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How to avoid death by PowerPoint

In this article we list some of the key Microsoft PowerPoint tips to help you deliver an effective presentation.

Julie Hickson | 18 December 2015

How to avoid death by PowerPoint

Have you ever sat in a presentation and wanted to fall asleep? We have all been there, but more often than not, when it is our turn to present, we often make the same mistakes. Avoid the common pitfalls and follow our key tips on how to create an effective Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that will not bore your audiences, but instead make them listen and take note. 

  1. Write in bullet points, not complete sentences

    Your slides are illustrations for your presentation, not the presentation itself. They should reinforce what you are saying as you give the presentation, save the paragraphs for your script. Include 4-5 points per slide and avoid information overload.

  2. Show one key point at a time

    This will help audience concentrate on what you are saying, will prevent audience from reading ahead and will help keep your presentation focused.

  3. Do not use distracting animation

    PowerPoint offers exciting ways to use animation to your slides. Avoid the temptation to dress up your pages with over the top effects and instead focus on the simple design basics. It will save you and your audience getting distracted during the presentation.

  4. Use standard fonts, with at least an 18-point font

    Use standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial. Use at least an 18-point font and use different size fonts for main points and secondary points. This helps your presentation stand out and makes it easier to read.

  5. Use light coloured backgrounds

    Use backgrounds that are light, attractive but simple. Ensure that the background does not over power the text and your text is still easy to read.  Use this consistently throughout your presentation.

  6. Capitalize only when necessary.

    Only capitalize to highlight key words.

  7. Use colour well

    Use colour of fonts that contrasts sharply with the background e.g. blue font on a white background. Use colour to emphasize your point but don't overdo it and use it occasionally.

More information

As Microsoft's 2015 Worldwide Learning Partner of the Year, we deliver quality training. We offer a wide range of Microsoft PowerPoint training courses to help you deliver effective presentations.

QA Training | Julie Hickson

Julie Hickson

Senior Office Applications Specialist

Julie is a MOS Master instructor based in the North-West, and has been training for over 15 years. She joined QA in 2012 working as a Business Applications Specialist. Julie has extensive experience of delivering training to all levels, in a variety of formats, including virtual.
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