Your boss has rushed in to inform you that she need a PowerPoint slide deck for a presentation she is giving at an investor conference, and she needs it now.
The point of any presentation is to engage the audience, keep their interest and have them leave more knowledgeable and excited about your message than when they came. Keep these five points in mind to generate an engaging powerpoint presentation:
1. Be a Story Teller (Not a "Numbers Person")
Ever heard, “Well, that was 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!” Make sure your audience doesn’t leave your presentation with that thought in mind. Any audience likes a story they can relate to, engage with and remember—perhaps even pass on to someone else! Instead of slide after slide of overwhelming charts, graphs and bullet points (no matter how impressive you may think they are), present a story that starts with a problem to solve, follows a path to a solution and has a happy ending (i.e. the audience has actually learned something they consider valuable for them as individuals).
2. Tasteful Decor
Look around your office (or living room). Is every bit of wall space crammed full of pictures, framed certificates and doo-dads that you can’t remember what color the wall is underneath it all? Chances are, it’s not. Use the same rule of tasteful décor for your PowerPoint presentation. A well-designed PowerPoint slide will contain no more than one image, and three (or less) bullet points on a simple custom branded slide template. (I know, I know, PowerPoint offers hundreds of “off-the-shelf” templates—but that’s like wearing the same outfit every day—convenient, but not very memorable.) This is your story—convey that in every slide with branding elements that are uniquely you.
3. Less is More
Focus on one point you want to make with each slide (keeping in mind the sequence of your story). Fewer elements per slide mean your audience is more likely to remember what was on that slide. Remember, you’re the storyteller. Your PowerPoint presentation is just the supporting “picture book” to keep your audience engaged.
4. Consistency is Key
Just because there are hundreds of thousands of font choices out there doesn’t mean they should be used in the span of 10 slides! Consistency of typeface, type size, bullet styles and color palette are all key to a professional, impressionable presentation. Design your custom branded template, and stick to it!
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Professional orators spend countless hours honing their skills in message delivery. Your beautifully designed PowerPoint slide deck can only be successful if your storytelling is delivered without referring constantly to notes, reading from a script, or worse yet, reading directly from your PowerPoint slides.
For other suggestions to creating successful corporate presentations, check out this article.