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8 Tips to Make the Best PowerPoint Presentations

Bryan has worked in journalism and publishing for more than 15 years. For the last 10 years, he's covered the technology beat, including gadgets, social media, security, and web culture. Before working as a freelancer, Bryan was the Managing Editor for The Next Web. These days he spends his time at a number of publications, both online and off, including The New York Times, Popular Science, and The Next Web, among others. Read more...

The Microsoft PowerPoint ribbon on a computer monitor.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they’re dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

Table of Contents

Start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

It all starts with identifying what we’re trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It’s here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that’s easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I’ve found that it’s helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway—that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time—and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it’s always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren’t reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn’t supposed to include everything. It’s an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There’s nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they’ll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Right off the bat, we’re just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it’s worth considering the typeface you’re using and what it’s saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it’s hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it’s our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn’t mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can’t, remember that there’s no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It’s always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That’s not to say that you can’t use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they’ll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you’re trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation—but only if you’re using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you’re driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don’t think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you’re about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren’t the best choice when you’re presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they’ll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click “View” on the ribbon and select “Slide Sorter.”

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It’s here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don’t advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully—not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it—are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn’t going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

how to make ppt effective

Get the content and creative tools you need with an All-in-One plan and your first month free. Start your trial.

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

How many times have you sat through poorly designed PowerPoint presentations that were boring, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to know how to make an awesome and attractive presentation. There are a few simple rules and tips you can follow for creating a professional, beautifully designed deck.

Since PowerPoint remains one of the most popular presentation design programs out there, we’re also going to walk you through some slide design tips and tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills and make you look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize. Using layout is a simple, but effective, way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

You can guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement matters, too. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

PowerPoint slide with Headline and information on the left and ocean and mountain visuals on the right

And not like this:

PowerPoint slide with headline under informational text and images

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you—use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it—you should try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

PowerPoint slide with title above bullet points and abstract visual on the right

And avoid this:

PowerPoint slide with headline and information on left and abstract visual on right

3. Follow the 6 x 6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6 x 6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6 x 6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered—either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text that says Less is More

Slides should never have this much information:

PowerPoint slide with paragraphs to the left and images on the right

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration on your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text

Stay away from color combinations like this:

PowerPoint slide with gray background and black and neon text

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts.

Just keep legibility at the forefront of your mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

PowerPoint slide with san serif font examples

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size should be at least 30pt. Not only does it ensure that your text is readable, but it also forces you to include only the most important points of your message and explain it efficiently, since space is limited.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text showing 30 point font size example

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

PowerPoint slide with simple black text on the left and a pool image on the right

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

Ground view of a plane flying over palm trees

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal . Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell.

Think about the colors and composition in an image, and the distinct mood it sets for your presentation. With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images.

Here are some more guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Black and white photo of five people standing on a rooftop looking over a foggy evening

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it. 

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of city highway at night

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that presentations are just about delivering information. This, in part, contributes to the dirge of lackluster PowerPoints that we’ve all sat through.

In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later?

You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos, colorful markets, and so on.

Aerial view of a container ship in the ocean

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag and drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu. 

Screenshot of how to compress an image

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file box, and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to choose image resolution

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI) , and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of image quality

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Screenshot of how to resize images

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections , Color , Effects , Animation , and a lot more.

This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of cropping options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of cropping options

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios , for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of Crop to Shape option

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft  convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

Nothing makes a presentation more engaging than a well-placed image. You can actually search, preview, and insert captivating images from the Shutterstock collection directly into your slides with our add-in for PowerPoint .

License this cover image collaboration via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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How to Make an Effective Presentation (Guide, Tips & Examples)

How to Make an Effective Presentation (Guide, Tips & Examples)

Written by: Heleana Tiburca

how to make ppt effective

Learning how to make a presentation is an incredibly useful skill to have in your tool belt, especially since 55% of an effective presentation comes down to non-verbal communication .

We’ve rounded up the best tips for professional presentation-making and a step-by-step guide on how to make a presentation that will keep your audience engaged from start to finish.

If you're ready to create an engaging presentation, get started with our presentation software . Use hundreds of pre-made presentation templates , access built-in graphics, add multimedia and more.

Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit presentation templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

how to make ppt effective

Table of Contents

Planning your presentation, writing the presentation content, designing your presentation, giving a memorable presentation.

“A person without a plan is lost before they start.” - Lewis K Bendele

This quote stands true for many aspects of life, but especially for making a presentation that’s powerful and memorable.

If you’re wondering how to make a presentation amazing, then you need to know that it all starts out by choosing a great topic angle, deciding on your presentation’s purpose, and creating a solid structure and outline.

In this section, you’ll find tips and tricks to help you better plan your presentations.

1. Choose the topic of your presentation.

Choosing the topic of your presentation is arguably one of the most important parts of presentation creation.

If you’re a student looking for presentation topics, check out our list of 150+ presentation topic ideas covering various subjects to find something you like.

If you’re a business professional, and you don’t have the luxury of picking out your presentation topic, that’s okay. You can always find a unique angle, such as focusing on a specific problem.

Even if it doesn’t seem to be an exciting topic, you can still make your presentation engaging with the right presentation skills and eye-catching presentation visuals.

2. Research your topic and know it inside and out.

When the time comes to present your presentation, you need to feel confident in yourself and your abilities in order to win your crowd’s trust.

One way you can achieve this is by knowing all the ins and outs of your topic. This way, you’ll feel prepared for any questions and know just how to answer them.

You can do in-depth research on any topic by reading up on related material online or in a library. But if you want to walk the extra mile, you can even get in touch with some of your audience in advance and ask them what they’d like to see in your presentation.

Public speaking expert TJ Walker explains this well in the short video below:

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

This little trick will help you focus on the important areas, and find answers to legitimate concerns and questions that your audience will likely have.

Another positive note to knowing your topic well is that in case you’re zooming through your presentation and you end up having extra time on your hands, you can add in bonus information about your topic to educate your audience.

3. Consider your audience and speak their language.

Now, not only do you need to know your topic well, but you also need to know and study your future audience just as well. Why?

Because by knowing your crowd’s interests, attention span and pain points, you’ll be able to connect them through your presentation. Plus, you’ll be in a better position to solve their problems and add value to their lives.

For example, an advanced, data-driven presentation full of technical jargon might not be the best idea if you're presenting to someone who is new to your field and unfamiliar with complicated terms.

It might end up confusing them instead of leaving a strong impact. You need to be able to speak their language and meet them on their level.

Going back to the example above, your presentation would likely be more successful if you simplify the information and start with the basics before jumping into the data and technicalities.

Create a stunning presentation in less time

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4. Decide on your presentation’s purpose.

For every presentation you create, you need to have an end goal and purpose in mind.

Every presentation’s goal can be summed up within one of the following purposes:

Your presentation’s purpose may even be a combination of the above four.

The idea of pinpointing your presentation’s purpose is to help you create your presentation’s subject matter, outline and structure more easily.

5. Create a solid presentation outline.

In order to make a great presentation, you need to have a great outline to piggyback off of.

According to the University of Arkansas , to create a compelling speech with impactful results, you’ll need three key things in your outline: a compelling intro, a strong body and a conclusion that drives your main points home.

Another important thing to consider when planning your presentation structure is how long your presentation is going to be, and how many slides you’re going to add.

That’s where the 10-20-30 rule can help you out.

The 10-20-30 rule represents 10 slides presented in about 20 minutes with a 30 point font minimum.

business presentation - infographic 10 20 30 rule guy kawasaki

This is not an end-all-be-all rule, but it is definitely great to follow loosely as it will help you stay on track and not overwhelm your viewers with too many slides with too little time or vice versa.

If you want a more in-depth guide on how to structure your presentation , we’ve created one just for you. Give it a read to take your presentation structure to the next level.

Now that you know how to create a presentation outline, let’s talk about what the content of your presentation should look like.

The content is the real “meat” of your presentation — you need to ensure that it’s credible, full of value and crafted in a way that makes it easy for your audience to understand it.

In this section, we’ll look at some tips to help you craft clear, concise and creative content that’s hard to forget.

6. Limit the amount of text on your slides.

Since we’re on the topic of not overwhelming your audience with too much information, it’s a great idea to try to keep your text to about 6-8 lines per slide, like in the example below.

how to make ppt effective

This will help result in clean and pleasing slides to look at and you won’t risk losing your crowd due to overstimulation.

7. Fact-check all your information.

If you want your audience to trust you, then make sure you’re getting all of your information from reputable sources and anyone can fact-check your data.

In fact, you’ll even sound more confident and authoritative when you’re able to prove what you’re saying is true.

Here are some resources to help you fact-check your information:

The worst thing you can do is use faulty information and lose your crowd’s trust because once you do that, it’s near impossible to get it back.

If you’re planning to share your presentation slides online, it’s a good idea to add your sources at the end of your presentation or at the bottom of your slides as footnotes.

8. Use storytelling to your advantage.

People are more inclined to remember stories that touched them rather than statistics simply listed out on a slide.

To make your presentation the most effective, you can use a combination of the two and tell a story to back up your main points and data.

For example, instead of simply presenting the numbers upfront, you can give some context by introducing the problem, and explaining what the statistics mean and who they’re affecting.

Learn more about finding stories in data in our detailed guide. Or, watch the video below for a quick summary:

how to make ppt effective

Another storytelling technique to keep in mind is to focus on characters, not objects and numbers. Humans are innately emotional creatures, and understand things best when they can relate to them on a personal level.

For example, if you’re presenting an environmental problem, talk about how it’s affecting people and animals instead of just introducing the problem in technical terms.

9. Include lots of practical examples.

Including numbers and data in your presentation is great, but if you don’t relate that information to the real world (i.e. give it context), your audience might get lost or bored.

One way to add context to your presentation content is to include a lot of practical examples. Telling people what a certain piece of information can mean for them in their everyday life can leave a much stronger impact than simply telling them the information exists.

Plus, relatable examples can make your presentation’s take-home message easier to digest and understand.

To explain this better, let’s consider an example (see what I did there?)

Look at the slide below — it’s taken from a redesigned Uber pitch deck that explains briefly how the ride-sharing service works and its key features.

how to make ppt effective

On its own, the slide above communicates little value. The audience knows how the service works, but they might not be clear about its real-world applications.

Following up with a slide like this one can help:

how to make ppt effective

Sharing potential use cases with the audience is a great way to show your audience why your idea is interesting, and how it can make a difference. In Uber’s case, it showed investors why the service was worth investing in.

10. Use presenter’s notes for additional information.

If you’re afraid that you’re going to forget important information and you’re tempted to write out all your talking points on your slide, stop right there.

Don’t make the mistake of cluttering your slides with text. If the information is too important to leave out, you can always add it into your presenter’s notes.

If you’re using a presentation software like Visme, you can include your presenter’s notes in the designated area at the bottom without sacrificing beautiful slide design.

how to make ppt effective

These notes will pop up as needed when you’re presenting, and you can choose to have them open on your computer screen while presenting the actual slides on the projector.

11. Incorporate your data in a visual way.

We’ve all been there; those long corporate meetings where you give it your all to pay attention to the statistics and numbers slowly being read off of an interminable spreadsheet.

Don’t make that same mistake in your presentation. Incorporate your data in a visual and engaging way by using charts, graphs, maps and data widgets.

The slide template below visualizes website traffic data with the help of a line graph.

how to make ppt effective

Imagine if all of this information was written out in the form of a complex table full of intricate rows, columns and numbers — yawning? So are we.

