The Top 3 Biggest Tips For PowerPoint Presentations

The Top 3 Biggest Tips For PowerPoint Presentations blog imageLooking for great tips for PowerPoint presentations? Have you got an important PowerPoint presentation coming up?

There's nothing worse than watching a novice presenter make mistakes like reading word for word from their PowerPoint slides.

In fact, reading from your slides is the fastest way to kill any connection the presenter has with their audience.

And it makes total sense. How many times have you sat through a presentation completely bored out of your mind as the presenter reads out their slides? They might as well just email you the entire presentation and forget about the live presentation, right?

You see, the purpose of any live presentation is to CONNECT with the audience... to build rapport and trust that simply can't be created through reading.

Over the years, I've made hundreds of effective PowerPoint presentations as a speaker and a coach. Everything from one-on-one coaching presentations to boardroom presentations and large stadium events.

And what I've found is there are three essential things you need to do to captivate your audience and get the most out of your PowerPoint presentations...

So here are my three biggest tips for great PowerPoint presentations.

Tip #1 - YOU Are The Focus (NOT Your PowerPoint Presentation)

Coach presenting in public imageRemember, people are there to learn from YOU. So if you're on a stage or in a classroom environment, put the projector screen to the side, not in the middle.

This is the first step in making YOU the focal point of the presentation, not the projector and screen.

Next, only use the PowerPoint slides to support your presentation rather than drive it.

You know you've nailed a presentation when people come up to you after the event and say that YOU did an excellent presentation, that YOU are a great speaker, that I want to see YOU speak again. And if you're selling something, you make people want to buy from YOU.

What you don't want is for people to come up and say, "Can I get a copy of the ppt slides?" If that happens, then you've almost certainly missed the mark.

Therefore, don't put all your notes in the slides and read from them. That's the biggest mistake amateur presenters make.

Your audience should be spending most of their time looking at you so they can bond with you. They shouldn't be reading along with the slides.

And a good rule of thumb to follow to make sure this doesn't happen is to have only one slide for every three minutes maximum.

Tip #2 - Break The Lecture Mindset

Number two of my best tips for PowerPoint presentations is don't make your slides look like a university lecture where each slide is just plain text on a white background without any colour or emotion.

Bored audience imageDoing this will trigger the audience's memories of being back at university or high school and remind them of being stuck in a classroom. Boredom kills any presentation, so you need to avoid this at all costs.

Instead, use big colourful images that take up the entire screen, and then have your text laid over the top of the image.

Use your slides for things that you can't say better with words… like images, graphs and videos.

And when you do need to include text, here are five rules to follow:

  1. First, use fonts that aren't regular fonts like Arial and Times Roman, etc. This way, you create what's called a subconscious 'pattern interrupt', and it helps to get people to take more notice of the words you use.
  2. Don't use Serif fonts - which are those fonts with the little curly bits on the end of each letter like times roman - as those are actually harder to read from a distance, and people can't read them from the back of the room.
  3. Make the letters BIG so everyone can read them at the back of the room.
  4. Use CAPITAL LETTERS because it slows the eye down and forces people to actually read and comprehend what's there.
  5. Break that 'classroom feeling' by using different styles of bullet points instead of the dot. For example use stars, or picture icons instead of the dots to make it more colourful and engaging.

Tip #3 - Interact With The Screen

During a presentation, an amateur presenter will see the PowerPoint and projector screen as separate from them. As a result, they will glue themselves to one part of the stage - usually behind the lectern - and will not move during the presentation.

Benjamin J Harvey presenting imageA professional, however, will actually interact with the screen. They will walk up to the projector screen and touch it, engage with it. And if there are screens on both sides of the stage, they'll spend time in front of each... making a physical connection between themselves and the content.

This is a great way to get the audience to focus on important points. And moving around the stage also allows you to interact and bond with your audience in a much more personal and engaging way.

So there you go! My Top 3 BIGGEST tips for PowerPoint presentations. Would you like to become a highly successful public speaker or presenter? Check out our "Present Like A PRO" program by clicking here. I'll show you how to craft world-class presentations and deliver them confidently.

Read more about: Speaking

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and News.com.au.