Throughout the years I have seen many Powerpoint presentations. Some are good and some are just terrible. It’s very clear that people need to learn how to properly use and work a Powerpoint. There are so many mistakes that people make when it comes to a presentation. And they can all be summed up in a few categories: Font, bullet points, and animation. Here I will hopefully teach you how to properly use each of these things so that you can do well on your next presentation. But before I begin, here is an introductory video by Don McMillan, a comedian, describing some of the troubles with Powerpoint.
Font is one of the most important things in your presentation. It is the main things people look at since it is what your information is written in. The best thing to do, is find a font that is easily readable from every point in the room and that fits the style of your presentations. There are hundreds of fonts to chose from. Don’t be boring and pick the same one over and over. And whatever you do. Do not ever, EVER use Comic Sans! Everyone hates that font. it’s not professional looking and people will probably just get angry as you and your presentation rather than paying attention.
The next area people need improvement on is bullet points. People either use too many bullet points or too few. If there are too many words on the screen then people will get way too distracted. If there is too much information then people will get bored and quit paying attention to what you are saying after they read the slide. Also if you have too few words on each point then there would be too much going on.
Next is animation. Nowadays, there is so much you can do with animation in a Powerpoint that is can be too distracting if you try and use too much of it at once. People can get really distracted by things flying all over the screen and you will lose the message of your presentation. Maying each bullet point flop down onto the screen was okay in middle school, but now that you are in business, just leave the bullet points where they are. Only use animation for overlapping pictures and sometimes for the title.
I have sat through many horrible presentations and many of them have been from professors or speakers. I have also given many horrible presentations, especially when I was younger. I always would pick the brightest colors and the coolest animation I could in order to make my Powerpoint “fun.” But after coming to college and becoming a business major, I realize that making things really wild is extremely unprofessional. Even though it make be fun to have your font be bright red and your background orange, it will give your audience a bad impression of you.
While researching about how to make a good Powerpoint presentation, I found this site with many helpful do’s and don’ts for Powerpoints from the National Conference of State Legislature. Many of the tips are obvious things that should not be done in a presentation, but I think it might be very helpful for those people who don’t know how to properly create a Powerpoint.
When you graduate and get a job, you will most likely have to give a presentation at one point or another. If you make a terrible presentation, then people will be less likely to listen to what you say and it will probably affect your job. Many jobs out there today need someone who has positive communication skills, so if you are good at giving presentations, then you will be better at communicating with others.