What Makes a Great Presentation?

For many of us, public speaking can be terrifying. If just the idea of giving a presentation makes your heart beat faster and your palms sweat, you aren’t alone. Experts estimate that as much as 77 percent of the population has some level of anxiety about public speaking. If you have been asked to give a presentation at the next business meeting or make a pitch to new investors, you might be panicking at the thought of it. However, the good news is that you can use a strong PowerPoint to help aid your presentation. A great PowerPoint presentation will help prop you up as the presenter and help you deliver a strong message. As the presenter, you are an essential element. However, the design of your PowerPoint will be the vehicle for delivering your message.

Even if you aren’t the best public speaker, your presentation design will help you effectively convey your main points. However, PowerPoints with too much text and an abundance of facts and figures will lead the audience away from your main ideas and bring the presentation down. Let’s look at some of the things that go into making a great presentation.

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Illustrations and Infographics

A key element of a great PowerPoint presentation is visuals. Graphs, charts, illustrations, and other visual elements improve learning and understanding. Graphics help tell a compelling story and aid your audience with visualizing your points. An effective PowerPoint shows your audience the facts, figures, or other key data to your message rather than just telling them. Creating a visual story with your data will also help hold your audience’s attention. If you can use a chart or graph to demonstrate the rise in profits over the last several quarters, it will be much more impactful than just a list of figures.

When crafting a presentation, you can also use images, embedded videos, and even GIFs to help highlight key points or back up what you are saying. Effective PowerPoint designs strike the right balance between text, white space, and graphics. Overused infographics and illustrations can negate their effectiveness. To tell a visual story that speaks to your audience, use appropriate visuals to help make your points.

Simple Slide Designs

The star of your presentation is the information and not the design. While your design is important, it serves as the canvas for your message. A slide deck that contains a large amount of text, varying fonts, and distracting backgrounds will take the focus away from the information. To create an effective PowerPoint, you need to keep your slides simple and avoid ancillary text and other elements that muddle your main idea.

Be sure to focus on the amount of typography on each slide and balance that with your infographics, illustrations, and key message. Additionally, you will want to avoid excessive transitions and animations that make your PowerPoint seem confused and unprofessional. Keeping your designs simple will be the best way to craft an effective presentation.

Consistency and Uniformity

It is essential to keep in mind that your slides should all work together to accomplish a common goal. Like each player on a sports team is essential, each slide in your presentation serves a vital role. To focus on establishing a brand and promoting your main idea, you need uniformity and consistency across your slide deck. When designing your presentation, think about the color scheme, font family, background, and visuals that you want to use across the presentation. Your slides should work together to create a cohesive presentation that maintains consistency throughout. If your presentation looks like a patchwork quilt of varying elements and colors, your message could get lost in the lack of cohesion.

Your information and design are the most crucial elements when designing your PowerPoints. A great presentation tells a compelling story, creates visual appeal, and is consistently readable and easily digestible.

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