Here at Audience Alive we have seen hundreds of presentations over the years. We have finely tuned and honed our PowerPoint presentation design skills with vast experience over time. These PowerPoint presentation skills involve the below which will be expanded upon in the 5 Tips for better PowerPoint Presentations for Australian Businesses:
– editing content for easier audience viewing and viewer comprehension of information on slides
– use of appropriate colours that work well with brands and also are most effective visually on screen
– use of images for striking punchy visual effect to complement the textual content
– mastering animation techniques to fit the style & effectiveness of the presentation (timing, animation types, etc)
– developing an eye for design and experience, we use to implement faster and more effectively, on each presentation job.
Tip 1 – Edit your slide content for easier viewing and comprehension.
We see many slides that come to us from businesses that are very busy and heavy on content. In the case of slide content always think about the “less is more” approach. Don’t overload each slide with text for the sake of it. If you are standing in front of this presentation and presenting to an audience you need to speak around each slides’ main key points. You should not be reading from your slides nor have everything you want to say verbally on each slide.
With too much text being too much text, stick to the main point on each slide and add visuals around that vs filling the slide up with words. It is a sure way to put your viewers to sleep and or have them drift off to day dream land. Keep the points short, sharp, simple and easily understandable to your particular audience.
Tip 2 – Use appropriate colours for the job and the screen display.
If you have your branding sorted for your business try to stick to your branding colours for your presentations. If you don’t have much colour in your branding then maybe your company should get a brand guide made for future reference.
Try to stick to a limited pallet which looks good but also adds some boundaries to your slide design. Boundaries are a good thing with design! It enables you to create on-brand presentations that look like they fit with your companies “look” and “feel”.
Be careful of colours that are too light as they may not show on screen. Light blues, light yellows, etc. Also try not to ever use red text as this colour also doesn’t look good on screen.Black text on a light background or white text on a dark background are contrasting and easier for your audience to see and read.
Tip 3 – Use images for effect and to complement the on slide text.
Use images that complement the on slide text. Also try to use images that fit the message and overall tone of the key point/s. Images don’t just have to be photos either; these can also be icons , shapes, abstract graphics, etc.
Stick with the same type of imagery and colour tone if you can. If using photography try to use images by the same photographer that all may have been shot in a particular style. This gives you presentation a more well thought out and planned look. It helps your slides to flow from one to the other without jarring your audience.
Images are very powerful so use them appropriately! If I say to you, “pink elephant”, what do you see in your minds eye? A pink elephant right? You can’t help but think of it. So, with your presentations, use imagery that associates easily with the textual subject matter. Don’t make the viewer work too hard to get what your trying to show them. Same with icon use as well. Make sure the icons fit the text content and help to enforce it in the viewers mind.
I repeat word/image association is very powerful so use it in your presentations!
Tip 4 – Use animation to bring your presentations to life.
The animation tab in your PowerPoint presentation tools menu is your friend. Learn how to use animations to create impact and help with the timing of your slide content. Practice by playing with simple subtle animations by having words fade in nicely on your slide. Use animations to present information in a sequence vs have all information appear on a slide all at once.
Animations create movement and make your visuals visually interesting. However be wary of using too many animations and stay away from cheesy effects. Go for the more subtle natural flowing animations that work well with you imagery and textual content.
Tip 5 – Practice, practice, practice…..or hire a pro to do it for you!
If you want to learn how to make great PowerPoint presentations….you have to practice. There is no hard and fast way to become a pro at this game. You have to work at it and perfect your use of information on screen and how you speak to your audience around that information. Your slides are there to convey a message but your voice should be the main part of communicating that message to your audience.
Visuals are there to enforce or compliment the message not carry it. You still must do the work of being a great presenter as well. You should not let your presentation carry you.