I’m sure by now using powerpoint is so passé and there is a new ‘fashionable’ technique taking the world by storm (I’m just learning what snapchat is – still not really sure the point of it?) but as i live under a technology stone I’m going to stick with powerpoints. Using powerpoint is an easy resource to display a significant amount of material in creative and memorable way. So here is what I have learnt over the years…
1. Picking the perfect background: I always try to find a background suitable to the material being covered. The reason for this is that your background will play as a memory trigger as well as looking more interesting. If you google: free microsoft templates powerpoint this gives you a lot of websites to browse. I use https://templates.office.com/ but has a limited range so I often turn to www.smiletemplates.com/free/powerpoint–templates/0.html for more variety (only the first three slides are free but just copy and paste).
2. What is the purpose of your presentation? The answer to this question will significantly impact upon how you lay out your slides.
If you would like your audience to make notes from the powerpoint then:
- Time the information you present into manageable chunks, so tease out the information a little at a time. There is nothing more daunting than a full slide with lots of information all in one go.
- Use bullet points and numbering to separate big chunks of writing
- Use underlining, italics, bold fonts to distinguish important words from the bulk
- It is better to have more slides with less writing on than less slides crammed full
- Make sure you can read the writing – this seems really obvious but the amount of power points I’v seen where I can hardly read the font.
Now please feel free to ignore this but in my opinion don’t waste your time adding noises (boing, pow) or interesting ways for your sentences to enter the screen (dissolve, zoom from the right) they become tiresome quickly!
If you are using powerpoint as a visual tool to aid your presentation then you do not need full sentences just a summary of key facts or stats etc.
Tip: Make your slides unique and interesting – add pictures, bubbles, memory triggers. Now this takes quite a lot of time and faffing but it is so worth it.