How to use Powerpoint more effectively

Making effective sue of Powerpoint is one of the keys to presentation success.

Trouble is most presenters don’t make effective use of of Powerpoint.

So here are 5 tips to help you make effective use of Powerpoint:

1. Slides as a Prompt not a Script

Two things happen when you fill your slides with words – you read from the slides and so does your audience. You’re speaking they’re reading – you’re forcing them to multi task -and not focus on you. Use slides as a prompt to remind your audience what you are talking about – an image, a single word does that. Your eye contact should be on the audience not the screen and their’s should be on you not the screen.

2. Few Words

Use few words on your slides but in a big typeface so that everyone in the audience can see them. There is no point in putting words on the screen and then having to say ‘I’m sorry but I realise most of you won’t be able to read this’. Aim to use one word per slide and work up from there if you need to. The same applies to diagrams and charts. Unless everyone in the audience can easily see everything on your slide don’t use it! Be ruthless with your slide content and selection!

3. Images and Videos

Images in presentations can be really powerful in getting your message across. So where you can substitute words with images. Make sure that the images are of high quality and that they are relevant to what you are talking about. What about video? Video is good providing if its not more than 30-45 seconds long, is actually interesting (most corporate videos aren’t when used in  presentations) and its doesn’t have a soundtrack so you maintain your engagement with the audience by talking over it – not all the time but occasionally.

4. No clutter

Lots of businesses when they are preparing presentations feel as though they need to use a company ‘template’ on all their slides. So each slide has the company logo, the company name, and often a ‘faded into the background’ company image. Frankly it’s just clutter that you can do without. By the time you get to slide number two or three will everyone have forgotten who you are? Your presentation is about your audience not you so get rid of the clutter that’s about you and that includes the company slide template.

5. Ditch the slides

Why not? Just talk and support key points with a few props. You will feel liberated! Your audience will feel liberated! You’ll be a breathe of fresh air at the business event which is rammed full of Powerpoint! And that makes you memorable and the stand out presenter. And you won’t have to worry about pressing the wrong button on the clicker or your corporate video not working. In my time I’ve presented using an old suitcase, a hotel bicycle, card tricks, a pint of Guinness, cricket bats etc….use your imagination and capture the imagination of your audience.

A presentation is not about the slides. It’s about you. People buy from people not slides. So come on do your bit to help rid the business world of dull presentations and get noticed as a stand out presenter!

For more presentation tips and advice check out my website :

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