Before taking public relations courses at the University of Oregon, I didn’t give too much thought to PowerPoint presentations. I blew them off as simple slideshows, with boring backgrounds and too much text. However, I recently started to see PowerPoint presentations that are catchy, clever and
informative. In the words of Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the NY Times Bestseller, Made to Stick, I was starting to see sticky PowerPoint presentations.
This week I will be presenting a PowerPoint presentation of my own to my advanced PR writing class, taught by Kelli Matthews. For my presentation, I am trying to combine the tools that I’m reading about in Made to Stick and the great tips that I came across from a Slide:ology blog post titled, “Lessons from TED: Five simple Tweaks.”
The Slide:ology post lists 5 simple ways to improve a PowerPoint presentation:
1. Use a custom background
2. Choose your fonts wisely
3. Use animations and transitions appropriately
4. One idea per slide
5. Take care of your images
If I had more time to create my PowerPoint presentation, I would seriously consider buying the book, Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.
In the meantime, as I prepare for my presentation, here is a list of tips that I find particularly helpful when creating a PowerPoint.
- Write a killer outline: Because no one wants to read a page of text on a slide, it’s important that your ideas are organized clearly and concisely. This will also help when it’s time to give the presentation—you already have your talking points!
- Choose pictures that enhance the text: I think a good photo can make or break a slide.
- Select text color wisely. It’s important that your words can be easily read on a slide. I have found that my eyes struggle to read a slide with a dark background and light text.
- Be sticky! Read Made to Stick and use its ideas to enhance your PowerPoint.
- Have fun! The PowerPoint presentations that I find the most engaging are led by someone who loves to share their content. The topic may be a snore, but your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be.
I hope this post helps you out the next time you create a PowerPoint Presentation. Do you have tips that are not found on the lists above? What’s an example of a fantastic PowerPoint presentation you have seen recently?