: The first thing that presenters need to do is to ask these important questions before creating their presentation. What’s the purpose of your presentation? What do you want you audience to do because of your presentation? What message do you want to deliver that will help you achieve that purpose?
Just about every organisation has a template that you’re supposed to use when you create a PowerPoint presentation. The idea behind this is well-intentioned. Artistically-challenged staff can get into a horrible design mess with no guidance. But corporate templates tend to include a lot of distracting extraneous detail. Check out this example from Skype (thanks to for highlighting this one).
I agree with Jeff. Most presentations include text-laden, insomnia curing slides because the presenters do not know how to present. Even when giving great slides, these presenters will still bore an audience and the slides only draw attention to lack of presentation skills.
I strongly disagree with this point of view but have been taken by it, or concerned that I am giving that impression in my own work. I am more used to doing presentations in front of audiences of 10 plus, and have become a disciple of sorts of the Presentation Zen style. However , in my new work, I do more presentations around a board room table with the slides printed out rather than projected. On one slide I had what was a beautiful, serene photo of Japan. When I got to that page of the presentation, and being in a more ‘aggressive’ audience, I suddenly felt awkward. I didn’t like the feel that I was trying to wow them, I wanted to downplay and possible impression that something may be a gimmick.
I think for internal presentations also one should think about design. It’s the design process which will raise certain questions and discussions around ideas, data you want to present. Even if it’s incomplete design due to whatever constraint, starting with that mindset is important for that good discussion, worth it.
[Powerpoint] is largely irrelevant to whether you accomplish your goals. That’s because PowerPoint and other visuals, now matter how graphically pleasing, don’t inspire audiences, sell ideas, or win business….slides don’t grow businesses. Connecting with audiences and colleagues and business partners and customers is what grows businesses.
I asked a number of experts for their tips on how to make an effective PowerPoint presentation. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to create simple and clear PowerPoint slides.
For the past 20 years, my colleagues and I at the University of California, Santa Barbara have been conducting scientifically rigorous experiments aimed at determining what works with multimedia presentations. My hope for the future is that the results of this research can be used to improve the effectiveness of PowerPoint messages.
Hi there, if you’ve reached this page by searching on Google for “How to make an effective PowerPoint presentation” you’ll also be interested in my Guide .
Also my former boss gave me great advice.. practice your talk and memorize the slides you have in order and what is on them and what you cover with them so you don't look at the slides on screen or are surprised by a slide.. or as it always happens (and this happened to me) the powerpoint computer freezes or something and slides are gone be able to do your talk without them...
: Just like no one person can meet all of your relationship needs, no one tool can meet all of your presentation needs. I like to use flip charts with or without PowerPoint; flip charts used to sketch out an idea, get input from the audience or provide a group activity keep a presentation lively. There’s movement, there’s interaction, there’s problem solving, and the activity is spontaneous, created on the spot.
7) Don’t wait until the last minute
The goal of practice talks is to get feedback from friends, lab mates, classmates in general, and hopefully your advisor. It does you little to no good if your practice talks are the day or two right before your talk. You need to give yourself time to integrate their changes into your presentation- both the slides and the talk. I like a formal practice talk the week, and two weeks before the talk. This gives you enough time to change slides, change what you might say, and change the written document (if applicable). If you give yourself enough time you might even be able to squeeze in an extra experiment before the big day to fill any “holes” in your story.
5) Present in Bite Sized Slides
For each slide be sure to explain everything. Explain the x and y axes of your graph, explain what a large value indicates, and a low value indicates. Walk people through how you set up the experiment, how you collected the data, analyzed the results, and talk about the controls. Before moving to the next slide, restate the major finding or “take-away” from this slide. What did this experiment tell you, and what questions are still unanswered. This will help build in transitions as you tell your story. You probably know every piece of your presentation inside and out, but you need to remind your audience of salient points from earlier in the presentation.
Most of the time effective instructional design and pleasing graphic design will overlap – but not always. You can have ugly but effective slides. And you can have stunning slides with zero value for learning. I believe that instructional design matters all of the time. PowerPoint presentations will only be effective if they are designed according to learning principles.