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Tips On Creating Winning PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint presentations have become an emerging field of freelance work. This is not surprising, since almost everyone uses this nifty visual tool to make a telling point today. PowerPoint is by far the fastest and most effective means of bringing an argument or pitch across. However, not everyone has the time and skills to put a good presentation together. If you are good at making effective PowerPoint presentations, you surely have a very marketable talent.

The first thing to remember is that an effective PowerPoint presentation contains much more than mere data. This medium must convey positive emotion – this is not possible using only dry statistics. The object is to win one’s audience over to a certain point of view.

Here are some useful tips on creating high-impact PowerPoint presentations:

  • Cater to your audience: Before beginning on your presentation, ask enough questions about who will see it, what the object is and how long it should be. This will help you to include points, arguments and visuals that appeal to that particular audience. For instance, using potentially offensive visuals for a corporate audience is always a mistake.
  • Keep graphs, charts and other such materials to a minimum: No audience has the attention span – or even the visual acuity – to study a detailed chart screened on a wall. As far as possible, stick to plain or enhanced visuals.
  • Avoid getting too creative: Limit the use of dissolves, fades and other effects to a minimum.
  • Include useful information in plain English: Bullet points and technical jargon may look impressive, but they are not as effective as clear, succinct information backed by visual reinforcement. It is a mistake to assume that every audience is familiar with trendy corporate jargon – or that those who know it find it particularly impressive.
  • Avoid using sound effects built into the PowerPoint program: These are overused and devoid of any further charm. You can obtain great sound effects from various other sources, including your own CD collection.
  • Make your PowerPoint presentation as interactive as possible: If it merely lectures to the audience and does not involve their participation, you have already lost them. Asking questions pertinent to the subject in one slide and provide multiple-choice answers to select from in the next is a good technique.

 Remember that an effective PowerPoint presentation offers new information and challenges the audience’s intellect. It also has a significant entertainment component.

Arun Chitnis


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