How to Do a Good PowerPoint Presentation

Updated July 12, 2018

PowerPoint presentations aren't boring, but some presenters do boring PowerPoint presentations. There is nothing like a long series of slides packed with dense blocks of Times Roman type to put any audience to sleep. Could it be worse? Yes, when the speaker reads all of the slides to the audience.

PowerPoint has a bad reputation because it is used badly by so many presenters. Surprisingly, however, it may be easier to do a good PowerPoint presentation than a bad one. One secret is to keep it simple. Here are the steps to doing a good PowerPoint presentation that will keep the audience interested and engaged.

Know your message. What are the key points you want your audience to take away with them? Keep this number small. For most presentations, three to five key points are all the audience will be able to absorb.

Collect photos and other images for your slides. Let the audience get the words from what you are saying. Use visuals to enhance your speech.

Put together your slides. Use a picture on almost every slide. Do not use a lot of text, and any words should be in a large, easy to read font. Use contrasting, easy to read colors. Have no more than one slide for every two to three minutes of your presentation. Do not overload your presentation with too many slides.

Use the notes feature in PowerPoint to remind you of your key points. Also put your key points on index cards in case you are not presenting from a position where you can view your computer screen.

Rehearse your presentation. You should not only know what goes with each slide, but what is coming up. Know exactly when to change to the next slide.

Check the audio visual set up before your presentation. Is the equipment working properly? Do you know all of it works, especially the projector remote?

Talk to the audience, not the screen. Do not turn around to look at the slides, and never read from them. Focus on the audience and do not turn your back to them to look at the screen.

Finish on time. Respect your audience and the event organizers and keep to the schedule.

Bask in the applause. By following these steps, you delivered a good PowerPoint presentation that your audience enjoyed and learned from.

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