As any professional knows, PowerPoint presentations become a big part of life in any office setting. You spend countless hours creating them, and countless hours viewing them. One of the primary reasons people hate meetings is due to long, drawn-out PowerPoint presentations. Creating terrible PowerPoints can reflect poorly on your work ethic and talent within a company. Included here are a few tips for creating a PowerPoint presentation that will allow you to stand-out at work.
Order of Ideas
One of the biggest initial errors when creating a PowerPoint is the inability to structure your ideas. Creating a slide that seems disjointed or random in relation to other slides demonstrates that your train of thought is not cohesive. The first thing you must do when creating a PowerPoint is to identify the main ideas.
All slides that you hope to include in your presentation should fit under a category of main ideas. If you find ideas that are a little more random, they should create their own subcategories or be left out altogether. Be sure your thought process appears cohesive and surrounds a central theme. Do not go off on tangents within your presentation.
Use Your Words
The power of text in a PowerPoint can be incredibly useful, or incredibly useless. Many people will fill up slides with blocks of text, and then read it out to you without adding original thought. This is terrible methodology when attempting to maintain an interested audience and relevant presentation.
Instead, you should put concise, succinct pieces of text on your PowerPoint slides, mainly used as a trigger for your talking points. Utilize images, video or audio to keep your audience interested, rather than having them read along with your slides. Remember, words should only be used as main ideas, or points, and you should not have your entire speech written out on a slide. If your co-workers have to read all of the data and consume the same amount of time, how are you relevant to the meeting?
Just as you must be precise in your wording, you must also be accurate in your data presentation. Communicating data sets and interpreting information can be especially difficult and present a great stumbling block to most PowerPoint creators. However, the key is in simply being succinct and having a firm handle on your research and information before you head to the meeting.
Just as you wanted to avoid large blocks of text, you may want to avoid complex graphs and data sets on your PowerPoint. Your co-workers are primarily interested in the end result of your research, so you should itemize fine points and explain the complexities of the study verbally.