When you use a presentation software like Visme, you can add 15+ different types of charts and graphs to your slides, and customize them to fit your design needs. Change their colors, add or remove legends, and even animate the charts.

You can also drag and drop thermometers, progress bars, radials and other data widgets to visualize percentages and stats. Or, use the map generator to visualize geographical information, like in the slide template below.

how to make ppt effective

You can make this map interactive, too. So, for example, when someone hovers on one of the regions on the map, additional data can be displayed.

Learn more about what data visualization is , why it’s important, and how to create your own impressive visual data.

Or, watch the quick video tutorial below to learn how to create a chart or graph in Visme.

how to make ppt effective

12. Use multimedia to engage your audience.

People’s brains love to be met with the unexpected. Unfortunately, many times presentations are just predictable slides with some text and bullet points on them.

You can make your presentation more exciting for your audience by adding multimedia into the slides. But multimedia presentations include more than just static photos.

They can also include media like embedded videos, GIFs, audio narrations, music, or interactive elements like quizzes, forms, hover effects, links, pop-ups and more.

You can easily create a similar presentation of your own using Visme’s presentation maker , which comes with a built-in GIPHY integration.

Another benefit of adding multimedia is that it will give you a nice little break from talking where you can regroup your thoughts and get ready for your next big point.

If you want to learn more, check out our complete guide on creating a multimedia presentation .

13. Prepare thought-provoking questions.

We humans are curious creatures who love to learn and have our brains picked at.

Use this to your advantage and captivate your audience’s attention by preparing some questions that require deep thinking on their part.

Here are some ideas:

Preparing questions in advance for your audience will have their wheels turning and attention on you for the upcoming answer.

14. Simplify your sentences.

One of the best ways to minimize the number of text on your slides is by using punchy phrases that aren’t full sentences.

For example, instead of writing, “The advantages of social media marketing are that it increases brand awareness, generates more inbound traffic, improves search engine rankings, higher conversion rates, provides more brand recognition authority and much more,” you can simplify this idea as:

SMM Advantages:

As you can see, these concise phrases aren’t full sentences and include less punctuation but still communicate the same message without distracting text.

Now that we know how to create a presentation outline and we also know what kind of content we need to prepare for our presentation, it’s time to jump into the actual design side of our presentation.

There are so many stunning presentation design ideas and trends you can follow, as well as presentation design tips you can implement to your presentation.

We’re going to cover a few of the most important design tips for you to follow to create a sleek presentation design your audience will love.

15. Consider your presentation’s mode of delivery.

Just as it’s important to figure out your presentation’s purpose in order to create its structure, likewise, you need to know how you will deliver your presentation in order to determine the design of it.

For example, for standalone presentations, it’s a great idea to add more text into your slides. But on the other hand, if you’re holding an in-person presentation, it might be a good idea to have less text on your slides.

Once you determine your presentation’s delivery, you can then determine the best presentation design style for it.

16. Choose your fonts carefully.

One of the best tips we can give you for sleek presentation design is to use only up to 3 fonts per slide.

If you end up using more than 3 fonts, you forfeit having a nice presentation design and you’ll risk looking messy and unprofessional.

Not only should you limit yourself to using 3 fonts, but you need to make sure that they are similar in style and complement each other, like in the example below.

how to make ppt effective

One way you can do this is by using font templates from Visme that are predesigned and handpicked by professional designers.

This way, you’ll never have to wonder if your fonts match or look good together ever again.

It’s also important that you keep the fonts you choose consistent throughout your design. This will give your presentation a polished and professional look overall.

If you want to change up the appearance of your font throughout your presentation, then play with the weight, styling, color and size of the text.

17. Use high-quality images, icons and visuals.

It’s very important that whatever visuals you choose to add to your presentation are of high quality.

Avoid using pixelated photos, images that have watermarks on them or blurry vector icons in your presentation. By not using high-quality content, you risk off-putting your audience.

Our presentation software has millions of high-resolution stock images and videos, and thousands of high-quality icons for every occasion for you to choose from.

how to make ppt effective

You can also upload your own images, videos, icons and other visuals from your computer, such as branded graphics or original photos.

By using high-quality visual content for your slides like in the example above, you’ll be taken much more seriously by your audience.

18. Keep everything in line with the grid.

Another key point to mention for optimal presentation design is to make sure every element lines up well with each other and is visually pleasing.

Symmetry is directly correlated with beauty , so integrate this knowledge into your slide design and try to keep everything balanced, symmetrical and pleasing to the eye.

how to make ppt effective

You can easily line everything up to each other by using a grid within our presentation editor, like in the example above.

19. Use a single, eye-catching transition.

Static presentations are a thing of the past. Make your presentation more engaging for your audience by using an animated transition between slides.

how to make ppt effective

Visme has lots of different transitions that you can choose from, as seen above, but we recommend that you use one style of transition for your entire presentation to keep everything cohesive.

20. Focus on one main idea per slide.

In order to keep your design sleek and to not overwhelm your audience, it’s best practice to have one main idea or take away per slide. This way, you stay on track, your audience isn’t overwhelmed and your design will be on point because nothing will be cluttered.

You can also use an entire slide to ask a crucial question or highlight an important quote. If you want to bring attention to your next big point, try displaying a single concept on an entire slide.

how to make ppt effective

This will make for a great change of pace for your audience by quickly going through your slides, thus keeping them engaged with your presentation, and it will also showcase the importance of your next point.

21. Choose a cohesive color scheme.

There’s no doubt that color is important. In fact, studies show that colors can directly affect our mood and the way we feel.

Doing some research into the colors you should use for your presentation will greatly benefit your outcome.

This applies not only to the primary color you choose, but the supporting colors as well. It’s important to have a great complementary color scheme throughout your presentation.

how to make ppt effective

If you’re not sure what colors work well together, you can choose one from Visme’s color theme presets, as seen above, that are hand-picked by professional designers for your presentation.

If you have a business, then using your brand colors in your presentation is a great idea and will help with building brand recognition. With Visme, you can upload your brand colors directly to the editor or extract them from your logo.

It’s also important to note that you don’t use two light shades for both the background and text of your slide. To make your text stand out, you need to use contrasting colors.

For example, you can make the background black and your text a bright shade of green to make it stand out, or vice versa. Just be sure that your text is easily readable for your audience.

22. Proofread and polish your presentation.

As soon as you have a rough draft of your presentation, you need to begin the proofreading and polishing process.

One helpful trick of the trade when it comes to writing is using free grammar and spell-checking tools. Many times, they’ll catch things you may have never even noticed or seen before.

There are lots of free grammar tools out there for you to use. To name a couple, you could use Grammarly or ProWritingAid .

how to make ppt effective

After going over your presentation a few times, it becomes easier for you to start seeing unnecessary information on your slides.

To make your slides more visually pleasing and less cluttered, you can shorten your text and sentences and condense them into main points and ideas. This will increase negative space in your slide and make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Don’t just quickly glance over your presentation once and call it a day. Go over your presentation a second, third time and even fourth time to make sure that it’s absolutely perfect.

In fact, have a second pair of eyes read over your presentation.

Many times, we become desensitized to our own work and miss out on little mistakes here and there. So, it’s important to let someone else have a look over it before you call it in.

23. Keep your slides on-brand

While designing your slides, always keep your brand identity in mind, especially if creating a crucial business presentation. It will distinguish you from competitors, prompt people to refer your products and services to others and connect people with your brand emotionally.

So, consider your brand colors, brand fonts, logo and other elements of your company’s visual identity. If you have not defined any of these elements, try choosing the design elements that match your brand personality and the theme of your presentation.

Use the presentation template below to put together brand guidelines for your company.

how to make ppt effective

However, if you are struggling to define your brand’s visual identity, you can download our free Brand Guide Handbook to get help. If you already have set your brand guidelines, you can use Visme’s Brand Design Tool to create slides according to your branding easily.

Visme's Dynamic Fields can help you ensure key brand information is accurate across all your slides. Simply create new dynamic fields or edit existing ones and assign values and your data will be updated in real-time.

You can have the most amazing presentation in the world on paper, but without proper delivery, it can turn into a complete flop.

So, now that you have all the knowledge on how to make a presentation, it’s time to discuss how you can deliver that presentation in a powerful way.

In this section, we’ll cover tips on how to give a killer presentation that leaves an impact.

24. Rehearse your presentation.

Practice, practice and practice again. That’s the way to presentation perfection.

That’s right, no matter how crazy you might sound to the downstairs neighbors practicing your speech out loud alone in your apartment, you need to do it.

Why? Because when you can actually hear yourself present your ideas out loud, you may realize that you’re missing key points of information.

While you’re at it practicing out loud, go in front of a mirror and strike some power poses.

Body language is everything when it comes to presenting your presentation in a powerful way. It can make or break your entire speech. So, use open-handed gestures, smile often and loosen up a bit to come across as a confident presenter.

If you’ve been allotted a certain amount of time for your presentation, then you need to practice while using a timer.

By practicing out loud with a timer, you’ll be able to adjust and readjust the information on your slides to make sure you get all your important information across to your audience.

Another way you can boost your confidence and kick stage fright before the big day of your presentation is to do a practice run of your presentation in front of others.

This will not only help you get used to public speaking, but it also gives them a chance to give you honest feedback on your presentation and let you know if there was anything that could use improvement.

25. Memorize your presentation.

Memorizing your speech for your presentation is no easy task. But the more you can remember while you’re up on stage and the fewer “umm’s” and “uh’s” you say, the better.

We rounded up the best ways to memorize a presentation that will significantly help you with your presentation delivery, but we’ll share a few with you here as well.

how to make ppt effective

Apply the memorization techniques above while you’re rehearsing your presentation, but make sure you also understand each and every word.

26. Start strong to hook your audience.

When it comes to giving presentations, first impressions are extremely important.

The way you start can set the stage for the rest of your talk — you can either have the audience sit up in their seats and give you their full attention, or have them ready to doze off.

There are several proven techniques you can use to start your presentation in a powerful way, such as:

If you want to learn more about these presentation hooks and more in detail, read our guide to starting a presentation with examples from famous TED talks.

If you prefer watching a video instead, we’ve got you covered.

how to make ppt effective

27. Observe your audience’s behavior.

Remember, a presentation — or any talk for that matter — is not a one-way conversation. Effective communication involves constant feedback from the listener, and requires the speaker to react to that feedback appropriately.

So, how does this apply to presentation delivery?

When you’re up on the stage giving your presentation, make sure you constantly observe your audience and their reactions — this includes their facial expressions, body language and even questions.

You might sense your audience is getting bored, for example, if you see a few people fidgeting in their seats, yawning or looking at their phones.

This is your cue to switch things up a bit. For example, you can:

Similarly, if you see your audience is engaged with what you’re saying, continue with your enthusiasm and try to keep them hooked till the end.

28. Be authentic and vulnerable.

When giving a presentation, the worst thing you can do is try to be someone else and come across as pretentious and unoriginal.

In this TED talk, Brene Brown starts by revealing that she felt so vulnerable and embarrassed after one of her talks that she didn’t leave her house for three days.

Successful presenters are authentic, even if they are not perfect. They are relatable, grounded and vulnerable. Instead of hiding their failures, imperfections and insecurities, they share them with the audience and build an emotional connection.

When the audience finds you relatable, they are more inclined to listen to you and take you seriously.

29. Conclude your presentation on a high.

Just like it’s important to start your presentation with a powerful hook, likewise, you need to conclude your presentation in a way that it impacts your audience and leaves them thinking about your take-home message for a long time after.

