3 PowerPoint Tips For Better Presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint…almost all of us have given a PowerPoint slide presentation at one time or another. It’s become the mainstay of presenters everywhere. Or maybe your preference is like mine – Keynote. Whichever your choice, I’ve seen so many examples of slide disasters and so few examples of great slide decks that it seems there is a general lack of slide expertise.

So, to do my part to help put an end to death by PowerPoint, here are my 3 key slide tips based on the acronym N-I-H.

1) Speak from your NOTES, not your slides

If you don’t know your presentation by heart, DO NOT put your presentation on your slides. Nobody in your audience wants to read your presentation. I’ve seen slide after slide where the presenter puts full sentences on their slides, and then just reads that to the audience. If you do that, why even show up?

But if you do choose to actually present your information, then BE the presentation. Don’t make your slides the presentation. Look at a few of the presentations on TED. They rarely even use slides and if they do, they are very simple and only serve to amplify what the speaker just said.

So…tell your audience what you want them to know using your notes. Use your slide to amplify a specific point. For example, instead of reading the slide on the left, use something like the slide on the right to drive home the key message.

2) Use good IMAGES

First, delete all your bookmarks of clip art sites and never ever ever use PowerPoint clip art. They look cheesy at best and are very unprofessional. You should always use photography wherever possible. And when you do, try and make the photograph as large as possible, like the one on the right here.

3) Use HANDOUTS

Rather than present every last detail of your subject, use a handout to give your audience a more in-depth presentation of your topic. But always wait until the end of your presentation to provide the handout. Otherwise, you will hear a lot of paper rustling as you give your talk.

I could go on, but the blog dogs are nipping at my heels.

Now go forth and use NIH to simplify your slides.

Bill Schlosser

Dr Brando, Huntsville, AL, USA