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How to Make PowerPoint Your New BFF

How to Make PowerPoint Your New BFF

4 Tips to Presentation Success

Without a doubt, PowerPoint is the most used (and misused) presentation tool in the world. Whether you are planning a training session or rolling out a new company initiative, PowerPoint will most likely have a place at the table.

If you have been guilty of overloading slides with unnecessary data or having 89 slides for a 45-minute presentation, it is now time to break old habits and formulate new ones.

While we have all sat through boring presentations that were easily forgotten, the intention of today’s blog is to help you create a slide deck everyone wants to see and everyone will remember.

PowerPoint Stats

According to Visualistan:

  • 120 million professionals use PowerPoint to create business presentations
  • 30 million PowerPoints are created every day
  • 5 minutes is the average adult attention span during a presentation
  • 70% of employees say presentation skills are critical to their work success
  • 65% state that visuals increase information retention
  • 50% of what an audience member hears they will retain
  • 41% of the US workforce state they would rather go to the dentist than sit through a slideshow

The net-net? PowerPoint is the necessary tool of choice but it needs to be super succinct and full of visuals that work for the attendees. How do you do you this? Follow these 4 points to make this tool your Best Friend Forever (BFF).

PowerPoint Fundamentals

  • Start with an outline.

    Don’t go to PowerPoint immediately; first craft an outline with your introduction, body, and conclusion.

    Not sure what belongs where? Put each unique idea on a Post-it note. Arrange the notes on a large flipchart placed on the wall. Collaborate with others to refine your message and make sure your thought process is streamlined to the audience and to the learning objectives.

  • Follow the three Cs.

    • Make it Concrete.
      Don’t pitch vague and whimsical ideas – draw on real, everyday issues and challenges your audience can relate to.

    • Add a pinch of Credibility.
      Provide research, statistics and expert opinions to back up your message; but be careful because too much of a good thing can add noise thus creating confusion or boredom with the audience.

    • It must be Compelling.
      Without an emotional call-to-action, your presentation will be flat. Ask yourself two question when you have written your PowerPoint:

      •  “What do I want the attendee to do?” and
      • “Are they prepared to take action based on the information shared?”

      If the answers are unclear, you need to restructure your presentation.

  • Use More Visuals and Less Words.

    Show at least one video clip and several photos in your presentation. Stay away from white backgrounds full of black text in order to keep your attendees interested in your topic.

  • Solicit Attendee Participation.

    If the attention span is 5 minutes, then ask a question or do an activity every 5-minute interval. Rehearse your timing and make sure you are creating interaction opportunities with other attendees and with you.

Other PowerPoint References

For more tips and techniques, be sure to check out the following blog posts:

Hartford Technology Rental is Your BFF

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