There are several ways to close your presentation with style:

Here’s an infographic summarizing the main points above and more.

how to end a presentation visme infographic

Read our guide to learn more about how to close a presentation in a powerful way.

30. Leave time for questions at the end.

Our last piece of advice for preparing for and presenting an effective presentation is to get your audience involved and allocate time for their comments and questions at the end of your presentation.

Everyone wants to be heard, and if you did your job correctly, you should have sparked some conversation starters from your audience by the end of your presentation.

Give them your time and attention at the end of your presentation to show them you care about your presentation and most importantly, them.

31. Prepare backup content.

No matter how well prepared you are, it’s always better to have a backup because not everything may go the same as you planned.

Despite whatever your intention is, as a presenter, you should always have a plan B, C and sometimes D for your presentation. Put together statements that will cover you if you find yourself upsetting the audience.

Problems may occur due to location changes, technical difficulties and many other factors; you must always be prepared. Your backup content can be anything that can change the game as needed.

For example, you can prepare some backup questions that you can ask according to the situation, some additional relatable examples or even a few slides with different design elements that you might need to meet the requirements of your audience.

Ready to Make a Powerful Presentation?

Creating an impactful presentation requires careful planning, attention to content details and a good eye for design. But even the best presentations can fail if they’re not rehearsed and delivered properly.

If you’re ready to create an engaging presentation, we recommend using an intuitive presentation software like Visme.

Sure, you can whip up a plain-looking presentation in PowerPoint any day. But if you want your presentation to look creative and different from the rest, you need to use an innovative tool.

With features like data visualization tools, built-in stock images and videos, the ability to add your own fonts and brand colors, and hundreds of presentation templates for you to choose from, once you try it, you’ll likely never go back to anything else.

Not only will you be able to create stunning presentations, but you’ll also be able to share them, embed them and present them right from inside the editor.

Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.

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About the Author

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how to make ppt effective

6 steps to creating an effective presentation or slide deck

Photograph of a college classroom with students in desks and a professor standing at the front looking at a laptop on a large desk. Behind the professor are a large whiteboard and a large wall-mounted monitor displaying a visual.

Creating powerful presentations and supporting documents for clients is the heart and soul of everything we do at Presentation Studio. As part of this, we see the good, the bad and the downright ugly !

One of the most common mistakes people make is to confuse a presentation and a report. Quite often, they’ll try and present a report.

Difference between a presentation and report

A presentation  includes carefully constructed and designed slides that support what a speaker is presenting. So, like a billboard on a highway, you should be able to digest the content on each slide within a few seconds without causing a pileup of information.

Visuals, keywords, infographics and diagrams are used to explain or create an emotional connection with your audience, so you can help them remember your key points.

A  report  or slide deck , on the other hand, can be used as a stand-alone document that you handout before or after you present.

Slide decks are great when you have more information than you can put on screen. Like a magazine, they can be read on their own and don’t need the speaker to talk through them – in fact, that would make understanding them worse as you can’t read lots of information and listen at the same time.

You can do both in most presentation software, but a presentation and a slide deck have different purposes. Ideally, you would present and then follow up your presentation with a report/slide deck of the supporting information.

A text-only report

To help show the difference between the two, let’s look at how you might take a large chunk of text from a word document (like above) and turn it into a handout and then an effective presentation.


The same text-only report, formatted differently

Step 1: Convert text into multiple columns

The human eye finds narrow columns easier to read than full-width pages. That is why newspapers and magazines split the information up with visuals and columns, and graphic designers use grid layouts when setting copy pages.

So your first step would be to convert blocks of text into multiple columns that automatically adjust. This makes it easier for your audience to scan read.

The same report, now with sections in bold type, information broken into bullets, and separate panel with additional information

Step 2: Contrast fonts and font size to emphasize points

To help the ‘readability’ of your information, make the titles bold, use line spacing to tighten up blocks of text that are related to each other. You might also look at highlight quotes in different colors, fonts or font sizes, and add in bullet points where you can.

This makes the information far more natural to scan and digest. That’s a perfect handout for before or after you present.


The same report, now with sections in bold type, information broken into bullets, and separate panel with additional information, however now most sections of the report have been crossed-through as if to delete

Step 3: Cut the clutter 

Once this is done, you can start thinking about thinking your text into a presentation. It’s more important than ever to cut out all the clutter from your presentation. What gets left out of your presentation is more important than what goes in.

Some of us are apparently better at this than others. Many of us believe that sharing everything and blinding our audience with data is the best way to create a connection – that couldn’t be further from the truth! This will only put the people you are trying to engage off and make them lose interest faster.

You need to identify the main points that your audience can act on and display these in a way that they can immediately understand. Strip out all the other background content.

Graphic content from same report simplified into a split 50/50 layout with a photograph and type on one side and a headline with bullets on the other side

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Step 4: Spread out your slides 

A graphic that is circular and colorful and displays the information that was previously conveyed in bullet lists

Step 5: Represent data as diagrams 

A graphic that is circular and displays the information that was previously conveyed in bullet lists, however, this graphic uses less color

Step 6: Create visuals, icons and images 

Images create an emotional connection to what you are saying, which helps your audience remember it. Think of the meaning or the feeling you are trying to evoke and represent that. Avoid hand-shaking figures, smiling suited people, little vector people standing on arrows and graphs, and predictable and boring stock images that have been used a hundred times before. Cheesy stock photos have the opposite effect than the one you want – they turn your audience off. This is your chance to get creative! Using these visual references helps create clarity and a much stronger emotional connection with your audience. It’s these kinds of emotions and visuals that they will remember long after your presentation has ended.

Quick summary

Before your next presentation, the following will help you create a powerful and pleasing slide deck:

About the author

As the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio, Emma leads the team to create presentations that are influential, memorable and successful. Emma and her team can help you stand out so that your audience understands your message. She can help your presentations have impact and influence. This means the right messages are more memorable for your audience. Emma achieves this through content writing, visual communication, and strong presentation delivery.

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10 PowerPoint Tips to Make Your Slides More Effective

how to make ppt effective

Written by: Ferry Pereboom | PPT Solutions | Professional PowerPoint Company

The design of your PowerPoint presentation is often underestimated. Everyone knows the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, however in PowerPoint-land it seems to be quite the contrary. ‘A thousand words are worth a picture’ seems a more fitting slogan. Slides are filled to the brim with text, which the presenter literally reads out loud. This is the reason why PowerPoint has a dusty and static image. A missed opportunity!

A well designed PowerPoint can help deliver your message to the audience. That is why we have gathered 10 PowerPoint design tips below to help you steer your presentation in the right direction.

1. Keep it short and to the point

One of the most important things to remember is that PowerPoint is a tool to support your story. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen. Instead, try and shorten your bullets and keep it to the point. This causes your audience to focus on you instead of the slides on the screen.

Keeping text short

2. Choose the right font

Try and pick a classic font instead of a creative one. Picking the wrong font can easily cause your text to be unreadable for your audience. Besides that, if the computer you are presenting on does not have the font you used installed, PowerPoint will replace it with a random one. Verdana, Calibri and Helvetica, for example, are all safe choices. These fonts are available on all computers.

Choosing fonts for presentations

3. Size matters

Picking the right font size can be difficult. On the one hand your audience needs to be able to read whatever you put on the screen. On the other hand you don’t want your text to dominate the space on your slide. For headers the minimum is around 20pt, while for the body you have a minimum of 18pt. With these sizes you can be assured your text will be legible in every situation. This goes for laptops, computers, tablets, TVs and beamers.

Choosing the right font size

4. Contrast

Besides the looks and size of your font, it is important to take contrast into account. If you’re using text on a photo, make sure that your font is readable by either placing a border or casting a shadow around it.

Using contrast in presentations

5. Relevance and quality are key

Usually your text is supported by a low-quality image. We often see that when people are talking about a car, the first picture on Google images is picked. This results in inconsistency because some images tend to be illustrations and drawings, making your presentation look unprofessional or even childish. Make sure you select high quality images that support your message.

Using high-quality images in presentations

6. Screenshots or diagrams? Make use of mock-ups!

Diagrams, schemes and screenshots are usually not beneficial to your presentation. They make boring slides with too much information and detail, although the information is usually quite important to your story. A quick fix for these slides is to combine the diagram, scheme or screenshot with an image. These can easily be combined with an image of an iPad, laptop, beamer or computer.

Using mock-ups in presentations

7. Showing data on your slide? Visualize these as much as possible!

Whenever your presentation contains a lot of data, it might be easier to communicate this data by using visuals instead of just using text. Graphs might give you the results you are looking for. PowerPoint offers a wide variety of ‘donut-graphs’, which are ideal for making comparisons.

For example, pick the donut-graph to show your percentages in the middle of the graph. This way your audience immediately knows what you mean.

Using visuals on slides

8. Simplify your tables as much as possible

Tables are usually crammed with information and numbers. This causes the slide to look crowded and chaotic. In this case it is important to visualize the tables as simple as possible. Delete unnecessary outlines, colours and borders. ‘Keep it simple’ and ‘less is more’ are key phrases to take in mind whilst designing tables.

Using simple tables in presentations

9. Minimize the variety of transitions

After creating a PowerPoint presentation people usually conclude that the presentation comes off as boring or static. At this point they start to use to use transitions. Different transitions are then used to ‘breathe life’ into the presentation. However, this is not the way to do it. PowerPoint offers the most diverse transitions, which are usually experienced as distracting and childish. A simple ‘fade’ effect to go from slide to slide is more than enough. Again, the phrase ‘less is more’ is applicable.

10. Solely use basic colouring

Colours are often used to give the slide some ‘flair’. When picking colours it is important to define your audience and the purpose of the presentation. It’s good to use vibrant colours in a presentation for a primary school. However, when in a formal setting, you will have to define your colours based on your target audience.

Using basic colouring

Do you have any PowerPoint design tips of your own? Share them with us below!

About the author

how to make ppt effective

Ferry Pereboom, co-founder of PPT Solutions

Ferry is co-founder of PPT Solutions, a design agency from The Netherlands.

The company specializes in developing inspiring PowerPoint presentations. PPT Solutions has approx. 600 clients, 21 PowerPoint specialists and delivers work in about twelve countries around the globe. Ferry is mainly responsible for helping existing and new clients overcome their presentation challenges.

Please check the website www.pptsolutions.nl for more information about professional PowerPoint tips.

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How to Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation in 6 Easy Steps

Very few people seek out jobs based on public speaking opportunities — and that’s particularly true for medical professionals. 

But while life-saving research and discovery is some of the most important work medical teams will do, they also need to know how to share what they’ve learned .

Presentations are an effective way of unveiling new findings within scientific communities, training peers and juniors on essential new measures, and advancing your medical career — but there’s a great, and not so great, way of doing it. 

When the content is as important as this, you simply can’t run the risk of misleading, misinforming, or disengaging your audience. Your medical presentation needs to be concise and to the point, yet detailed enough to get buy-in. 

Whether you’re presenting a case for grand rounds, or lecturing a class of students, the information should be the center of attention — if your listeners are distracted by unnecessary clipart, or confused by the hierarchy of information, they won’t take away half of what you’re saying.

In short: getting the presentation design right is just as important as delivering it well. Here’s how to create an effective and engaging medical presentation — without wasting hours on PowerPoint!

Simple is better

Be wise with your color choice, don’t overcrowd slides with text, give your audience time to process, make graphs work for you, start with a template.

Those fancy templates in PowerPoint might look tempting, but when they are up on the big screen your audience may well find them distracting and confusing. 

