Presentations are probably the most dreaded, yet necessary concepts in the corporate world. The good news is that creating a PowerPoint presentation can be fun. The beauty of PowerPoint is it makes even the most mundane details look great!
So how does one exactly write a ‘good presentation’? The secret lies in the process.
The eight commandments of writing a good PowerPoint presentation are:
Commandment 1 – Think of a Theme
Whether you are presenting to an audience of 100 or 1, the essence is to make your content appealing and interesting. Think of a suitable theme and weave your presentation around the theme.
Commandment 2 – Draw a storyboard
We tend to get as zippy as a bullet when the gun is shot – wrong thing to do. The first step is to ‘plan the presentation’. Create a ‘storyboard’, think of the content and visuals depending on the theme. The idea is to get the ‘flow’ right and to ensure that the slides are well connected.
Commandment 3 – the 3 C’s
Use your PPT like a movie trailer – give out as much as is required and as little as possible. In short, the PPT must be crisp, concise and clear. The gist of each point should be captured in a maximum of 7 words per point and 4 points per slide. Keep the explanation for direct verbal interaction.
Commandment 4 – The Power of Colors and Fonts
Aesthetics in a PowerPoint are extremely crucial. Use a color scheme that fits in corporate world. One can use the client’s brand color in shaded effects with a plain black or white background. The standard acceptable font is Arial / Verdana with descending font size for title, subheadings and points. The ideal would be 36, 30 and 24 respectively. Remember to use the same font in all slides unless required.
Commandment 5 – Using animations / pictures
A picture speaks a thousand words. Replace text based information with attractive visuals, charts, diagrams, animations and so on. They render a flavor to the presentation but too many unnecessary visuals make it frivolous.
Commandment 6 – Avoid ‘spelling’ and grammatical mistakes by proof reading
Consistent mistakes spell careless attitude, lack of detailing and puts off the reader. Please proofread the entire presentation word by word at least three times and get it proofread once by someone else.
Commandment 7 – Right flow of presentation
Within the first 3 slides, explain the flow of the presentation so that the audience is aware of the flow and what to expect. Similarly, before winding up, summarize the points in the slide before ending with a ‘Thank You’.
Commandment 8 – Using words effectively
Overuse of ‘flowery’ language can be quite obnoxious. Use simple yet effective words to communicate. Use words sparingly per point. Avoid too many verbs. Brevity is the key.
In a nutshell, creating a good PowerPoint presentation is not a tedious task. Just keep it short, to the point, add good visuals and before clicking on the PowerPoint icon, plan the entire flow on a separate sheet. Believe it or not, it works wonders.