Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

08.14.21  •  #PowerPoint #Tips

Contents

If you know how to do it, it's actually not that difficult to create and give a good presentation.


That's why we have some examples of good PowerPoint presentations for you and tips that are going to make your next presentation a complete success.


    Table of contents

1. Speak freely

One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes. The goal is to connect with your audience and get them excited about your topic. If you speak freely, this is much easier than if you just read your text out. You want your audience to feel engaged in your talk. Involve them and tell your text in a vivid way.


2. Familiarize yourself with the technology

In order to be able to speak freely, it is important to prepare the text well and to engage with the topic in detail.


However, it is at least as important to familiarize yourself with the location’s technology before your presentation and to start your PowerPoint there as well. It is annoying if technical problems suddenly occur during your presentation, as this interrupts your flow of speech and distracts the audience from the topic. Avoid this by checking everything before you start your talk and eliminate any technical problems so that you can give your presentation undisturbed.


Some tips to avoid technical problems:


3. Get the attention of your audience

Especially in long presentations it is often difficult to keep the attention of your audience. It is important to make your presentation interesting and to actively involve the audience. Try to make your topic as exciting as possible and captivate your audience.


Our tip: Include interactive polls or quizzes in your presentation to involve your audience and increase their attention. With the help of SlideLizard, you can ask questions in PowerPoint and your audience can easily vote on their own smartphone. Plus, you can even get anonymous feedback at the end, so you know right away what you can improve next time.


Here we have also summarized further tips for you on how to increase audience engagement.


Polling tool from SlideLizard to hold your audience's attention

4. Hold eye contact

You want your audience to feel engaged in your presentation, so it is very important to hold eye contact. Avoid staring only at a part of the wall or at your paper. Speak to your audience, involve them in your presentation and make it more exciting.


But also make sure you don't always look at the same two or three people, but address everyone. If the audience is large, it is often difficult to include everyone, but still try to let your eyes wander a little between your listeners and look into every corner of the room.


5. Speaking coherently

In a good presentation it is important to avoid jumping from one topic to the next and back again shortly afterwards. Otherwise your audience will not be able to follow you after a while and their thoughts will wander. To prevent this, it is important that your presentation has a good structure and that you work through one topic after the other.


Nervousness can cause even the best to mumble or talk too fast in order to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid this by taking short pauses to collect yourself, to breathe and to remind yourself to speak slowly.


6. Matching colors

An attractive design of your PowerPoint is also an important point for giving good presentations. Make sure that your slides are not too colorful. A PowerPoint in which all kinds of colors are combined with each other does not look professional, but rather suitable for a children's birthday party.


Think about a rough color palette in advance, which you can then use in your presentation. Colors such as orange or neon green do not look so good in your PowerPoint. Use colors specifically to emphasize important information.


To create good PowerPoint slides it is also essential to choose colors that help the text to read well. You should have as much contrast as possible between the font and the background. Black writing on a white background is always easy to read, while yellow writing on a white background is probably hard to read.


Using colours correctly in PowerPoint to create good presentations

7. Slide design should not be too minimalistic

Even though it is often said that "less is more", you should not be too minimalistic in the design of your presentation. A presentation where your slides are blank and only black text on a white background is likely to go down just as badly as if you use too many colors.


Empty presentations are boring and don't really help to capture the attention of your audience. It also looks like you are too lazy to care about the design of your presentation and that you have not put any effort into the preparation. Your PowerPoint doesn't have to be overflowing with colors, animations and images to make it look interesting. Make it simple, but also professional.


avoid too minimalistic design for good presentation slides

8. Write only key points on the slides

If you want to create a good presentation, it is important to remember that your slides should never be overcrowded. Write only the most important key points on your slides and never entire sentences. Your audience should not be able to read the exact text you are speaking in your PowerPoint. This is rather annoying and leads to being bored quickly. Summarize the most important things that your audience should remember and write them down in short bullet points on your presentation. Then go into the key points in more detail in your speech and explain more about them.


Avoid too much text on your presentation slides

9. Do not overdo it with animations

Do never use too many animations. It looks messy, confusing and definitely not professional if every text and image is displayed with a different animation. Just leave out animations at all or if you really want to use them then use them only very rarely when you want to draw attention to something specific. Make sure that if you use animations, they are consistent. If you use transitions between the individual slides, these should also always be kept consistent and simple.


