simply means, six bullets per slide, six words per bullet.

Graphics and animation. A visual representation can enhance your presentation if used sparingly.  While clipart is very popular, try adding images, charts and graphs as well. White space or empty space around the text and graphics makes the slide clean and uncluttered. Limit the number of transitions use between slides as this becomes distracting.

Videos and links. Beef up your presentation with a hyperlinks or video. Have your video embedded into YouTube and play it right off the slide with a click of the mouse.

Keep your slides simple. What may look good on your monitor does not necessarily look good on the big screen. Test the PowerPoint by standing six feet back to see if you can read the slide.

If use wisely, PowerPoint will enhance your presentation.