Powerful PowerPoint Presentations

On September 24, 2008, in Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

Creating Your Presentation

  • Always create an opening slide with the title of your presentation, and perhaps a relevant graphic, along with your full name.
  • Use a template that complements your subject.
  • SmartArt adds to the presentation when you want to show your words graphically.
  • As with any presentation, use the three-pronged rule
    • tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em
    • tell ’em
    • then tell ’em what you told ’em.
  • Always use an objectives or agenda slide (for a preview) and a summary or conclusion slide.
  • Remember the 6×6 Rule. . . six words per line, six lines per slide, never more than that.
  • Don’t use sounds in your presentation. They may sound cute when you are rehearsing it, but they are distracting to your audience.
  • Be consistent with the types of animation you use to introduce your bullet points. Or better yet, don’t use animation or fancy transitions.
  • Stick to one graphic style throughout your presentation.
  • Use Flickr as a source for photos to include. Look for ones with Creative Commons licenses.
  • Want to see the World’s Worst PowerPoint?

Delivering Your Presentation

  • Never let your audience see you navigate to your file. Have the projector’s picture muted until you are ready to show your slides.
  • Speak to your audience, not the screen or monitor.
  • Practice using the laser pointer (if you’re using one).
  • When you’re not using your presentation, press B to blacken (or W to whiten) the screen. This helps the audience to focus on you, not the screen.
  • If using YouTube video clips, pre-load them so that they are ready to go. Or use Tooble to download the videos, so there’s not a fear of the Internet lag.

Additionally, here are some general tips I share in my public speaking classes.

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4 Responses to Powerful PowerPoint Presentations

  1. […] 2009-05-28T16:06:08  @nwjerseyliz Check out @BarbaraNixon tips on powerpoint [link to post] […]

  2. Mike — thanks so much for your comments. I’ve bookmarked your website to take a look at, also.

  3. Mike Wagner says:

    Excellent advice.

    I especially like “don’t use irrelevant material”.

    Editing our content is tough. Every piece of data seems special. In fact ideas are like children, they’re special when they are your own.

    But that doesn’t make them relevant.

    I wish I’d had this kind of succinct advice years ago. Thanks for sharing it.

    FYI, found your site via Dr. Delaney Kirk’s blog, “Ask Dr. Kirk”.

    Keep creating,

  4. […] any public speaking at all, then you can never read up enough on the subject. Barbara Nixon offers tips for powerful […]