When it comes to a medical presentation template, you want to avoid:

Now this is not to say that the best design is a barren one. Black text on a white background, slide after slide, won’t do much to inspire your audience either.

Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation: Simple but not boring

Instead you want a minimalist design using a small but impactful color palette . Avoid unnecessary visual details, and let your content really do the talking. 

Our brains are hardwired to associate colors with feelings and emotions. For example, yellow is typically associated with extraversion and optimism, while green is evocative of peace and tranquillity (thanks to its links with nature).

But what color denotes “medical professional”?

Blue is widely used in both medical and business spheres, to convey reliability and trust. In fact, blue is the single most common logo color among the leading healthcare organizations in the USA and around the world!

And different shades of blue imply different things — lighter shades are gentle (good for pediatric care, for example) while darker shades like navy carry more weight and impact.

Gray can be a useful secondary presentation color, thanks to its neutrality, but use red sparingly — if at all. Red, while bold and assertive, tends to convey feelings of aggression. Hematologists are the only ones who can get away with using red in a medical presentation — and even then, it should still be used judiciously ! 

Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation: Use blue to convey reliability and trust

If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our full guide to the psychology of color .

When you’re passionate about the work you’ve done, it’s tempting to lay it all out for the world to see. We’ve all been there before, but try to hold fire.

The more text you pack on to each slide, the less your audience will take away from the presentation. Remember: your presentation is not a document — even lecture slides should be designed as a presentation first and foremost. 

As a presenter, it’s your responsibility to land the most salient points in the moment . If that means having just two or three words on your slide, and verbalizing the rest, then do it.

Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation: Don’t overcrowd slides with text

If you’re really worried about getting the finer details across, then supplement your slide deck with a printed handout and really take the time to expand on key messages as you speak. This may sound like double the work, but it’s simply counterproductive to crowd your slides with text.

Use visuals in place of text wherever possible, and try to avoid bullet points — they’ll just tempt you into writing more! 

Even if you’re talking to a room full of the brightest medical minds, they’ll still need a moment to catch up with what you’re saying.

And this pause can be delivered in a number of ways.

First, you can separate your presentation into several sections, thereby helping your audience navigate the overall flow of what you’re saying. For example: ‘Key findings’, ‘What this means for the medical world’, and ‘Next steps’. After each section, pause for a moment to let your message land — this is especially important for long or very dense presentations. Then, when you’ve got the room with you again, you can carry on.

Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation: Time to process

You can use visuals to remind yourself to pause, too. When we’re nervous, we tend to rattle on to fill the silence. So a strategically placed slide, with nothing but a relevant image, will be your cue to take a breath and summarize what you’ve said before continuing.

Graphs and other visual data displays are the staple of all good medical presentations. Nothing beats a graph for highlighting trends and correlations, or the need for action in a particular area.

There are plenty of existing graphs you can find in textbooks and journals, but these are often low resolution and not suited to presenting to an audience — think about those at the back of the room! 

Instead, look for a better version online. And if you can’t find one, you can create your own.  

This is easy enough if you know your way around Excel. Using simple tables to input your data, you can create graphs that are hi-res enough to work in your presentation.

Create an Effective and Engaging Medical Presentation: Make graphs work

But, again, simple is better here. You want to use a clean design with no unnecessary data — use colors, text, and visuals to highlight your message. A blurry, overwhelming or hard-to-decipher graph will only muddle what you’ve got to say.

As a medical professional, you’ve probably got far more pressing things to worry about than upskilling yourself on PowerPoint, right? And that’s where presentation templates come in. 

Templates give you the bare bones of what you need for an engaging presentation design, allowing you to fill in the gaps with your expertise.

Even when you do that the time to sit down and dedicate a couple of hours to presentation design, it’s reassuring to know you’re starting from the right place. The best templates can either be rolled out within half an hour — just add in your findings, and go — or they can be tweaked and reworked, to include specific medical branding or other visual elements.

At SlidesCarnival we have a wide range of templates, specifically designed for medical presentations. The colors have been carefully chosen, the layouts lend themselves perfectly, text boxes are used just sparingly enough, and there’s a host of visual tools (like specialized icons) to help you keep your points tight. Sometimes a professional grade presentation is all you need to step up with confidence in front of colleagues, peers, mentees and other revered individuals from the medical and scientific community. So why worry about getting the design right? Just follow the tips we’ve laid out today, and lean on our medical presentation templates to get you started.

Best Medical Templates at SlidesCarnival

Free medical Powerpoint template and Google Slides theme with blue 3D shapes

Free medical Powerpoint template & Google Slides theme with blue 3D shapes

Free medical Powerpoint template and Google Slides theme with doctor and patients illustrations

Medical Illustrated. Free PowerPoint Template & Google Slides Theme

Free medical Powerpoint template or Google Slides theme

Free medical Powerpoint template or Google Slides theme in blue color

Free medical Powerpoint template or Google Slides theme with virus theme

Free medical Powerpoint template & Google Slides theme with virus

Free medical presentation - Powerpoint template or Google Slides theme

Free medical and health Powerpoint template or Google Slides theme

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Professional designs for your presentations

SlidesCarnival templates have all the elements you need to effectively communicate your message and impress your audience.

Suitable for PowerPoint and Google Slides

Download your presentation as a PowerPoint template or use it online as a Google Slides theme. 100% free, no registration or download limits.

How can a virtual assistant help you create presentations using ChatGPT?

Presentations are an invaluable asset in the business world. They enable individuals to share vital information with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. They can be used to explain new ideas, demonstrate products or services, or give updates on projects or initiatives.

However, creating presentations is a job on its own. Imagine the time and effort you put into researching, writing, editing, formatting, and designing your slides. Research suggests that 47% of presenters take more than 8 hours to design their presentations! Not only this, but 41% of presentation creators find it challenging to find good visuals for their presentations.

On top of all the time you have to dedicate to presentation creation, there the other tasks you have to do on a daily or weekly basis. Now add in the pressure of meeting a deadline. All this is enough to make you feel overwhelmed and nervous.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to approach this challenging task. By hiring a virtual assistant who is proficient with using ChatGPT, you can create engaging, persuasive, and impactful presentations in no time!


How can ChatGPT help you create an attractive and impactful presentation for your business meetings?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model that is developed by OpenAI. It has emerged to become a popular and powerful tool that can understand and interpret human language. It has been trained on millions of examples of text and can generate responses that are similar to what a human would say.

Thus, ChatGPT offers a large number of benefits to the users. It is cost-effective, automated, and can be used at any time you need.

Image outlining the benefits of ChatGPT for creating presentations for your business and how hiring a virtual assistant can be helpful in this regard.

Image source

Today, this model is being used for a variety of purposes including, answering questions, aiding research, producing content, and creating presentations.

In this section, we will have a close look at how ChatGPT can help you create well-researched and impactful presentations for your business meetings.

Why do you need a virtual PowerPoint assistant for creating presentations with ChatGPT?

Image depicting the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for your company

1. Hiring a virtual assistant for creating your presentations will help you save time

Hiring a virtual assistant to create presentations can offer substantial time savings. Creating a quality presentation requires research, preparation, and design expertise that not everyone has. Thus, entrusting this task to a virtual assistant allows you to concentrate on other critical duties while still making sure that the presentation is done on schedule.

2. A VA will help you create attractive PPTs that are tailored according to your unique needs

Virtual assistants are highly adept at creating presentations that effectively communicate your desired message. They will work with you to gain an understanding of your objectives and then use ChatGPT to develop a presentation that meets your criteria. Through this process, a VA will ensure that your individual needs are met.

3. You can access their expertise and skills

Virtual assistants with expertise in developing presentations are aware of the most recent design trends, applications, and presentation practices. They know how to use various advanced tools like ChatGPT and other software applications and techniques to produce outstanding results. This guarantees that all your presentations are engaging, modern, and effective.

4. A VA will help you create professionally designed presentations

An experienced virtual assistant can help you make your presentation stand out with professional design and formatting skills. By utilizing their expertise, they can craft visually striking slides that are simple to comprehend and feature high-quality visuals, icons, and graphics.

5. Hiring a PowerPoint presentation assistant is cost-effective

Lastly, hiring a virtual assistant to create presentations can be a great cost-saving option, especially for small businesses and startups. Instead of bringing on a full-time presentation expert or designer, you can work with a virtual assistant on a project-by-project basis. In this way, you will only have to pay for what you need in terms of time and resources.


Are you ready to hire the best virtual assistant for PowerPoint presentations? Wishup can help!

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced virtual assistant that can meet the needs of your company, Wishup is here to help!

We are a reliable VA outsourcing agency that can help you find the best virtual assistants for your company. Our virtual assistants can specialize in different areas. From virtual marketing assistants to PowerPoint presentation assistants, we can help you find the most qualified and competent virtual assistant for your business.

Here are some of the reasons why you should choose Wishup as your virtual assistant agency:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. can chatgpt make presentations.

Yes, ChatGPT can help you create presentations that are both professional and visually appealing. Thanks to its advanced language processing capabilities and design software proficiency, it can provide content development, research, and editing services to ensure your message is effectively communicated in your PPTs.

2. What is the importance of having a virtual assistant?

Hiring a virtual assistant can be a great way to increase productivity, while also being cost-effective and flexible. With the right virtual assistant, you can gain access to the expertise you need without needing to hire additional staff. Moreover, this can help to improve your work-life balance, as you can offload some of your tasks to the virtual assistant, freeing up your personal time.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it! That was all about how a VA can help you create business presentations with the help of ChatGPT.

Overall, by utilizing a virtual PowerPoint assistant to develop presentations for your meetings with ChatGPT, you can benefit from saved time, professional design, tailored services, and cost-effectiveness. Doing so will ensure your presentations are of the highest quality, freeing up your attention for other important aspects of your business. Ultimately, hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to optimize your presentation needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us at Wishup to hire a remote assistant for presentation creation. Email us at [email protected] to learn more and book your free consultation today!

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10 Tips for creating an effective training presentation

Ximena Portocarrero

Creating a training presentation is not a simple task. Unlike your usual PowerPoints, a training deck should convey work-related information in a way that keeps your team engaged and creates a positive learning experience. Quite a challenge, if you ask me - especially in online environments.

That’s why today I’ve got a little help from the 24Slides presentation designers . They work on thousands of eLearning slides for companies every month, so they pretty much know what it takes to create an impressive training deck.  

By the end of this post, you’ll have learned:

Let’s begin!

how to make ppt effective

What's a Training Presentation?

A training presentation is a corporate learning material that helps build the right skills employees require to perform their jobs. For optimal results, ideal training presentations showcase the specialized knowledge in well-structured, easy-to-read slides, and encourage active participation during the whole learning experience.

To give you an idea, common training presentation topics include company policies, safety and health at work, cybersecurity, industrial processes , and more.

Why Should Businesses Provide Employee Training?

Employee training is a business investment, and as such, it’s normal for higher-ups to question whether some corporate learning and development activities are needed. However, as Henry Ford said, “ The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay! ”

And if that’s not enough reason, here are some long-term benefits you can list to show the value of employee training in your organization:

Now that we understand why staff training is important, let’s see how to create a good training presentation.

Top Tips for Creating an Effective Training Presentation

What we commonly call “effective presentation” is the right balance of two elements: the content you provide and how you deliver it. The first part is on your expertise and every piece of information you can share. But the second part is where the real magic happens .

