Slideshows can only get you so far. It’s still up to your skills to make your Slides come alive. Here are a few Microsoft recommended tips for delivering effective presentations. These tips can help you create and deliver effective presentations by getting the basics right.
Tips for Delivering an Effective Presentation
1. Minimize Slides
You don’t need to put into Slides everything you want to say and make your deck very long. In fact, the best and most engaging presentations take up just a few number of Slides. So keep in mind how many Slides you have and use these Slides to punctuate your points instead of letting them dominate and dictate your whole presentation.
2. Keep font styles simple
There’s no need to pull all the bells and whistles when it comes to your fonts. Simple is best. You have to keep in mind your audience to make sure they can understand what you’ve put in your Slides.
3. Keep font sizes readable
Always remember your audience when making your presentations. Everyone, even those in the far end of the room, should be able to clearly read your Slides.
4. Use bullet points
Instead of long sentences and big, dull blocks of text, cut up your ideas into bullet points and use clear, concise phrases to get your message across.
5. Make use of relevant graphics
PowerPoint allows you to use a wide range of visuals to supplement your written data, whether they may be words or figures. Let the pictures tell the story. However, be mindful not to overwhelm your audience with irrelevant graphics.
6. Use graph and chart labels well
While visuals such as graphs and charts are great for sending an otherwise comprehensive amount of information in one attractive, bite-sized piece, you still have to be very mindful about it. Be sure to choose the right kind of visual to adequately convey your analysis and information. Also, use readable labels to show your data accurately.
7. Keep slide backgrounds subtle
While vivid and attractive images are great, when it comes to choosing one for your slide background, you have to be subtle so that it will not distract your audience from your content. Your background should also be consistent throughout your Slides. Even if your layouts are different, they should remain in harmony with each other.
8. Remember to use high contrast
To ensure your text and other content is easily readable wherever in the room your audience is, contrast it against the background. Make your content, especially text, stand out against your background.
9. Don’t forget to spellcheck
One of the most neglected things about the written word these days is to check for grammar and spelling errors. Despite using less text for your Slideshows, it’s still important to thoroughly check your Slides for errors that may send the wrong message to your audience.
10. Be early & Perform Routine Checks
Come to the venue early so you have enough time to prepare. You can check all your equipment to make sure everything works in order. For example, you should make sure that the resolution of your Slideshow is the same as that of the projector’s so that your Slides won’t be cropped. This also prevents other display issues that can ruin your presentation.
11. Don’t read off your Slides
This is one of the most common mistakes of presenters. The text on your Slides should be used only as cues, but you should connect more with your audience by talking to them directly.
12. Hold off questions until after the presentation
Questions, while good indicators of engagement, can derail your train of thought and your presentation. Ask your audience to take note of their questions for you to answer at the end of your presentation.
Keep eye contact with members of your audience. If you seem some getting bored, find a way to make your presentation more lively again. Make sure they are not distracted and be prepared to tailor your presentation on the fly to keep your audience interested. The above mentioned Microsoft recommended tips for delivering an effective presentation are essentially the very basic things that you should focus on to ensure that you are able to deliver a presentation in a befitting manner.