Just like anything else, it doesn’t matter what presentation tool you use to create slides, it’s the content of the slides that matters. Yes, some tools make it easier to deliver something awesome. But, I’ve used PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi and I’m here to attest that all three can deliver great slides and terrible slides. Here are some things I look for when trying to deliver a great-looking presentation.
No one is going to read your slides. Unless this is a technical or teaching presentation where people need to be able to study the content later, no one is going to read your bullet points, much less take notes. So, use the slides to peak interest in what you’re saying, instead.
- I challenge you to to use a title of 5 words or less.
- Find an image that fills each slide, if possible. I’m not talking clipart here, either. I mean large, beautiful photography. Worst case? Use royalty free images. Dreamstime offers free images with the appropriate citation: http://www.dreamstime.com/
- Find funny images for your slides. I’m not one of those presenters that has a knack for stand-up comedy. In fact, I can be slightly boring. But, funny images always capture the attention from those audience members who may be dozing.
- Don’t use anything that the audience can’t glance at and “get” immediately. Sometimes charts and graphs are necessary, but only use one per slide, make them look good and make sure they’re VERY easy to understand quickly.
- Try to change slides at least every 30 seconds. This isn’t a rule, but the more you show your audience, the less inclined they’ll be to tune you out. Even if it takes 2 minutes to make a point, use four different slides to take you through that content.
- Use great typography that fits with the style of your presentation. If I’m speaking about social media, I might use a sans serif type style, but if I’m speaking about emergency procedures I might be more inclined to use a serif.
Sometimes you may be asked to share your slides on Slideshare or something similar. When you share your slides with your audience, make sure to share your notes section as well. This is where the meat of your presentation can be stored without having to include on the actual slide.