10. Use images

Pictures and graphics in presentations are always a good idea to illustrate something and to add some variety. They help keep your audience's attention and make it easier to remember important information. But don't overdo it with them. Too many pictures can distract from your presentation and look messy. Make sure the graphics also fit the content and, if you have used several images on one slide, ask yourself if you really need all of them.


example of good PowerPoint slide with image

11. Choose a suitable font

Never combine too many fonts so that your presentation does not look messy. Use at most two: one for headings and one for text. When choosing fonts, you should also make sure that they are still legible at long distances. Script, italic and decorative fonts are very slow to read, which is why they should be avoided in presentations.


It is not so easy to choose the right font. Therefore, we have summarized for you how to find the best font for your PowerPoint presentation.


How you should not use fonts in PowerPoint

12. Do not use images as background

In a good presentation it is important to be able to read the text on the slides easily and quickly. Therefore, do not use images as slide backgrounds if there is also text on them. The picture only distracts from the text and it is difficult to read it because there is not much contrast with the background. It is also harder to see the image because the text in the foreground is distracting. The whole thing looks messy and distracting rather than informative and clear.


Do not use images as a background in good PowerPoint slides

13. Never read out the text from your slides

Never just read the exact text from your slides. Your audience can read for themselves, so they will only get bored and in the worst case it will lead to "Death by PowerPoint". You may also give them the feeling that you think they are not able to read for themselves. In addition, you should avoid whole sentences on your slides anyway. List key points that your audience can read along. Then go into more detail and explain more about them.


14. Don't turn your back

Never turn around during your presentation to look at your projected PowerPoint. Not to read from your slides, but also not to make sure the next slide is already displayed. It looks unprofessional and only distracts your audience.


In PowerPoint's Speaker View, you can always see which slide is currently being displayed and which one is coming next. Use this to make sure the order fits. You can even take notes in PowerPoint, which are then displayed during your presentation. You can read all about notes in PowerPoint here.


15. Do not forget about the time

In a good presentation, it is important to always be aware of the given time and to stick to it. It is annoying when your presentation takes much longer than actually planned and your audience is just waiting for you to stop talking or you are not able to finish your presentation at all. It is just as awkward if your presentation is too short. You have already told everything about your topic, but you should actually talk for at least another ten minutes.


Practice your presentation often enough at home. Talk through your text and time yourself as you go. Then adjust the length so that you can keep to the time given on the day of your presentation.


timer yourself to know how long your presentation takes

16. Avoid a complicated structure

The structure of a good presentation should not be complicated. Your audience should be able to follow you easily and remember the essential information by the end. When you have finished a part, briefly summarize and repeat the main points before moving on to the next topic. Mention important information more than once to make sure it really gets across to your audience.


However, if the whole thing gets too complicated, it can be easy for your audience to disengage after a while and not take away much new information from your presentation.


17. Choose appropriate clothes

On the day of your presentation, be sure to choose appropriate clothing. Your appearance should be formal, so avoid casual clothes and stick to professional dress codes. When choosing your clothes, also make sure that they are rather unobtrusive. Your audience should focus on your presentation, not on your appearance.


Choose appropriate clothing

18. Adapt your presentation to your audience

Think about who your audience is and adapt your presentation to them. Find out how much they already know about the topic, what they want to learn about it and why they are here in the first place. If you only talk about things your audience already knows, they will get bored pretty soon, but if you throw around a lot of technical terms when your audience has hardly dealt with the topic at all, they will also have a hard time following you. So to give a successful and good presentation, it is important to adapt it to your audience.


You can also ask a few questions at the beginning of your presentation to learn more about your audience and then adapt your presentation. With SlideLizard, you can integrate polls directly into your PowerPoint and participants can then easily answer anonymously from their smartphone.

19. Mention only the most important information

Keep it short and limit yourself to the essentials. The more facts and information you present to your audience, the less they will remember.


Also be sure to leave out information that does not fit the topic or is not relevant. You will only distract from the actual topic and lose the attention of your audience. The time your audience can concentrate and listen with attention is rather short anyway, so don't waste it by telling unimportant information.


20. Talk about your topic in an exciting way

Tell compelling and exciting stories to make your presentation really good. If you speak in a monotone voice all the time, you are likely to lose the attention of your audience. Make your narration lively and exciting. Also, be careful not to speak too quietly, but not too loudly either. People should be able to understand you well throughout the whole room. Even if it is not easy for many people, try to deliver your speech with confidence. If you are enthusiastic about the topic yourself, it is much easier to get your audience excited about it.


microphone for presentations

About the author

Helena Reitinger

Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.



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