PowerPoint is software for formatting animated slideshows. This is the most widely used support in business for oral presentations. To be relevant, a PowerPoint slideshow must above all be well designed. We must therefore not neglect the preparatory phase of the presentation support and follow some principles of graphic and textual formatting. This helps to highlight important information and keep the audience’s attention throughout the presentation.
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How to make a powerful PowerPoint presentation?
- Define the purpose of the presentation
- Organize the presentation with a clear plan
- Develop one idea per slide
- Define a graphic charter
- Integrate animations
- Adapt the presentation to the target audience
- Illustrate figures and statistics with diagrams
- Vary content formats
Define the purpose of the presentation
Any oral presentation pursues an objective, whether it is to convince a potential partner, to provide training or even to introduce a team meeting.
Before launching the PowerPoint software, it is therefore essential to take the time to clearly and simply define the purpose of the presentation, that is to say the message to be conveyed to the audience.
For this, a sheet and a pen may suffice. Putting your ideas down on paper makes it easier to think about it. To begin with, it may be helpful to ask yourself what will be the focus of the audience.
Example : in the case of a presentation produced with a view to signing a commercial contract, the point of attention (or questioning) will revolve around the quality of the products, possibly their quality / price ratio. The overall objective of the presentation will therefore be to show that the products marketed by the brand are qualitative.
Of course, the general objective of the presentation should be divided into several sub-objectives, which will form the argument structure of the PowerPoint slide show.
Organize your presentation
The first step is to define the overall objective of the presentation: the ideas are presented as they are on paper or digital media. In the next step, you have to organize them so as to form a coherent structure. Indeed, the oral presentation must be based on an argument, starting from an established observation and progressively reaching a conclusion.
For it, write a detailed plan is the wisest solution. Based on the problematic determined in the next step, it is now necessary to identify the solution that the presentation will bring to the audience and to ask whether the latter will be receptive to it.
In summary, the outline of the presentation must constitute a path, which goes from the initial problem to the solution in a logical and coherent way. This preparation saves time when finalizing the PowerPoint presentation.
Develop one idea per slide
It is often advisable to limit yourself to one idea per PowerPoint slide, which is a good idea in the majority of cases. Indeed, integrating too much information on the same page could confuse understanding and thus undermine the general argument.
By discovering a new argument with each slide, the audience will have an easier time memorizing the data presented. For even more impact, it is advisable to adapt the graphic formatting to each slide and therefore to each idea. The goal is to bring out the main idea of each page without overloading its content.
Define a graphic charter
A graphic charter is a set of elements defining the visual and graphic identity of a brand or a company. It usually consists of fonts, colors and a graphic style that makes the brand recognizable.
For brands or companies that already have an established graphic charter, the design of a PowerPoint presentation is easier, because the color codes, typography, spacing and other visual elements are already defined. It is then sufficient to integrate them into each new presentation.
On the other hand, if no charter has been created, it is necessary ensure visual consistency presentation, i.e. keep the same positioning for titles and subtitles, create a hierarchy in fonts and colors, etc. Brief changes of style without justification could indeed greatly disrupt the reading and therefore the assimilation of information by the public.
To ensure good graphic harmony without special design skills, it is possible to use a PowerPoint template. The software offers both free and professional templates.
Integrate animations to boost the presentation
PowerPoint animations make a presentation more dynamic, make it easier to move from one slide to another, or even highlight an image or any other graphic file over the rest of the content.
Well mastered, adding animations to PowerPoint helps to capture the attention of the audience. However, the use of animations requires some precautions. Indeed, the PowerPoint catalog is full of effects and some, too original, may disrupt the reading of the slide and project an unprofessional image of the company. We must therefore prefer basic animations to support the point rather than camouflage it.
Adapt the presentation to the target audience
The type of PowerPoint presentation also varies depending on its purpose. Indeed, the presentation of a new range of products does not obey the same formatting rules as an annual internal sales report, for example.
To ensure the relevance of the PowerPoint presentation, it is therefore necessary to adapt to the target audience. Vocabulary used, duration of slides, type of animation chosen, graphic style: these elements may vary depending on the audience. It is therefore necessary to analyze the target beforehand.
Adapting the PowerPoint presentation to its audience is all the more important if the presentation medium is intended to be transformed into video, PDF or even to be printed to be shared later.
Illustrate figures and statistics with diagrams
Figures and statistics support the arguments made by the speaker. Concise, they are easily accessible to the public while the presentation, provided you format them wisely. Because, if it is possible to integrate figures in a simple bulleted list, they gain clarity when they are presented in the form of graphics or diagrams.
PowerPoint slides allow all types of diagrams. It is even possible to create them yourself by associating individual graphic elements (geometric shapes, lines, etc.), as to create mind mappings, for example.
Vary content formats
Just like with diagrams, adding images, GIFs and videos has the advantage of break the monotony of a presentation Classic PowerPoint. Indeed, by attracting the attention of the public, they reinforce the scope of the speech.
However, the use of images is based on a sine qua non: use good quality files. Likewise, distortion should be avoided when moving the file on the slide. Favoring a good quality of photo or video avoids pixelation.
Finally, the images, videos and GIFs on PowerPoint must also correspond to the graphic charter chosen for the presentation in order to maintain overall consistency. They must in any case remain professional and not distract from the main information. Adding a transparent watermark to all slides also makes the presentation cohesive.
To enhance the dynamism of a PowerPoint presentation, it is also possible to add background music. Again, the sound choice should match the purpose and context of the presentation.
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