How do you convey your knowledge? How can you make the online learning experience one to remember? Well, a lot relies on the way you present that information. In this section, we’re going to cover both sides through 10 training presentation tips:

#1 Showcase the knowledge of your company’s experts

Internal expertise is a top learning resource many companies fail to see. Just think about how much your sales head or finances specialist can say about the best practices and workflows from their respective areas. Or the industry trends and developments they experience in their day-to-day activities. You don’t need to look outside the office when you already have expert sources that can provide you with valuable know-how for your training slides.

how to make ppt effective

And don’t curb to technical topics. If the training is on leadership or negotiation skills, why don’t you invite a project manager or sales rep to talk about their experiences? This is a fantastic way to recognize employees as experts and promote team engagement at the same time.

#2 Use your visuals wisely

Visual content is ideal to catch your audience’s attention in a matter of seconds. Plus, studies confirm that visuals help process information faster and facilitate learning . However, this doesn’t mean we should plaster graphics and illustrations all over our slides. Instead, use your visuals strategically only for what’s relevant.

how to make ppt effective

It’s like highlighting a textbook. A mark signals the main idea from the hundreds of words in every chapter. But what’s the point if you’re going to highlight the entire page? It would lose its whole purpose!

As Benny Prasetyo, Design manager from 24Slides , says:

how to make ppt effective

So keep that in mind. Your images, icons, and other graphics are not merely decorative devices. They tell people where to look and have the power to amplify your key messages.

#3 Appeal to different learning styles

According to the VARK model , there are four main learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. And people tend to prefer one or two modalities over others. The good thing is that you can appeal to the four of them within your training PowerPoint presentation. Here’s how:

how to make ppt effective

how to make ppt effective

To sum this point up, add elements in your presentation that respond to the four learning styles, and you’ll get an immersive and more dynamic training session.

#4 Keep it real

Want to make your corporate training relevant to your team?

Include scenarios from real situations - extra points if these examples come from their actual work. Here’s the thing: People are more perceptive to things that make an impact on their lives. So, if you connect your session to what they go through in their daily tasks, you’re adding emotion and making your training 10x more relatable.

Ideally, your presentation gives solutions to an issue the business has identified. In this case, you need to explore a little: What has changed or happened in the company that employees require training? How’s the day-to-day of the areas involved? What’s the ideal scenario the company expects?

Now, use your findings to integrate realistic situations as examples or exercises that show trainees the value of your session. The key to an engaged and motivated audience is to keep things real.

#5 Make use of storytelling

Effective training is more than informative sessions. The real objective is to spur change. You want to take employees from point A to point B in their development, and one of the most powerful tools to inspire action is storytelling.

In a few words, storytelling is the art of using a story to communicate something. It might not sound like a big deal, but stories speak to the emotional side of humans, and that’s how you can start building a connection that makes every session memorable.

Some ways the 24Slides designers help incorporate storytelling into training presentations is through comics, animated slides, and PowerPoint illustrations.

how to make ppt effective

If you’re keen to challenge the status quo in your team, check out these 7 storytelling techniques to create a compelling training deck.

#6 Take every chance to engage with your audience

Getting active participants during online training is like finding the saint grail nowadays. With muted mics and off-cameras, sometimes you don't even know if someone is listening on the other side. But hang in there.

In this section, I will show you some interactive elements you can use to boost your audience engagement .

how to make ppt effective

Usually, the host would end the presentation with an “Any Questions?” slide, but what about you asking the questions? Inquiry your audience’s minds and create open questions for anyone to share their opinions. This is a good old trick with the potential to spark great-in-class discussions. You can even transform it into a gamified experience with slides like the one you see above.

Online audience engagement tools such as Slido , Mentimeter , or Kahoot make it super easy to create interactive quizzes and polls. The cool thing about them is that they give you a presentation code, which allows your audience to send their answers and see the team's results in real-time.

how to make ppt effective

But if you prefer a more traditional approach, there are PowerPoint slides that can do the trick too. Take this multiple-choice quiz template as an example. It comes with a wide array of designs to hold your participants’ attention while assessing their knowledge. You just need to insert questions and alternatives regarding your topic, and voilá!

how to make ppt effective

Self-assessment activities are a great way to engage with your audience - even when you’re not there to guide them! Here’s a creative quiz template in PowerPoint you can use to add fill-in-the-blank exercises, short-answer questions, and multiple-choice tests to your training deck.

#7 Brand your corporate training deck

Considering that training presentations talk to one of the company’s most important stakeholders (the employees), it should be a no-brainer to keep them on-brand.

how to make ppt effective

But it’s more than giving a professional look to your slides. Adding the company’s brand to training materials shows your team that you care. You’re making the same effort to deliver a polished product to them as the company does to the customers. And that speaks volumes!

Plus, keeping visual consistency across all materials helps your team become familiar with the brand and reinforce that they’re part of the company's activities.

We’ve got a whole article on why branding is essential in presentations , but at this point, it’s clear that spending some time on the aspect of your slides provides more benefits to the business than not. So, remember to inject the brand’s identity into your training decks.

how to make ppt effective

#8 Close with summary slides

How often have you seen participants more worried about taking notes from your slides than actually following your speech? This is a common situation in learning scenarios, and it’s not because your participants don’t care about what you’re saying. Quite the contrary, they want to take it all in.

how to make ppt effective

And you can make their learning experience easier by simply adding summary slides . These final slides contain the key points from your lesson and help viewers retain the essentials.

This way, you ship away your participants’ worry of missing something important, and you get another chance to reinforce your main messages. Everybody wins!

#9 Make your presentation accessible

“Accessibility” is a term that has gained popularity in the last few years, and it refers to the practice of ensuring people with disabilities can access the same information fully and independently as people without disabilities. This is extremely important in eLearning because you want everyone in the organization to benefit from your lessons.

For instance, employees with hearing difficulties might have a hard time watching an instructional video with no captions. Likewise, participants with visibility issues might need an easy-to-read font size in the slides or color contrast in your presentation visuals.

how to make ppt effective

If you want to start now, PowerPoint has an accessibility checker that gives you a detailed report on what you can do to improve your slides. To activate it, follow this route: File tab > Information > Check for issues (next to Inspect Document) > Check Accessibility

You might be surprised by all the details we take for granted, but they make a huge difference to people with different abilities.

#10 Don’t Underestimate The Power of Your Presentation Design

All these good practices confirm that a good design can enhance any corporate learning experience. It helps your employees better comprehend information. It signals the importance of each item in your slides and how they should be read. A good design provides structure and visual flow. And the list can go on, but I prefer you see for yourself.

Damilka Rojas, Design manager at 24Slides , gives us expert input on the right design approach for effective training presentations:

how to make ppt effective

Plus, many training slides are stand-alone materials with the task of conveying information without a live instructor. That’s when you can rely on a good design to deliver a coherent interpretation of your lessons.

Upgrade your training presentations today!

Now, it’s time to put these training presentation tips into practice. Whether you apply one or all of them together, I’m sure you’ll see a marked difference in your new slides. But if you have several presentations to upgrade or designing in PowerPoint is not exactly the most productive way to spend your time, let the 24Slides team handle it for you !

Our expert designers can create stunning slides to draw your audience’s attention while keeping the professional look your training decks deserve. They provide presentation design support to some of the biggest companies worldwide , so rest assured your slides will be in good hands. Ready to take your presentations to the next level?

how to make ppt effective

Create professional presentations online

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How to Make Good PowerPoint Slide Designs Even Better in 2021

Sven Lenaerts

Want to learn how to design PowerPoint slides? Great presentations are supported by a good PowerPoint layout. Most PowerPoint graphic design you see is rather invisible. When something is wrong with a slide design, you'll notice. 

In this PowerPoint design tutorial, we cover the basics of presentation design. It's a strong way to approach how to make a good PowerPoint presentation design. As you'll notice, subtle details go a long way. You'll learn:

We'll look at how you can apply all these techniques.

Are you looking to use ready-made presentation designs to shorten the process? I recommend checking out the ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">trending PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements. It can save valuable time when you need to get a beautiful presentation, done quickly. It also takes some of the guess work out of how to design PowerPoint slides. 

Ciri PowerPoint Template on Envato Elements

There are thousands of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">modern and attractive PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements. There are many more to check out on GraphicRiver too.

Now, let's dive into the principles of design. They are behind a ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">great PowerPoint presentation :

1. Visual Hierarchy

Any type of design starts with visual hierarchy. What exactly is visual hierarchy? This refers to the arrangement of elements in a way that it implies importance. You can influence how we perceive what we see with contrast.

The theory of visual hierarchy helps you define the structure of your PPT design slides. Good visual hierarchy assures that the right elements are catching your attention.

You can achieve visual hierarchy through several design techniques:

An example of visual hierarchy

The above concepts are known as adding visual weight to an element. How does this work in practice? How does this help us learn how to design PPT slides? 

Below, you see two slides with exactly the same copy. One's got no visual hierarchy applied. The other one uses simple color and typography. You'll learn more about later. It is used to apply visual weight.

The original slide without any visual hierarchy applied

Remember, some content will appear more important than other content. That's correct use of visual hierarchy. This is a principle you should use to your advantage. Ask yourself what needs to stand out in your presentation.

For Example

You're giving a financial presentation. You want your audience to recall that the third quarter performed poorly and why.

It's unrealistic is to believe your audience will recall exact data. A presentation gives a lot of information in a short time span. Unfortunately, the attention of people is quite brief. Focus on key messages and use visual hierarchy to make those ideas stick out.

2. Slide Layout Design

You can apply visual hierarchy to create effective PowerPoint slide designs. It's one of the corner stones of how to make a good PowerPoint design.

The trick is to understand what the most important message is. Through PowerPoint design principles, that this will be the content that people remember.

This goes further than just designing one slide. For example, you might have a few slides in a row about the same topic. But the final slide with the conclusion could be the slide to add that extra visual weight. For example, by adding an image for the first time or making the text bigger as usual. This is applying visual hierarchy to your slide layouts as well.

Effective PowerPoint Conclusion Slide Design with Clear Hierarchy Applied

One of the most effective presentation design tricks to apply is that less is more , in most cases. When you've got key statistics, the following method helps:

This is known as letting your design (and content) breathe. The idea you should keep in mind is that you should try and give your content (and thus your design) a hidden order.

Repetition is another trick to help you emphasize a key message. For example, try displaying a graph. Then try an individual statistic on two separate slides. This is a good example of effective repetition.

If you're looking for some inspiration for slide layouts, look at this collection of PowerPoint templates . Or dive into this curated selection of trending PPT presentation designs: 

how to make ppt effective

3. Typography

We can't discuss how to design PPT slides without talking about type. The right choice of typography goes a long way. It can really improve the design of your PowerPoint presentation.

A general lesson is this: good fonts are invisible. Bad typography choices are noticed straight away. For example, if your whole presentation has Comic Sans as a font choice, people will notice. When you notice a font, it's often because the legibility of the font is quite poor. If something is difficult to read, it requires much more attention from your audience.

Poor Font Choice in PowerPoint Presentation Design Slide

Traditional font choices are often the best to use for PowerPoint presentation design. Stick to Helvetica, Arial or Gill Sans, for example. Use the regular version for your body text and use the bold version for your title. Make your font size big enough to ensure readability (eg. 18pt) and make titles bigger (eg. 34pt).

Best Fonts for Good PowerPoint Presentation Design

It's also possible to mix fonts. When you're just starting out, I'd recommend keeping things simple. If you're curious, you could always try to search for good font combinations.

If you're intrigued by typography, there are plenty online resources to help you. I personally enjoy  Typewolf , for example.

The simple rule for typography is that solid typography goes unnoticed. Unnoticed typography means it's legible. Of course, typography is a way to customize a design and make presentations much more unique. But, when starting out, I recommend sticking to the basics.

