Delivering an effective presentation is a very useful way of supplementing your ideas you want to get across to the audience in your speech. There is however a balance that has to be struck in how your presentation is put together so as to maximize the appeal and effectiveness of the idea and to avoid scuppering the audience's enjoyment or understanding.
Substance Over Style
Making your PowerPoint presentation look polished and stylish is a great way to add to the positive perception you are trying to achieve, but overdoing it is something to safeguard against. Get all the key points in there but use it as a guide to help yourself and the audience along, just signposting the topics and sub-topics instead of writing out parts of your speech. The text does not need to be overly fancy, it just has to be clear and simple to read and all of the same font and size too. Images should be kept to one or two at the most in a slide and should make the reader want to hear more about the message, though they should be bigger than the text in the slide. In terms of colors used, again look for the simpler, audience-friendly ones, avoid colors that are difficult to read or that act as an irritant for those viewing such as yellows on a bright background or purples for example.
An Able Assistant
The PowerPoint should be no more than a guide or an assistant to you during the presentation, it should never be like an autocue so keep focusing on the audience and minimize the time you spend looking at the screen as much as possible, save a few brief glances.
How Will the Audience See It?
Try to place yourself in the position of the audience when visualizing how your message will be received. Which parts may require greater explanation or visual cues than others? Give them the vital information but keep them interested as well, so drop any irrelevant material that will make for an unnecessarily longer or dull presentation.
Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
Always ensure that when you present it to the audience you have practiced going through the presentation a number of times already. Running through beforehand helps you to notice problems or ways in which you can do it better. Humour is a useful quality but like the presentation itself, don't overdo it where it may not be relevant. Concise delivery, smiling and looking at your audience should also be on your checklist.
About the Author
Steven smith often has to put together power point presentations, writing on behalf of W1 Design t/a one productions