It’s almost the day of your big presentation. You’ve prepared heavily—you’ve practiced your speech, consulted with outside sources and chosen what you’re going to wear. The one thing left to do is create your PowerPoint presentation.
PowerPoints have potential to be an incredible addition to your presentation when done correctly. But irrelevant infographics, a hard-to-read font or pictures scattered throughout in odd places will make your slideshow more distracting than helpful. A PowerPoint should not be the leading source of information—you should be, and the presentation should be an aide. So, how can you put together your best PowerPoint yet? We’ve compiled a list of tips that will keep your audience engaged and intrigued.
1. Use a template.
There’s a reason you’re offered templates before you begin—they’re clean, they work and they all tie into one another. Choose the best template that will fit your presentation, be it filled with colors or subtle and sleek.
2. Mention key points.
You want to expand on the information in your PowerPoint, not read directly from it. This will also demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that your PowerPoint is not a crutch.
3. Choose specific infographics that support your proposal.
It might be tempting to find infographics that are semi-relevant to your pitch in order to convince your audience that your idea is fully thought out. But these may also distract your audience from your main point. Choose infographics carefully. Want to go a step further? Do your research and create your own infographic that is 100% directed toward your pitch.
4. Find graphics that are high quality.
Finding pictures is fun, and visual aides are always a plus. But make sure you choose graphics that are high quality. Fuzzy pictures take away from the cleanliness of your presentation.
5. Choose a legible font.
You don’t want anybody squinting to read cursive, but you also don’t want to choose a font that is boring. Stick with something easy to read from far away that still has some professionalism. (Consider Cambria, Georgia or the classic Times New Roman.)
6. Show some personality.
While this may not be appropriate for every pitch, people generally like a break from the statistics and lecturing. Inject a sense of humor or add a persuasive (but not pushy) one-liner at the end to truly bring home why your idea is a good one.
7. Engage your audience.
While it is a pitch, you can still encourage input. Ask members what they think a particular statistic is or what they think the percentage rate of success for an idea is. It will keep them alert.