Something else to think about is how much text you use on your slides. It's rarely useful to write down full sentences in presentations. It's much better to use bullet lists of key facts. Make sure that people are paying attention to you while you're giving your presentation. Remember our ' Improving our marketing ' slide? Let's clean that one up so you'll notice the difference.

Shortening Text in Our PowerPoint Slide Design

Color is an essential part of how to design a PPT slide. But color is a complex topic. A good understanding of the basics goes a long way. Understand that colors express a certain feeling, much like photography. Brighter, more vibrant colors often come across more playful. Darker colors often feel a little cooler (and more professional).

Notice how in the colors in this ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">PowerPoint template are playful and creative. If you dig further into the PPT download, there are some simple minimal slides and a darker set to work with as well.

Hornette PowerPoint presentation design template

The colors of your presentation design depend on the context. If you're making a professional presentation, you'll likely work with the colors of your brand. That makes presentation design much easier. I recommend sticking to brand colors instead of experimenting.

In other cases, you might have to choose colors from scratch. In that case, don't panic yet.

Looking for a quick trick? Try working with a single primary color (take blue for example). Then, work with greys as supporting colors (whites, greys, blacks). Use one or two colors. Keep the rest simple. Again, take a look at our marketing slide above for a good example!

If you're a little more daring, you can learn more about color theory. You could try complementary and contrasting colors, for example.

An easy way to get started with color is to use a resource such as Adobe Color . By browsing the 'Explore' section, you can discover wonderful color palettes. Another way to see some nice palettes is to use design sites as Dribbble or Behance . See what colors are being used as inspiration.

Adobe Color is an excellent resource to find good combinations of colors

You'd be surprised how some subtle elements can pack a lot of punch. They can really improve your presentation visually. Think about these important details:


A presentation wouldn't be complete without the use of photography. Photography is the easiest way to improve your PowerPoint presentation. A simple trick to improve the design of your presentation is to use high-quality stock photography. You can find thousands of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">gorgeous professional stock photos on Envato Elements.

Envato Elements Photos

Using premium stock photos such as those found on Envato Elements means your presentation will be unique. You won't be using the same old stock photography everyone else is using. You can find photos that match your brand. You can also find photos of landscapes, city or coffee vibes, office settings, and much more.

Or, if the budget is tight, consider using images from Unsplash . It's got free-to-use gorgeous photography. It feels much different from imagery used on other free stock  websites.

Another simple way to visually enhance your presentation is to use icons. Icons are great to use when you've got little text in your presentation and don't want to use photography.

Ideally, you use icons from a single icon kit. This assures that all icons do have the same style. What's excellent is that a lot of PowerPoint themes you can buy include an icon kit. If not, you can find ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">icon kits online  on marketplaces like Envato Elements or  ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">GraphicRiver .

A simple slide using icons in order to improve the design

When working with data, adding some type of chart can help in your presentation.

Charts as a design element are something to pay attention to, as it's easy to overwhelm your audience with a bunch of data. Here are some thoughts about using charts to your advantage:

Learn more about how to create charts in this PowerPoint design tutorial:

how to make ppt effective

Discover more helpful ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">infographic and data-driven PowerPoint presentation design templates : 

how to make ppt effective

If possible, adding some multimedia to your presentation can help in many ways. First, it makes your presentation feel interactive. An interactive element can help you explain what words and pictures can't. But don't forget what we've learned about how to make a good PowerPoint design. Fundamentals come before distracting extras.

Let's use a mobile app as an example. Displaying a video demo might be an intriguing option. You could show off features that way. 

Transitions and Animations

When thinking on how to design a PPT slide, you might consider animations. Transitions are often added to PowerPoint design elements.

The above is a little tricky. It's very easy to overdo animations and transitions. It can distract your audience. A good rule is that 80% of your presentation doesn't really need a transition or animation.

Only use transitions and animations where it matters. Use them to help your audience remember what you're saying. The principles of visual hierarchy apply here as well. 

Want to learn more about how to use animations in your PowerPoint presentation designs? Check out this PowerPoint design tutorial:

how to make ppt effective

How to Follow a Good PowerPoint Design Principles

So, let's use what we learned about how to design a PowerPoint presentation. We'll dive into how you can apply all the lessons above while working on a PowerPoint presentation design:

Step 1. Plan Your Content Before the Design

Content First Not Presentation Design First

Before you start working on the design of your PPT slides, think about your content. Consider your key messages . Ask yourself what your audience should remember after seeing your presentation. That's a big part of effective PowerPoint design.

Optimize your slides to support those key messages. Make sure that your content and your key message stands out. That's where all the above PowerPoint graphic design advice kicks in. 

In summary, start with your key message. The opportunity to design will follow. Learn more about the presentation writing process in this PowerPoint design tutorial: 

how to make ppt effective

Step 2. Now Begin With Presentation Design Basics

Once you've got your content is figured out, next you should define what the foundations of your slide design should be. Remember, this is a big part of how to make a good PowerPoint presentation design.

This is defined by your selection of  color and  typography . Pick a primary color and a font you'd like to work with and you're off for a good start.

Step 3. Collect Your Photography

You'll likely use some sort of photography (or other imagery) in your presentation. Start collecting images you like. Select them for your PowerPoint presentation once you start designing.

After you're all set with the above, start with the actual design.

Step 4. Define Your Slide Layout(s)

Finally, it's time to work on the layout of each individual slide. It's not necessary to create a unique layout for each slide, but some variety helps. Good PowerPoint design finds a balance. For a presentation of about 20 slides, I work on about six to eight layouts. I'll use them throughout my PowerPoint presentation design. For this presentation, for example, I've designed three layouts. You can see them below for some inspiration:

PowerPoint presentation slide design layout 1

A layout can be quite simple. For example, a simple title with a subtitle or a slide containing a photo. Or a layout can be complex. For example, combining some bullet points and a graph. A well designed PowerPoint is strategically designed.

The trick is to create enough layouts. Pay attention to the design of the slide layout individually.

Once you've designed all layouts, put your PowerPoint design together and see how your presentation flows. Make sure to practice your presentation at least once! Then, fine-tune your design and finish your presentation! 

How to Quickly Design Great Slides in PowerPoint With PPT Templates

Let’s work with a basic presentation. We can quickly turn it into a standout PowerPoint graphic design example. We'll use the help of a professional PPT template. 

I’ve designed a very basic presentation in PowerPoint that consists of five slides:

I’ll be using this ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">PowerPoint template . We'll customize the design of the basic presentation. 

Minimalism Clean PowerPoint template

Download the template above or follow along with your favorite premium template. These PowerPoint graphic design concepts will apply to any design. Let's get started:

Step 1. Find Slides You Want To Use 

The first step in the process is to find the slides you want to use to customize the template. The easiest way to do this is to switch to the Slide Sorter view. Delete any slides you don’t want by clicking to select them. Then, right-click on those slides and select Delete .

Selecting slides

Step 2. Customize Your Title Slide

The title slide is one of the most important slides in your presentation. When done right, it can pique the interest of your audience so it’s a good idea to make sure it captures their attention. As you can see from the screenshot below, my original slide uses a simple underlined title.

Plain title slide

I’ve customized the title slide so it includes a full-width photo. I’ve also changed the fonts. The result makes the slide title look more polished and professional. 

Customized title slide

Step 3. Layer Text and Images

Your presentation will have a variety of different slides. Some slides might be purely text based. Others might have a combination of text and images. Get creative and experiment with layering text over images. 

simple text slide

This template makes it easy to experiment. I’ve made it more visually interesting by playing with the text layout. I've also layered text over images. 

Layering text and images

Step 4. Break Away From the Grid

Chances are, you might use many photos on one slide. But that doesn’t mean you've got to place them side by side. 

Break away from the grid and place images in different positions. You can also break them apart with text. Your slides will be more interesting this way. That means your audience will be more engaged throughout the presentation. 

As you can see, I had a basic, grid-based slide with two images side by side.

Plain product slide

Here, I’ve made the product slide more interesting and engaging. Simply add some text between the images. 

a creative product slide layout

Step 5. Spice Up Text With Icons

Another way to spice up your text-based slides is to use icons. Icons are great visual cues that help us visualize important points. In the example below, I’ve used a text-based slide with a simple title and a plain bulleted list.

A plain text slide

I’ve made this slide more engaging by adding icons instead of bullet points. I've also tried rearranging the text to fit more points onto one slide.   

A text based slide with icons

5 Best PowerPoint Presentation Design Templates (for 2021)

A ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">premade PowerPoint template is a great time saver. You can find plenty of PowerPoint templates over on Envato Elements.

PowerPoint presentation design templates

Each of the PowerPoint templates features an attractive design. They come with premade slides. Many also include extra elements such as charts, icons, and graphs. It'll be an invaluable resource and help you make an effective slide design.

Take a look at the ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">best PowerPoint presentation design templates from Envato Elements.

1.  ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Nextar - Multipurpose PowerPoint Presentation Design Template

Nextar - Multipurpose PowerPoint Presentation Design Template

The Nextar template has a modern and trendy graphic design for PowerPoint. It comes with 30 unique slides and three premade color schemes. The template is versatile enough to be used in business or corporate presentations as well as webinars, pitch decks, and more. On top of that, the template's got image placeholders so all you've got to do is drag and drop in your images.

2. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Brusher - Trendy PowerPoint Presentation

Brusher - Trendy PowerPoint Presentation

The Brusher template is a trendy PowerPoint template. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to enhance your PowerPoint presentations with graphics. The template features bold brush strokes. You'll also get 120+ slides and five premade color schemes. It also includes image placeholders and creative illustrations.

3. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Native - Minimalist PowerPoint Presentation Design Template

Native - Minimalist PowerPoint Presentation Design Template

Try this template if you like a minimalist design style. This template is perfect for small businesses that want a clean presentation look. The template includes over 20 premade color schemes and 84 individual slides. The slides are animated, and you'll also get custom icons that you can use to improve your PowerPoint presentation.

4. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Mild - PowerPoint Presentation Template

Mild - PowerPoint Presentation Template

Consider this template if you want to use photos in your presentation design. The template includes image placeholders. You can easily replace them with your own photos. The template comes with a custom icon pack. It also has 35 premade slides as well as over 50 color schemes.

5. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Sprint - Bold PowerPoint Template

Sprint - Bold PowerPoint Template

This template features a bold and modern design. It's perfect for startups as well as established corporations. The template comes with 20 master slides. You'll also get matching charts, diagrams, tables, and other data visualization elements. This template is a perfect choice if you want to quickly design a PowerPoint presentation.

Find more great PowerPoint presentation design templates in this article:

how to make ppt effective

Discover More Great PowerPoint Templates

The templates above are just a small sample of what’s available on our marketplaces in terms of PowerPoint templates. To see even more great PowerPoint designs, check out the articles below: 

how to make ppt effective

5 Top Trends in PowerPoint Graphic Design

As you explore how to design in PowerPoint, you might wonder which aesthetic is best. PowerPoint design principles are in this article. But good PowerPoint design also requires sensitivity to your objectives. PowerPoint design elements should make sense. A good PowerPoint layout that looks great but doesn't relate won't succeed.

A well designed PowerPoint uses design principles to communicate. That's what makes an effective PowerPoint design. It looks good. It works well. It connects to the material. Consider how to design a PowerPoint presentation from this perspective.

Check out these design trends. They each use PowerPoint design principles in their own, strategic way. 

1. Use Color as a Consistent, Anchoring Element

It's a great idea to have variety, from slide to slide. This keeps things interesting. But too much variety can look chaotic. Color can act as a consistent element in our presentation.

