How to create a PowerPoint that won’t bore your audience to tears

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Tell a story: it will help your audience connect with the presentation and make it easier to present.

 

Just the mention of the dreaded PowerPoint is enough to send shivers down spines, whether you’re the speaker or listener. They’re often created with ready-made templates, are overly wordy and have sinful colour palettes — It’s enough to put anyone to sleep.

However, not all PowerPoint presentations were created equal. A presentation can be beautifully designed, or they can be educational. Maybe they’re funny or have constructive actions to instigate. Ideally they encompass all of the above.

Here are some ideas you can incorporate to make them a less drowsy affair.

Edit down your words

Your slides should are not cue cards and therefore should not repeat what you’re saying aloud. Less is more. Each slide should serve a prompt, reminding you what you need to discuss with your audience. This will ensure your listeners can focus on your voice and rather than reading ten bullet points.

Don’t overcomplicate slides

Best practice is to stick to one message per slide, so your audience can break down one idea at a time. Keep your slides relevant to the message your elaborating on, but exclude detail that will force people to read and inevitably distract.

Scatter images throughout

It’s well understood that people like visuals. A good narrative always has pictures because an image is worth a thousand words and people remember information better when it is has been paired with a visual. Plus, if you are reducing the amount of copy in the presentation, relevant and tactical visuals will be on hand to support what you’re saying and convey your message (and they’ll give the audience a much needed break from text heavy slides.) 

Incorporate multimedia

Including multimedia like a soundtrack or video content is also a great way to grab attention, create an atmosphere and therefore engages your audience. A video may help illustrate a message that a static image just can’t do.

Consider quality

There’s no point having visuals that are poor quality as all the benefits of including imagery will be lost. High-res images and well-shot videos will be crisp when displayed on a big screen and thus are more likely to resonate with your audience long after the presentation has ended.

Include infographics

Most ways of visualizing statistics feel permanently trapped in the 90s. Pie charts, bar charts and tables tend to be ugly and don’t portray the data you’re trying to convey in a meaningful way. 

Be creative when communicating stats and figures. Use graphics from useful websites such as thenounproject.com to depict a topic, and instead of swathes of text and numbers, overlay a percentage on a relevant image to convey what certain data means.

Make templates work for you

Try not to rely on ready-made templates that people have probably seen a thousand times before and will instantly signify to your audience the last boring talk they had to sit through. To help your presentation stand out, choose a theme that isn’t commonly used  or better yet, have a visual theme which you can alter with carefully considered colours and fonts.

Colour influences emotions and evokes a mood which may be key to engaging and influencing your listeners. Fonts should never be difficult to read so avoid script fonts, anything novelty or having the text too small. Always prioritise legibility over fun.

Evoke a feeling

It doesn't matter how beautiful your design is if it doesn't reverberate. Never forget that people remember information far better when they’ve attached an emotion to it. So use emotive assets like music or imagery that is relevant to your audience, for which you’ll need to know what they like, desire or care about.

Create a narrative

When compiling your slides, try to tell a story—Not unlike any piece of writing, there should be a beginning, middle and end. A narrative will help your audience connect with the presentation and make it easier to present, as a storyteller.

If you’re having trouble creating engaging content, it might be time to hire an expert. At ALHAUS, we can help you at every stage from ideation to content creation. Contact us today to review your content strategy.

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