Top 10 Tips for Microsoft Powerpoint

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Do you want to know how Wikipedia defines Microsoft PowerPoint? It is a proprietary commercial program developed by Microsoft. Definitely we can say that usage of PowerPoint cannot be limited within this definition. PowerPoint is the software used to create or form slide shows in a meeting held at business organizations and classrooms. Among the software available for presentation, MS-PowerPoint has been ranked 1. It offers you a way to design your oral thoughts in a video or slide show manner with effective pictures, videos and et al. With all these description, you might think that MS-PowerPoint is one of the difficult software in terms of usage. And those who had given some bad PowerPoint presentation in the past, you might also think the same. In case you have any such thoughts, now it is the time to re-learn, because PowerPoint is the easiest software to make effective presentations among the software available for making or creating presentations. Here with these 10 tips you can make the presentations that are best in terms of quality.

10. End with a blank slide:

Blank slide

Yeah. Exactly this blank slide denotes that the presentation is not over without clarifying viewer’s doubts. It may not be possible to clarify all viewers doubt with the ready-made presentation. Based on the location, need and status of the people, their views also changes. At the same time, remember that presentation will not be successful without their participation in it. It might be difficult for you to proceed or to keep up with the time, incase viewer questions you in the middle of slide show. Therefore it serves ample good for both viewers and presenters if QUERIES section is handled in the last part of the presentation.  This slide also signifies that your thoughts are flowing in a gradual manner and hence many more new contents would be added to the slide show or presentation in the future.

9. Use  proper charts:

Use the proper charts

Charts are going to convey your in a more lucid manner. Therefore they have to be carefully designed as per viewer’s requirement. Here chart includes graphs and tables. Designing of these graphs depends on the number of data sets. Various types of graphs available in the presentation are bar-, pie-, line- column-, area-, stock- and surface charts. For complex ideas, splitting a graph in to smaller amount of data tied together in an overall graph will be the best way to go. Design of the tables depends on the number of rows and number of columns.

8. Insert video clips & pictures properly:

Insert video clips & pictures properly

Wherever possible insert video clips and pictures in your presentation, because a PICTURE tells thousand words. So audiences can understand better. It would result in more interactive presentation. Of course do remember that images you display should not overwhelm your audience. The quality of images (in terms of pixels) should be chosen based on the screen size. The images should be customized and there preview should be checked before letting out in the presentation.  It could be customized through the TRANSITION tab in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 or the ANIMATION tab in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. The only thing you should remember is that those images should NOT DISTRACT your viewers.

7. Create a video of a presentation:

create a video of a presentation

With the newer Microsoft office versions, you can convert a .ppt file in to a video file. If you had converted your presentation in to video, then there would be no need to change slide one after the other. You can convert it by the following options: Click File menu and Select Save and Send. Then select Create a video and select the required option. By this way, you can make every slide to appear for a particular time, but you cannot display a slide for a longer or shorter duration.

6. Use proper visible structures:

Use proper visible structures

Here I am going to refer to the background and sound settings. A survey is conducted on the people about what annoys most people about PowerPoint presentations. In the survey about 37.1% people reported that slides were hard to see because of the not much attractive background themes. Always try to opt for white background as it could display the contents of your presentation in a more legible manner. In the same survey 22% of the people voted that unnecessary use of sounds annoy them. Hence avoid usage of unnecessary sounds even when you are going to display the important part of presentation.

5.   Avoid movement of slide elements:

Avoid movement of slide elements

This could be the most annoying thing to viewer than anything else. It may look fun for you. But it is very distracting for the audience. Avoid animation effect where movement is outside the boundaries of the text or graphic. The preferred slide movement is APPEAR effect where the text appears just in the correct spot on the slide. To all those presenters who still wish to use different slide movements, I wish to say that don’t do tricks because you know how to do. Please remember that the effect on the viewers would be the same for tricky transitions, moving things, clip art and flying animations.

4. Use bullet point sparingly:

Use bullet point sparingly

In the previous passage, I mentioned about a survey. In the same survey, the presentation with full of text were reported to be boring by 47% of the viewers. It can be overcome by presenting with individual bullet points. By this way, you can expand each idea independently and at the same time, the viewer also knows about what idea you are expanding upon. While using bullet points you should remember few things; Keep your lines short, Not more than 5 lines per slide, Full stop at the end of last point and Proper line spacing (about 1.5).  In the slides prefer the words with less syllable that could be understood the viewers easily.

3. Use proper font style:

Use proper font style

In the above mentioned survey, 51% people reported that they were distracted from the presentation because of very small fonts. If you need to reach your viewers, you should focus on the correct font style. Without the proper font style, there could be a possibility of losing your message as no one would be able to read the contents from the slide. Fonts used in the slides should not be less than 24. Keep your preference as 28 to 32 point size for the contents of slide and 36 or 44 for the headings of the slide. Usage of crazy fonts or moving fonts could also result in the dislike among the viewers. The most preferred font styles are Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri (body).  Always the prefer black as the font color.

2. Use master slide:

Use master slide

It could save your time in the making of presentation. With the master slides we can create great exciting presentations, as the viewers could get an idea about what the presentation will be about. Any content placed in the master slide would make it appear throughout the presentation. Let us assume that you need to change a particular image or heading throughout the entire presentation, it could be a tough task if you had not employed master slide. But if you had used it, then changing in the master slide, would format other slides also. Hence it saves you a large amount of time and makes your presentation consistent. To select the Master slide, it could be selected in the Home tab. There are nine different master slides available which you can select  as per your requirement.

1. Three P’s-Planning, Practice, Preparation:

three p

Finally don’t forget about these three P’s. They are Planning, Practice and Preparation. The above nine factors dealt with what you have to do in Microsoft PowerPoint. But this one deals with your mental ability. Planning how to deliver the slides saves you from getting panic at the last minute. Preparation saves you from red faces. Finally, practice gives you more confidence and makes you more perfect. Remember that without practice you cannot achieve anything. There is no substitute for practice. All of the great speakers reached those heights only because of practice. Practice everything you want to present and don’t do the same by memorizing it. Memorizing the presentation would be more detrimental if you had forgotten something in the mid of presentation.

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