8 Tips on Using PowerPoint in a Business Presentation
Nowadays, using PowerPoint in business presentations is more than expected. Nevertheless, not every business presenter is as successful as possible when delivering a presentation and, sometimes, they even don’t send the right message to the audience. If you’re looking for the ways to improve your business PowerPoint presentation, keep on reading to find out eight simple, yet effective “slide” tips and tricks.
1. Define Your Goals
The first step is not about PowerPoint, but about your own goals and ideas. Don’t start creating your PPT by choosing a template. There are many free PowerPoint templates available, so you won’t have troubles finding the right one just in time. Instead, focus on your message and your audience: What and to whom are you talking? Now your “starting point and destination” before you sit down at your computer. Keep them in mind along the way while creating your PPT.
2. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple
PowerPoint is software created with an idea to support speakers and supplement their presentation by displaying graphical information during the speech. Slides are just the way to inform someone, to move them or to explain your thoughts and ideas. Therefore, use them as a helping tool, instead of making slides the stars of the show. Slides that are too busy, complicated or full could only distract the audience, which is by no means your goal. Keep the slides simple and short; declutter them to make the messages you send as powerful as possible.
3. Text – The Less The Better
Once again, with your Power Point ppt, you should reach your audience, so don’t bore them with bullet points! In fact, your best slides will be those without text. I know how stupid this can sound, but it is absolutely true. As mentioned above, your ppt should support you as a speaker; it should not make the narrator superfluous. Without you, slides should be almost meaningless, since you are the one to explain them. Your presentation shouldn’t be used as a handout. Of course, if you need a handout to give it as a takeaway after the presentation, preparing a written document which presents your content and expands on it a little bit is a much better solution.
4. Opt for HQ Graphics
So, instead of paragraphs of text, opt for visuals. Using graphs is the best way to illustrate numeric data; for flows of goods or information, as well as to show certain processes, use diagrams. If you want to show an object, product, place or simply a person, use pictures.
Nevertheless, use only high-quality graphics for your Power Point presentation, especially when it comes to photographs. There’s a wide range of HQ images available online for free, but you can also purchase professional stock photo, as well as to use something you photographed for the purposes of presentation. Low-resolution, small photos, especially when stretched to fit the layout, are something you should avoid without a doubt. PowerPoint Clip Art may have been fascinating 25 years ago, but since then, everybody has seen it at least a thousand times. Not only is it unimpressive, but it could also undermine your professionalism.
5. Choose a Visual Theme
Throughout the presentation, there should be a consistent visual theme. Just like the PowerPoint Clip Art, your audience must have seen most of the templates included in your software countless times. Business people want to see a unique Power Point ppt with fresh and exciting content, otherwise they will get bored and you won’t be able to reach them and show them your ideas.
The content is the king, of course, but don’t let your presentation look prepackaged with Power Point Design Template. Instead, you can find modern, exciting PowerPoint templates for free or buy professional templates online. Finally, making your own background templates is also a good idea, if you are willing to invest some time in it.
6. Choose the Right Colors
Colors evoke emotions; they persuade us, they can be inspiring or motivating. How to choose the right colors for your business PowerPoint presentation? Although being an expert in color theory and design is not necessary, as a business professional you should know the basics. In general, colors are divided in two categories: warm (such as red and orange hues) and cool (green and blue, for instance). For the background, it is a wise decision to use cooler colors, whereas warmer colors work better for objects and texts in the foreground. Now you realize why the most used PowerPoint slide color scheme is a yellow text with blue background.
Should you choose darker or lighter backgrounds? It depends on the event at which you would be making your presentation. If the most of the lights would be on, a white (or pale) background with black (or dark-colored) text works best. Nevertheless, in a dark room, opting for a dark background with white (or light) text may look more effective and dramatic. If you aren’t sure about the ambient light, dark text on a white/light background is the safest choice.
7. Fonts Do Matter
When it comes to fonts, many people underestimate their importance in communicating subtle messages. First of all, it is essential to use only one font set for your entire presentation. Play around with fonts and you’ll realize what a difference they can make. Finally, before you make a final decision, make sure the text is easy to read even from the back of the presentation room. According to research, sans-serif fonts, such as Calibri or Arial are easier to read compared to serif fonts, so it would be advisable to use one of those fonts for your PPT.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t make your business presentation at the last minute, because you won’t have enough time to practice and rehearse. After you create PPT, you need to see it (many times) again to think about the ways to explain certain images and graphics, but you need to hear yourself too. Stand and deliver it as if it was for real! Without this step, you cannot check the words and visuals and make sure your message is right and clear. Moreover, it’s the only way to really check the timing, which is, in business world, of greatest importance. If you have enough time, recording the rehearsal is an even better idea.
Take your time to prepare your next PowerPoint presentations and use these eight tips and tricks to make it more effective and successful. Your message will be structured and delivered in a way that your audience can understand and accept it.