Take a look at this premium PowerPoint template, below. Each slide layout varies quite a bit. One of the elements they all have in common is this bright, yellow color. It helps keep them looking like one, related presentation. 

powerpoint color

2. Visually Communicate Ideas With Infographics

Infographics are both trendy and a smart choice. It's one thing to hear facts. It's another to actually see them. Conveying data in more than one way can help with retention rates. It can also help further communicate the overall message behind the data. 

There's so many creative ways you can use infographics too. Use them for statistics. Try infographics for timelines and progress reports. 

powerpoint infographics

3. Experiment With Abstract Shapes

Abstract shapes have been quite trendy in PowerPoint template design. They work well in many different aesthetics too. This premium PowerPoint template uses bouncy, playful shapes. When paired with these muted colors, it makes for a friendly design. 

Abstract shapes also lend to make for a versatile aesthetic. The neutrality of abstract backgrounds and designs can work in so many scenarios. 

abstract powerpoint

4. Let Beautiful Photography Do the Talking

Large, high quality photos can be really communicative. This is particularly effective if you're sharing product photos or a portfolio. If your presentation or business is heavily reliant on visuals, consider pushing the photography. 

Keep in mind that your PowerPoint design elements shouldn't fight for attention. If the photo is the emphasis, then the other elements should support that. This means a large photo might warrant smaller text, for example.

powerpoint images

5. Try a Dark, High Contrast Aesthetic

Dark PowerPoint themes can be really trendy too. Doesn't this premium PowerPoint presentation look cool? Themes like this could be particularly well received in technology industries. There's a lot of potential for high energy and high contrast in an aesthetic like this one too. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for readability in this aesthetic. Too much contrast can be hard on the eyes. Check to make sure your content is easily legible for your audience.

dark powerpoint theme

The Best Well Designed PowerPoint Templates in 2021 (Envato Elements vs GraphicRiver)

There are so many good PowerPoint design templates on both Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. Both of them are an outstanding source for good PowerPoint layout design. But which one is best for your needs?

1. Key Benefits of Envato Elements

Envato Elements is a great choice if you're looking for a lot of content. One subscription gets you access to an entire library of content. You get unlimited downloads. 

That means you can download as many ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">PowerPoint design elements as you need. Download fonts, stock photos, graphics, and more. There's also thousands of PowerPoint templates to choose from. With unlimited downloads, you can download everything you need in one place, for one price.

well designed powerpoint

2. Key Benefits of GraphicRiver & Envato Market

GraphicRiver is a great choice if you're looking for a single file or single download. Choose from thousands of professionally designed assets. Only download what you need. Only pay for what you need.

Head to GraphicRiver and check out the huge selection of ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">PowerPoint design templates . There are many good PowerPoint layout designs to choose from.


Which One's Right for You?

If you use a lot of assets, Envato Elements is a great choice. You can get everything you need in one place, for one price. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Sign up for Envato Elements today , and take advantage of unlimited downloads. 

Envato Elements

Or, if you prefer single downloads, head over to GraphicRiver. It's easy to find what you need and download now. Download your perfect ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">PowerPoint design template today.

Common PowerPoint Questions Answered (FAQ)

As you explore how to design PowerPoint slides, questions may arise. Take a look at these answers to commonly asked design questions:

1. What's the Best Look for My PowerPoint Design?

This is a great question with a complicated answer. An effective PowerPoint design has a look that relates to the topic. Make sure your PowerPoint design elements relate. Visuals are very communicative. You can use them to support your narrative.

Want to learn more about visual communication and storytelling? Check out this free tutorial:

how to make ppt effective

2. How Can I Get Better at Typography? How Do I Choose Fonts?

Typography can be a complicated subject. It's a good idea to get yourself comfortable with the basics. But here are some quick tips to get you started. Think of it like a cheat sheet that you can rely on:

Want to learn more about typography? Check out this free guide:

how to make ppt effective

3. How Can I Design Good PowerPoint Layouts? 

We covered some great tips and tricks on layout design in this article. But there's plenty more to discover. If you feel stuck, remember these essential basics:

Learn more about great layout design in this free tutorial:

how to make ppt effective

4. How Can I Come Up With Creative PowerPoint Design Ideas?

Ideas can be one of the trickiest part of the design process. When in doubt, try some visual research. This can be as simple as looking at other designs. Note what works well in them. Think about what you can learn from them and try in your own designs.

If you're looking for design inspiration, check out these collections from Envato Tuts+. There's plenty to see and download. Besides, there's design tips you can try too.

how to make ppt effective

5. How Can I Learn More about Design Principles?

There's even more to learn about the principles of design. The best part is, these principles can apply to almost all types of design too. So, you can use this in your PowerPoint slide designs, business cards, stationery, and more. 

While the official list can vary, the principles of design generally include:

how to make ppt effective

More Great PowerPoint Tutorial Resources

Check out these Microsoft PowerPoint tutorials from Envato Tuts+. There are many resources to help take your PowerPoint skills further: 

how to make ppt effective

How to Learn PowerPoint Quickly (Complete 2021 Beginner's Guide + Video)

how to make ppt effective

25 PowerPoint Presentation Tips To Make Good PPT Slides in 2022 (+ Expert Tips)

how to make ppt effective

How to Work With Views in Microsoft PowerPoint

Make great presentations (free ebook download).

Take the tips you learned in this article further with our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations ( grab it now for FREE ) . 

It'll help walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

Learn How to Make Great Presentations free PDF download

Apply PowerPoint Design Principles to Your Next Presentation

That's it! We covered the basics of effective PowerPoint presentation design. You've just learned how design PowerPoint (PPT) slides. As a key takeaway, remember that good design is often subtle. The best design is typically invisible.

Instead of trying to design everything, keep it simple and focus on a process that works for you. For example, design a few layouts you could use. Only use animations where it makes sense. Keep your colors simple.

If you lack time, I recommend starting from a professional PPT template and customizing it to your needs.

how to make ppt effective

Here are some ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">excellent PowerPoint templates to look at on Envato Elements. Download unlimited presentation designs. Download web templates, and graphic assets for a single monthly fee. Or discover more ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">trending PowerPoint template designs on GraphicRiver. 

Designing is much easier if you don't make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself.

Editorial Note:  The tutorial was originally published in March of 2017. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special help from Brenda Barron and Daisy Ein .

Sven Lenaerts

how to make ppt effective

Create a presentation

Create a presentation in PowerPoint

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Create presentations from scratch or start with a professionally designed, fully customizable template from Microsoft Create .

Open PowerPoint.

In the left pane, select New .

Select an option:

To create a presentation from scratch, select Blank Presentation .

To use a prepared design, select one of the templates.

To see tips for using PowerPoint, select Take a Tour , and then select Create , .

Create new PowerPoint

Add a slide

In the thumbnails on the left pane, select the slide you want your new slide to follow.

In the  Home tab, in the  Slides  section, select  New Slide .

In the Slides section, select Layout , and then select the layout you want from the menu.

PowerPoint slide layouts

Add and format text

Place the cursor inside a text box, and then type something.

Select the text, and then select one or more options from the Font section of the Home tab, such as  Font , Increase Font Size , Decrease Font Size ,  Bold , Italic , Underline , etc.

To create bulleted or numbered lists, select the text, and then select Bullets or Numbering .

PowerPoint format text

Add a picture, shape, and more

Go to the  Insert  tab.

To add a picture:

In the Images section, select Pictures .

In the Insert Picture From menu, select the source you want.

Browse for the picture you want, select it, and then select Insert .

To add illustrations:

In the Illustrations section, select Shapes , Icons , 3D Models ,  SmartArt , or Chart .

In the dialog box that opens when you click one of the illustration types, select the item you want and follow the prompts to insert it.

Insert Images in PowerPoint

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Top Tips for Effective Presentations

Search SkillsYouNeed:

Presentation Skills:

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How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

This page draws on published advice from expert presenters around the world, which will help to take your presentations from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

By bringing together advice from a wide range of people, the aim is to cover a whole range of areas.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

1. Show your Passion and Connect with your Audience

It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous.

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through.

Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your Audience’s Needs

Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation.

As you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them.

While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that.

You need to make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your Core Message

When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question:

What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away?

You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly.

Some experts recommend a 30-second ‘elevator summary’, others that you can write it on the back of a business card, or say it in no more than 15 words.

Whichever rule you choose, the important thing is to keep your core message focused and brief.

And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and Make Eye Contact with your Audience

This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it.

If you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport , which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people.

To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start Strongly

The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it.

They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that on explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them.

Try a story (see tip 7 below), or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows

This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should:

This last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a bespoke handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell Stories

Human beings are programmed to respond to stories.

Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

Finding The Story Behind Your Presentation

To effectively tell a story, focus on using at least one of the two most basic storytelling mechanics in your presentation:

Focusing On Characters – People have stories; things, data, and objects do not. So ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story.

For example, instead of talking about cars (your company’s products), you could focus on specific characters like:

A Changing Dynamic – A story needs something to change along the way. So ask yourself “What is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it).

For example…

To see 15 more actionable storytelling tips, see Nuts & Bolts Speed Training’s post on Storytelling Tips .

8. Use your Voice Effectively

The spoken word is actually a pretty inefficient means of communication, because it uses only one of your audience’s five senses. That’s why presenters tend to use visual aids, too. But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively.

Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention.

For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking .

9. Use your Body Too

It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal.

That means that as well as your tone of voice, your body language is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage.

Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

If you find presenting difficult, it can be hard to be calm and relaxed about doing it.

One option is to start by concentrating on your breathing. Slow it down, and make sure that you’re breathing fully. Make sure that you continue to pause for breath occasionally during your presentation too.

For more ideas, see our page on Coping with Presentation Nerves .

If you can bring yourself to relax, you will almost certainly present better. If you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. Your presentations will improve exponentially, and so will your confidence. It’s well worth a try.

Improve your Presentation Skills

Follow our guide to boost your presentation skills learning about preparation, delivery, questions and all other aspects of giving effective presentations.

Start with: What is a Presentation?

Continue to: How to Give a Speech Self Presentation

See also: Five Ways You Can Do Visual Marketing on a Budget Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Typography – It’s All About the Message in Your Slides

Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will be going over several tips and tricks on how you can become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

Avoid unnecessary animations

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to building powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to compliment your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides bellow.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distracting from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Each slide should try and represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience in each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side into your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely taking in the information one way. So ask many them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allowing them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answer to audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engaging.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practicing of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

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How to Give a Killer Presentation

how to make ppt effective

For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:

According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.

Lessons from TED

A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”

The story was inspiring and worthy of the broader audience that our TED conference could offer, but on the surface, Richard seemed an unlikely candidate to give a TED Talk. He was painfully shy. His English was halting. When he tried to describe his invention, the sentences tumbled out incoherently. And frankly, it was hard to imagine a preteenager standing on a stage in front of 1,400 people accustomed to hearing from polished speakers such as Bill Gates, Sir Ken Robinson, and Jill Bolte Taylor.

But Richard’s story was so compelling that we invited him to speak. In the months before the 2013 conference, we worked with him to frame his story—to find the right place to begin and to develop a succinct and logical arc of events. On the back of his invention Richard had won a scholarship to one of Kenya’s best schools, and there he had the chance to practice the talk several times in front of a live audience. It was critical that he build his confidence to the point where his personality could shine through. When he finally gave his talk at TED , in Long Beach, you could tell he was nervous, but that only made him more engaging— people were hanging on his every word . The confidence was there, and every time Richard smiled, the audience melted. When he finished, the response was instantaneous: a sustained standing ovation.

