Making a good PowerPoint presentation is not hard, but it does require some forethought. The simpler your presentation is, the more likely your audience will be to understand and remember the information you present.
Creating a PowerPoint Presentation
Put the main points of your speech outline into your PowerPoint presentation. Include only one idea per slide. As J. L. Doumont suggests in the September 2004 issue of "Technical Communication," use as little text as possible so that the slides do not draw the audience's attention away from the speaker.
Design your slides. Your presentation will be more effective if you steer clear of stock templates. Avoid designing a presentation with so many colors and effects that the audience remembers the design more than the information in your speech. According to Doumont, "presenters can usefully develop a first design in black and white, then add color in light touches, for emphasis or identification." Using mainly black and white will also make the slides easier for the audience to read.
Insert graphics. Graphics can help audience members remember your points, but unrelated graphics will hurt your presentation. The graphics must be relevant to the subject and should not crowd the slides; otherwise you risk confusing the audience.
Choose your fonts. A good sans serif font, such as Gill Sans, will make your slides easier for the audience to read. Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters. As noted by Michael Alley and Kathryn A. Neeley in the April 2005 issue of "Technical Communication," text written in only capital letters is harder for the audience to read.
Keep your margins wide. Instead of cluttering each slide with too much information, leave ample room around the text and graphics. Keep in mind the goal of creating slides that are easy for the audience to read and understand quickly, even in a large room.