Practice Makes Perfect Presentation

I am sure anyone reading this has had his or her fair share of PowerPoint presentations. After much feedback over the years, I thought that I was doing everything right, as you probably think too. I always figured you just need to add pictures, transitions, and make sure it looks well organized and not cluttered. However, after doing some research and watching this extremely helpful Ted Talk, I learned way more than I thought I would. Give it a watch:

To sum up the video, there are five key points David JP Phillips suggests we consider when making a PowerPoint.

First, make sure you only put one message per slide. This is because our brains are very limited on how much they can take in and concentrate on at a time.

Second, work the audience’s memory. To do this, only use short bits of text per slide and include images. If you find yourself using long sentences, then use that as the content you deliver verbally, but take away key words to put on your slide.

Third, watch your sizing. We often make the headline bigger than the content on the slide. However, the headline is rarely the most important part. The most important part of your PowerPoint should also be the biggest, because this is what your eyes will spend the most time on.

Fourth, use effective contrast. This will help show what needs to be focused on. A good tip would be not using white for your background. If you use black or a dark color, then the audience can relax its eyes and focus on the person delivering the presentation as well, and not only focus on the big white screen. YOU are the presentation. The PowerPoint is simply your visual aid.

Fifth and final, only put enough objects that can be seen. Do not put so many to where it takes the audience a while to count how many are on the slide. Personally, I think four or less objects per slide is acceptable. Otherwise, it causes the audience to use more energy, which also can exhaust interest in your content. Now, this may cause you to have more slides, but that is not an issue compared to having slides that are too content heavy.

Knowing how to present is very important in school and in many jobs. Practice using these five tips with every PowerPoint and I guarantee you will perfect each one. Hopefully you found this just as helpful as I did!

By Kamryn Cantu, Business Major-IUPUC

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