Learn How to Make Better Powerpoint Presentations

Avoid Death by PowerPoint with These Tips


Powerpoint has an undeserved reputation for being a dry, boring presentation tool. We're all
familiar with the phrase "Death By Powerpoint". You don't have to make your presentations consist of lifeless lists of bullet points, however. Powerpoint is actually a very versatile tool with a lot of options to make your presentations come alive. With a few basic tips to keep in mind, you can make your presentations a lot more interesting.

1. Read up on how to use the program.
Many people use the default slides, layouts, and bullet point lists and seem to think that's
all there is to Powerpoint. As said before, Powerpoint is incredibly versatile with a lot of
options. In reading up on how to properly use the program, you'll want to do two things. First read the instructions, or a "How to Use Powerpoint" book as thoroughly as you can. This will give you an idea of the many options available to you in the program.

Second, try reading a good book on graphic design principles. One of my favorites is called
Presentation Zen, which focuses on making your PPT slides more interesting, as well as teaching a bit about graphic design in general. Presentation Zen will help you in making your slides truly visual, and how to express your message in an interesting way.

2. Express your message visually
On that note, you're obviously going to want to avoid too much texts and lists if you can help it. It is better instead to use visuals as much as you can to get your point across. For
example, if you're giving a talk about pollution, instead of a bullet point list about how much pollution affects a particular city, show a picture of the smog in the air, or the dirt and trash clogging the rivers. With a bit of editing you can overlay text with a simple message or fact. This helps you deliver the message in a more visual, and more importantly, emotional way. Making an emotional connection with your audience is a crucial part of any presentation, and visual aids are no different.

3. Don't shy away from animations
Like anything else, animations are only bad if you use them poorly. With smart use of
animations and transitions you can actually emphasize things better, or even use them to
express a point. For example, I once gave a presentation about digital download services (such as iTunes). In order to make a point about how convenient such services are, I tried to use animations in a creative way. For one slide I mimicked a download animation in order to emphasize how fast and convenient these services can be. Another slide had items in a living room disappear, which clearly showed how much space you can save by going digital. (You can see this in the video below). Using visuals and animations can help audiences more clearly remember your points and message.

With a little bit of effort, you can escape Death by Powerpoint and bring a lot of life into your presentations. Using Powerpoint in a more creative way can help you make a better connection with your audience.