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The Rules of Terrific PowerPoint Presentations

A business presentation is meant to inform, motivate, and create a call to action, that is why PowerPoint is commonly used in business meetings as an aid to the topic at hand. So giving a presentation is a huge and (sometimes) noble responsibility. Thankfully, several tips, tools, and other resources can help you take your slides up a notch and make them more professional and captivating.

You can create and deliver a powerful PowerPoint presentation if you understand and follow these (or some of these) vital rules that DeckRobot lists in this article.

Lack of preparation or passion

Often presentations don't work because the presenter didn't practice enough or he/she fails to convey the meaning of the presentation. When you passionately communicate the significance of your subject audiences pay attention. To do that well, you have to practice giving your presentation. Otherwise, even the most beautiful slides won't help you. So, if you are not well prepared then obviously you will be reading your presentation off your slides. In other words, if your audience can both read and hear, it’s a waste of time for you to simply read your slides aloud. Your audience will zone out and stop listening to what you’re saying, which means they won’t hear any extra information you include.

Slides are too complex

Simplicity is at the heart of every good business presentation. People do not want, nor can they absorb, a lot of information in one sitting. Consider the unfettered look of the Google homepage or the clean and simple design of Apple Inc. Both have created a passionate fan base. Your PowerPoint needs to evoke emotion with simple yet powerful messages and images. As a rule, less is always more when delivering a top-notch business presentation. Your text should be easy to read and pleasant to look at. Large, simple fonts and theme colors are always your best bet. Slides shouldn't be used as a prompter to read to your audience nor a place to dump as much data as possible. Instead, they're a visual communication aid to support the most important part of the presentation: you and your message.

Pictures over thousand words

The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” cuts to the heart of effective PowerPoint presentations. If you browse the Internet you will see that all of the best PowerPoint presentations feature more graphics and fewer words. Also, each of the presentations used compelling original images, not boring, generic clip art. Remember, even though PowerPoint presentations contain facts and statistics, people see presentations, they don't read them.

Tip: the DeckRobot plugin is an easy PowerPoint plugin for users that helps to reduce manual work while preparing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Using the plugin allows you to save up to 40% of your working time. The plugin helps you to create appealing presentations that match the company brand book guidelines with a focus on the quality of the content. You can easily adjust all the visual elements in each slide of your presentation like fixing headers, footers, background, logo, font, color pallet according to the chosen corporate guidelines. Maintain consistency by aligning any complex object on the slide or even adapt any icon that you like to the corporate-approved format and much more.

Don't overload your presentation with animations

Anyone will tell you that being inundated with complicated animations and exciting slide transitions can become irritating. Before including any animations and transitions in your presentation, ask yourself: Would this moment in the presentation be equally strong without an added effect? Does it unnecessarily delay information? If the answer to either question is yes—or even maybe—leave out the effect. Don’t include these effects just because you can.

Don't forget your audience

Always think about the ones who will be watching your presentation. The same goofy effects and funny clip art that would entertain a classroom full of middle-school students might make you look unprofessional in front of business colleagues and clients. Sure, humor can lighten up a presentation, but if you use it inappropriately your audience might think you don’t know what you’re doing. So the best thing to do is to know your audience and tailor your presentation to their tastes and expectations.

Conclusion

To wow your audience, don’t use PowerPoint as a note toll. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your topic and the touchstone points that make up your presentation. Simplify your slides and spice them up with captivating images and your speech. Practice your presentation so that you'll be ready to engage your audience. They may even forget you're using PowerPoint.