Your step-by-step guide for presentations
How to create a PowerPoint presentation Step 3: Find your presentation design
The step 3 of How to create a PowerPoint presentation involves the presentation design.
Design is everything and if your slides are not easy to read and look unprofessional, chances are low to create a really good presentation. The good news is that is not hard to set a good presentation if you know how and you don`t have to be a graphic designers and also you do not necessarily need a talent for design. It involves first of all a set of simple rules that can make a good difference for the presentation design. The rules I would like to provide you with are:
1) Set your format right at the beginning (16:9 or different format)
2) Set guidelines on your slides to keep a consistent look and correct placement of textboxes
3) Only put 1 message per slide and avoid too much text.
If you remember these three points and also apply them in practice you will avoid a lot of common mistakes in how to create a PowerPoint presentation.
How to create a PowerPoint presentation – Design
Then we need to talk about the actual design of your presentation. Please forget about the basis templates that PowerPoint is providing under the “Design Tab”. These are very basic templates and don`t give your presentation a nice and distinctive look. Other than using basic templates in PowerPoint there are 2 other ways of setting the design for your presentation. The first one is downloading and using a professional template from the internet, the second is designing it on your own.
Professional templates are hard to find online and mostly the templates offered there are just some versions that are slightly better than basic templates. I have put together a list of good templates that you can find online. Some of the template cost a little bit of money ($10-$30). However, you invest the money very well because you will always have a professional template to base your presentations on. If you decide to set the design on your own in the program you should have some basic understanding of design and colour combinations which will all be covered in the course.
The second way naturally involves more time and can take a while. If you work in a company you or have your own business, you should have a corporate presentation template that you can always use for your presentations. Once you have found your design, set and adjust it over the slide master or the background formatting options in PowerPoint and then you are ready to go for step 4 in the formula of “How to create a PowerPoint presentation”.
How to create a PowerPoint presentation Step 4: Content creation
Now we have arrived at the point where most people normally start with: The content creation of your presentation. Take a look back at step 2 and follow your structure to start with the creation of the contents.
I would suggest to also use a step-by-step method by starting with the contents page of your presentation that includes the overview of the contents that you are going to address in the presentation. Thereafter start creating the slides for the different contents and include interesting elements to let your slides look more engaging and attractive:
- You may include animations and sounds, but don`t use them extensively
- Include interesting presentation techniques
- Use Quotes
- Use graphics and diagrams
- Storytelling and emotional elements
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How to create a PowerPoint presentation – Audience characteristics
These are just a few examples of what you can do when creating a presentation. As always, keep in mind what your audience wants to hear and not what to personally like. An audience group might for example favour a more “boring” and rational presentation when you are presenting the results of a research study. It would not be appropriate to include too many interactive elements such as animations there. On the other hand, an audience on a conference wants to be entertained because they mostly paid a lot of money to attend the venue. The speaker on a stage must be very well prepared and the slides must be interesting and engaging.
If you have done the steps 1-3 properly, the content creation should no longer be a problem and neither will it be time consuming. You will enjoy it because the presentation can be created quickly and you just have to follow the 5 simple steps of the formula of how to create a PowerPoint presentation.
Also, it is advisable to look at the title action title concept of presentations. The action title is a short sentence that is placed directly underneath your header with the title and clearly states the single most important message from your slide. It is an extremely useful concept for informative presentations for example in companies or education.
How to create a PowerPoint presentation Step 5: Revision and practice
The Step No. 5 of the “How to create a PowerPoint presentation” formula includes the revision and practice of your presentation. Make sure that you complete the full content creation part in step 4, so you can move on to step 5 and review your presentation. First of all, check your presentation for grammar and spelling mistakes. This might seem obvious, but it is a good practice to do this separately from content creation to look at your work from an outside perspective.
You will be more likely to find mistakes when you take on this perspective of a viewer looking at the end result of your presentation. You can use the language and proofing functions of PowerPoint for an automated check of grammar and spelling. However, look through it again on your own to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Secondly, check your contents again on their relevance and importance in the presentation. Again, here you can take the position of somebody from the outside and thereby you can critically assess the work that you have done. Be honest to yourself, try to improve the presentation if you find mistakes or things that you can do better. After the contents check and when you have set and finalized everything, it`s time for practice. It is a good idea to practice your presentation and rehearse important elements of your work.
Nothing could be worse than having created an outstanding presentation, but failing in the delivery to the audience due to lack of practice. If you have done the presentation on your own, chances are high you know what you are talking about. However, please remember that your confidence will significantly grow by practice. Last but not least, prepare for questions from the audience.
How to create a PowerPoint presentation- Conclusion
These were the 5 simple steps of how to create a PowerPoint presentation. Use them in practice and you will see what I was talking about. Not only will everything become easier, but also you will save an enormous amount of time due to the logical step-by-step approach. Last but not least, your presentation result and the slides will look awesome if you follow these steps. I wish you good luck with your presentations and strongly recommend the PowerPoint Master Course to you to create great presentations and to become a master in PowerPoint.