Making a proper PowerPoint is more than just copy and paste and a display of bullets and text on some slides. A PowerPoint, especially for a presentation, is an example of your professionalism. Although, anyone can attempt a proper PowerPoint, not many know how to. But that's ok! This Bulls How To will give you some basic PowerPoint rules to make your PowerPoint both presentable and professional for your audience.
Establish Organization: The first step to a proper PowerPoint is organizing your information in your presentation. Create order and flow throughout your presentation. Include transitions, slide sections, and bullet points. Don't forget to make use of the slide sorter view option if you have lots of slides. Know what you want to discuss first, then next, and what you would like to conclude with. Having organization is the foundation for your PowerPoint.
Make it Simple: Keep your slides simple and neat. Although, what you are going to verbally present and what is visually on your PowerPoint are going to work hand-in-hand together, they have separate presentations. In other words, not every word you will verbally say has to be on the slides. Information on your slides are more for organization, much like cues for you to know what to discuss next. We want your audience to be able to skim the slide to get just the "jist" of that part of the discussion and to then be able to refocus their attention back to you to verbally elaborate. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to prove to your audience that you know your "stuff". When there is too much text or pictures on a slide, it can overwhelm the audience and subtract focus from the presenter. Also, choose a presentation background that is simple, as well. Avoid backgrounds with many colors, elaborate designs and pictures, etc. So, keep your slides short and sweet.
Be Consistent: When making your slides, use the same font and background design throughout the entire PowerPoint. All of your slides are all related to each other and are part of this one PowerPoint presentation, therefore they should be matched together. Inconsistency in your PowerPoint can create confusion to your audience and can disrupt the flow of your PowerPoint.
Take Advantage of PowerPoint Tools: Lastly, PowerPoint has a variety of tools that you can use to make your PowerPoint more interactive for audience and yet organization is still present. For example, there are many bullet point symbols to divide topics, sub-topics, sections, etc. Furthermore, PowerPoint also allows you to include videos, pictures, animations, sounds, slide transitions, etc to your slides. Take Advantage of these tools to optimize your presentation.
These PowerPoint rules are easy to follow and get into the habit of. For many of you that may be working with group presentations, share these rules with your group. Trust me, sometimes nothing can create more frustration than having to edit tons of your group members' PowerPoint slides because of the lack of one of the rules in this article. But, hopefully, this article helps you improve your future PowerPoint presentations and encourages you to educate your fellow colleagues.
If you have any of your own PowerPoint rule-of-thumbs or secrets you would like to share with other Her Campus USF readers, please comment us your PowerPoint experience or advice! Or if you have any other questions about proper PowerPoint presentations, please also comment us! :)