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Professional PowerPoint Tips for Great Presentations


Professional PowerPoint Tips for Great Presentations

Turning your PowerPoint into a great presentation doesn't require a sophisticated understanding of design. These professional PowerPoint tips are intuitive enough for any beginner to tackle and will elevate the style and effectiveness of your presentation:


1. Everything must be aligned, especially titles.

Font sizes and styles should be visually compatible, and text formatting consistent from slide-to-slide. A simple cut and paste in PowerPoint automatically positions titles in the same place from one slide to the next. Having slides in your PowerPoint that look out of sync will likely distract from your message and make your presentation less effective. Any repetitive element – from sources to paragraphs – should flow from slide to slide.


Everything must be aligned, especially titles.

2. Break up with much of your content.

Less is more when designing a great PowerPoint presentation. Long paragraphs of text are hard to understand throughout moving slides. One of our best tips for a great PowerPoint presentation is to break up complicated ideas with bullet points and short sentences. Visual slides with less text add emphasis and clarity. Craft your slides with content that's easy to read for you and your audience. If you can't easily read the text out loud, try another round of editing.


3. Small details add impact.

Page numbers allow for useful reference within multiple slides. Including a small logo at the bottom right corner of your presentation makes your PowerPoint look more professional - adding a quick flash of your company's style as the slides change.


4. Not all text is created equal.

The way text is highlighted throughout a presentation helps signal what's most important. Highlight what you want your audience to read first. Set it apart with different type, bolding, or color. Differentiate titles by bolding some and varying fonts on others.


5. Tell a story

A presentation shouldn’t just be a series of slides: it’s a cohesive story that builds piece by piece. So don’t think of your content as separate chunks, but as part of the story you tell your audience about why they should pay attention to your message. This could be as simple as ordering your slides to flow, or editing your titles to lead the audience from one to the next.


6. Stand out from the crowd

Many presentations tend to sound the same. They are filled with jargon and bad stock photos, the slides are disorganized and messy, and there’s no flow to the content. With the bar set so low, even a light clean up on your content or update to your designs can help set you apart from the other presenters your audience might see. A little polish can do more than you might think!


With these professional PowerPoint tips, you can make any presentation one they’ll never forget!


Update:

Presentations are complicated, so we’re updating this post with a few more tips on how to make a great presentation. We share a lot of tips, but when it comes to making great presentations, there’s always something new to learn!


Bonus Tip #1: Be bold

It’s no coincidence that “bold” is in our name and in our approach to presentations: that’s because it works. One of the biggest problems with presentations is that they all start to look the same after a while. The same built-in templates, the same text-heavy style, the same generic stock photos.


If your audience has sat through nearly identical presentations dozens if not hundreds of times, then it’s going to be a challenge to catch their attention with yet another forgettable set of slides.


So the first thing to learn as you practice how to make a great presentation is to be bold in your approach, and don’t be afraid to put your personality into your work. Choose strong, memorable images; write catchy, attention-grabbing headlines; include authentic stories and personal touches.


Bonus Tip #2: Spread out your work

Our next tip on how to make a great presentation actually applies to more than just PowerPoint.


One of the best ways to improve the quality of your work is to complete a draft, then step away for a bit. Coming back to your presentation the next day is ideal, but even just giving yourself an hour will help to create the distance you need to take a fresh look at your work.


Often, we’ll complete a presentation and think it’s our best work yet, with snappy headlines, crisp designs, and a memorable flow from start to finish. But on reflection, we notice that some of the headlines are repetitive, the designs feel a little flat, or that it lags a bit in the middle.


All of these problems didn’t appear when we first finished our draft, but with a bit of space, they were immediately apparent. And your audience, who is only seeing the final version one time, will definitely notice those same issues.


So create, pause, and review. This simple process change will help you improve everything you work on, but your PowerPoint presentations will see a huge boost in quality as a result.


Update (02/24): we’ve revised this article to add some new tips on creating better presentations


Looking for more information about presentation visuals and beyond? Check out our resources for expert advice and tested strategies.



About the author

Danielle John is the founder of VerdanaBold. She has more than 25 years as an award-winning designer and creative lead, directing the visual expression and production of thousands of high-value new business pitches, C-level presentations and internal presentations for major global brands. When she’s not busy at VerdanaBold, she can be found antique shopping and spending time with her husband and two kids.


Better presentations mean better business

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