How to Design a PowerPoint Presentation Like a Pro.

Your PowerPoint is not your presentation, you are! Powerpoint can be an amazing tool. It's extremely easy to use and with some help from video tuorials on youtube, you can have a presentation completed in no time! But think about the last time you were “PowerPointed” That is the last time you were trying to listen to someone speak mean while trying to read every word that was on screen behind? How effective or captivating was that presentation really? At some point people started believing that when it comes to designing a visually good-looking PowerPoint, more is better but that is rarely accurate. I have one big issue with PowerPoint and it’s that it is the offspring of the word processor Microsoft word. This is a problem because designing a word and designing an effective PowerPoint present served completely different purposes and this has let us to find refuge in using things like bullet points. When in reality, access to use of bullet points can be extremely painful for an audience. Infact the term a bullet point comes from people firing guns at annoying presenters. So remember simpler is better. No more than six bullet points per slide and no more than six word for bullet points. Always use “Sans-Seriff” fonts. “Serif” refers to the little extra “hooty” wings you see at the end of specific letters and “San” means without, so use simple fonts that don’t have a little extra such as Arial, Helvetica and Serif. “Times New Roman” is only good for text editing. When you're reading something on a page, it's great to look at it with a little more detail but it has no place in your PowerPoint presentation. I don’t even know why Microsoft put it there. Avoid distracting animation, only add animation to a slide or an image on that slide if you have a specific reason to do so. Avoid the use of all capital letters. We've grown up and become accustomed to lowercase wording, so it's much easier for our brain to process into words unless you plan to yell at your audience the entire time using only uppercase lettering is in effective.

Using color in your slide show is a tool. Use the color on purpose to emphasize specific points. Avoid colors that are too close to each other and there's no reason to go with crazy colors schemes, black and white is just fine with the occasional read-green or blue to bring out certain points. Using the colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel will provide the greatest contrast and are the easiest to decipher.

Utilize blank slides! What is going on behind you on the screen should always directly correlate with what you’re talking about. If it doesn’t then insert of blank slide and bring the entire attention back to you. Although, don't look back! You should never turn your back to the audience, so set a screen up in front of you so you can tell what's going on behind you without having to turn around

Always save your PowerPoint presentation in a couple spots; email it yourself saving on your desktop, upload it to a web server and put it on your flash drive. That way when it comes times to present and if one or two of them falter, you have backups. There is nothing worse than putting together a terrific slide show and then not be able to use it.

Remember, your visual aid should aid five aspects of your presentation;

1. Clarity

2. Retention

3. Interest

4. Professionalism

5. and lastly, help reduce stage fright.

Critically analyze whether or not your PowerPoint presentation does these things for you. Does it?

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