It is important not to open PowerPoint until you have planned the flow and logic of your presentation.
Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading software for creating presentations throughout the world. Millions upon millions of PowerPoint presentations are given every year. Here are a few guidelines to help your presentation stand out from the rest:
- Force yourself to use a font size of 30 or greater: This will make your presentation more accessible, will keep your audience interested and most importantly will improve clarity.
- Use a simple and consistent colour scheme: By choosing two or three colours and using them consistently throughout your presentation, you can create a visual theme.
- Use high quality images: avoid Microsoft's ClipArt at all costs. It will only help you make your point in a generic way. Instead use stock photographs from websites like http://sxc.hu/ (free) or www.istockphoto.com (commercial).
- Use custom themes: avoid the standard PowerPoint themes, your audience will have seen them before. Instead download a free template from a website like this (free), buy one from a website like http://www.presentationload.com (commercial) or create one through the use of consistent colours described above. .
Some things to avoid:
- Avoid PowerPoint Karaoke: Do not read out your slides, particularly if they have a lot of text. Your audience can read quicker than you can speak.
- Dodge the Bullets: Avoid too many bullets as well – it makes the information dull for the audience.
- Avoid Animations: Avoid PowerPoint animations which do not add to the goal of your presentation.
Finally, remember your presentation should simply be a support. The main focus should be on you, not your PowerPoint presentation. In an ideal world, you should be able to deliver an equally interesting presentation should the projector or computer break down - a not unlikely possibility.
Tips on creating PowerPoint slides by Garr Reynolds
The Rules of PowerPoint by Guy Kawaski
Alternatives to PowerPoint
There are many alternatives to using PowerPoint including:
- Not using any visuals and just presenting yourself
- Google Docs includes a free Presentation creator.
- Open Office is a complete and free alternative to Microsoft Office. It includes presentation software which is compatible with PowerPoint.
- Opera Show is a free browser-based alternative to PowerPoint
For mroe information on accessible alternatives to PowerPoint visit http://www.webaim.org/techniques/powerpoint/alternatives.php#opshow
Slidefinder is a search engine for PowerPoint presentations which can help provide inspiration for your presentations: http://www.slidefinder.net/