Since the first TED conference, 30 years ago, speakers have run the gamut from political figures, musicians, and TV personalities who are completely at ease before a crowd to lesser-known academics, scientists, and writers—some of whom feel deeply uncomfortable giving presentations. Over the years, we’ve sought to develop a process for helping inexperienced presenters to frame, practice, and deliver talks that people enjoy watching. It typically begins six to nine months before the event, and involves cycles of devising (and revising) a script, repeated rehearsals, and plenty of fine-tuning. We’re continually tweaking our approach—because the art of public speaking is evolving in real time—but judging by public response, our basic regimen works well: Since we began putting TED Talks online, in 2006, they’ve been viewed more than one billion times.

On the basis of this experience, I’m convinced that giving a good talk is highly coachable. In a matter of hours, a speaker’s content and delivery can be transformed from muddled to mesmerizing. And while my team’s experience has focused on TED’s 18-minutes-or-shorter format, the lessons we’ve learned are surely useful to other presenters—whether it’s a CEO doing an IPO road show, a brand manager unveiling a new product, or a start-up pitching to VCs.

Frame Your Story

There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about . Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation.

Find the Perfect Mix of Data and Narrative

by Nancy Duarte

Most presentations lie somewhere on the continuum between a report and a story. A report is data-rich, exhaustive, and informative—but not very engaging. Stories help a speaker connect with an audience, but listeners often want facts and information, too. Great presenters layer story and information like a cake and understand that different types of talks require differing ingredients.

From Report . . .

(literal, informational, factual, exhaustive).

Research findings. If your goal is to communicate information from a written report, send the full document to the audience in advance, and limit the presentation to key takeaways. Don’t do a long slide show that repeats all your findings. Anyone who’s really interested can read the report; everyone else will appreciate brevity.

Financial presentation. Financial audiences love data, and they’ll want the details. Satisfy their analytical appetite with facts, but add a thread of narrative to appeal to their emotional side. Then present the key takeaways visually, to help them find meaning in the numbers.

Product launch. Instead of covering only specs and features, focus on the value your product brings to the world. Tell stories that show how real people will use it and why it will change their lives.

VC pitch. For 30 minutes with a VC, prepare a crisp, well-structured story arc that conveys your idea compellingly in 10 minutes or less; then let Q&A drive the rest of the meeting. Anticipate questions and rehearse clear and concise answers.

Keynote address. Formal talks at big events are high-stakes, high-impact opportunities to take your listeners on a transformative journey. Use a clear story framework and aim to engage them emotionally.

. . . to Story

(dramatic, experiential, evocative, persuasive).

Nancy Duarte is the author of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations , Slide:ology , and Resonate . She is the CEO of Duarte, Inc., which designs presentations and teaches presentation development.

We all know that humans are wired to listen to stories, and metaphors abound for the narrative structures that work best to engage people. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.

If you frame the talk as a journey, the biggest decisions are figuring out where to start and where to end. To find the right place to start, consider what people in the audience already know about your subject—and how much they care about it. If you assume they have more knowledge or interest than they do, or if you start using jargon or get too technical, you’ll lose them. The most engaging speakers do a superb job of very quickly introducing the topic, explaining why they care so deeply about it, and convincing the audience members that they should, too.

The biggest problem I see in first drafts of presentations is that they try to cover too much ground. You can’t summarize an entire career in a single talk. If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language that may make sense if your listeners are familiar with the subject matter but will be completely opaque if they’re new to it. You need specific examples to flesh out your ideas. So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time. Much of the early feedback we give aims to correct the impulse to sweep too broadly. Instead, go deeper. Give more detail. Don’t tell us about your entire field of study—tell us about your unique contribution.

A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.

Of course, it can be just as damaging to overexplain or painstakingly draw out the implications of a talk. And there the remedy is different: Remember that the people in the audience are intelligent. Let them figure some things out for themselves. Let them draw their own conclusions.

Many of the best talks have a narrative structure that loosely follows a detective story. The speaker starts out by presenting a problem and then describes the search for a solution. There’s an “aha” moment, and the audience’s perspective shifts in a meaningful way.

If a talk fails, it’s almost always because the speaker didn’t frame it correctly, misjudged the audience’s level of interest, or neglected to tell a story. Even if the topic is important, random pontification without narrative is always deeply unsatisfying. There’s no progression, and you don’t feel that you’re learning.

I was at an energy conference recently where two people—a city mayor and a former governor—gave back-to-back talks. The mayor’s talk was essentially a list of impressive projects his city had undertaken. It came off as boasting, like a report card or an advertisement for his reelection. It quickly got boring. When the governor spoke, she didn’t list achievements; instead, she shared an idea. Yes, she recounted anecdotes from her time in office, but the idea was central—and the stories explanatory or illustrative (and also funny). It was so much more interesting. The mayor’s underlying point seemed to be how great he was, while the governor’s message was “Here’s a compelling idea that would benefit us all.”

Further Reading

Storytelling That Moves People

As a general rule, people are not very interested in talks about organizations or institutions (unless they’re members of them). Ideas and stories fascinate us; organizations bore us—they’re much harder to relate to. (Businesspeople especially take note: Don’t boast about your company; rather, tell us about the problem you’re solving.)

Plan Your Delivery

Once you’ve got the framing down, it’s time to focus on your delivery . There are three main ways to deliver a talk. You can read it directly off a script or a teleprompter. You can develop a set of bullet points that map out what you’re going to say in each section rather than scripting the whole thing word for word. Or you can memorize your talk, which entails rehearsing it to the point where you internalize every word—verbatim.

My advice: Don’t read it, and don’t use a teleprompter. It’s usually just too distancing—people will know you’re reading. And as soon as they sense it, the way they receive your talk will shift. Suddenly your intimate connection evaporates, and everything feels a lot more formal. We generally outlaw reading approaches of any kind at TED, though we made an exception a few years ago for a man who insisted on using a monitor. We set up a screen at the back of the auditorium, in the hope that the audience wouldn’t notice it. At first he spoke naturally. But soon he stiffened up, and you could see this horrible sinking feeling pass through the audience as people realized, “Oh, no, he’s reading to us!” The words were great, but the talk got poor ratings.

Many of our best and most popular TED Talks have been memorized word for word. If you’re giving an important talk and you have the time to do this, it’s the best way to go. But don’t underestimate the work involved. One of our most memorable speakers was Jill Bolte Taylor , a brain researcher who had suffered a stroke. She talked about what she learned during the eight years it took her to recover. After crafting her story and undertaking many hours of solo practice, she rehearsed her talk dozens of times in front of an audience to be sure she had it down.

Obviously, not every presentation is worth that kind of investment of time. But if you do decide to memorize your talk, be aware that there’s a predictable arc to the learning curve. Most people go through what I call the “valley of awkwardness,” where they haven’t quite memorized the talk. If they give the talk while stuck in that valley, the audience will sense it. Their words will sound recited, or there will be painful moments where they stare into the middle distance, or cast their eyes upward, as they struggle to remember their lines. This creates distance between the speaker and the audience .

Getting past this point is simple, fortunately. It’s just a matter of rehearsing enough times that the flow of words becomes second nature. Then you can focus on delivering the talk with meaning and authenticity. Don’t worry—you’ll get there.

But if you don’t have time to learn a speech thoroughly and get past that awkward valley, don’t try. Go with bullet points on note cards. As long as you know what you want to say for each one, you’ll be fine. Focus on remembering the transitions from one bullet point to the next.

Also pay attention to your tone. Some speakers may want to come across as authoritative or wise or powerful or passionate, but it’s usually much better to just sound conversational. Don’t force it. Don’t orate. Just be you.

If a successful talk is a journey, make sure you don’t start to annoy your travel companions along the way. Some speakers project too much ego. They sound condescending or full of themselves, and the audience shuts down. Don’t let that happen.

Develop Stage Presence

For inexperienced speakers, the physical act of being onstage can be the most difficult part of giving a presentation—but people tend to overestimate its importance. Getting the words, story, and substance right is a much bigger determinant of success or failure than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous. And when it comes to stage presence, a little coaching can go a long way.

The biggest mistake we see in early rehearsals is that people move their bodies too much. They sway from side to side, or shift their weight from one leg to the other. People do this naturally when they’re nervous, but it’s distracting and makes the speaker seem weak. Simply getting a person to keep his or her lower body motionless can dramatically improve stage presence. There are some people who are able to walk around a stage during a presentation, and that’s fine if it comes naturally. But the vast majority are better off standing still and relying on hand gestures for emphasis.

How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea

Perhaps the most important physical act onstage is making eye contact. Find five or six friendly-looking people in different parts of the audience and look them in the eye as you speak. Think of them as friends you haven’t seen in a year, whom you’re bringing up to date on your work. That eye contact is incredibly powerful, and it will do more than anything else to help your talk land. Even if you don’t have time to prepare fully and have to read from a script, looking up and making eye contact will make a huge difference.

Another big hurdle for inexperienced speakers is nervousness—both in advance of the talk and while they’re onstage. People deal with this in different ways. Many speakers stay out in the audience until the moment they go on; this can work well, because keeping your mind engaged in the earlier speakers can distract you and limit nervousness. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor who studies how certain body poses can affect power, utilized one of the more unusual preparation techniques I’ve seen. She recommends that people spend time before a talk striding around, standing tall, and extending their bodies; these poses make you feel more powerful. It’s what she did before going onstage, and she delivered a phenomenal talk. But I think the single best advice is simply to breathe deeply before you go onstage. It works.

Nerves are not a disaster. The audience expects you to be nervous.

In general, people worry too much about nervousness. Nerves are not a disaster. The audience expects you to be nervous. It’s a natural body response that can actually improve your performance: It gives you energy to perform and keeps your mind sharp. Just keep breathing, and you’ll be fine.

Acknowledging nervousness can also create engagement. Showing your vulnerability, whether through nerves or tone of voice, is one of the most powerful ways to win over an audience, provided it is authentic. Susan Cain , who wrote a book about introverts and spoke at our 2012 conference, was terrified about giving her talk. You could feel her fragility onstage, and it created this dynamic where the audience was rooting for her—everybody wanted to hug her afterward. The fact that we knew she was fighting to keep herself up there made it beautiful, and it was the most popular talk that year.

Plan the Multimedia

With so much technology at our disposal, it may feel almost mandatory to use, at a minimum, presentation slides. By now most people have heard the advice about PowerPoint: Keep it simple; don’t use a slide deck as a substitute for notes (by, say, listing the bullet points you’ll discuss—those are best put on note cards); and don’t repeat out loud words that are on the slide. Not only is reciting slides a variation of the teleprompter problem—“Oh, no, she’s reading to us, too!”—but information is interesting only once, and hearing and seeing the same words feels repetitive. That advice may seem universal by now, but go into any company and you’ll see presenters violating it every day.

Many of the best TED speakers don’t use slides at all, and many talks don’t require them. If you have photographs or illustrations that make the topic come alive, then yes, show them. If not, consider doing without, at least for some parts of the presentation. And if you’re going to use slides, it’s worth exploring alternatives to PowerPoint. For instance, TED has invested in the company Prezi, which makes presentation software that offers a camera’s-eye view of a two-dimensional landscape. Instead of a flat sequence of images, you can move around the landscape and zoom in to it if need be. Used properly, such techniques can dramatically boost the visual punch of a talk and enhance its meaning.

Artists, architects, photographers, and designers have the best opportunity to use visuals. Slides can help frame and pace a talk and help speakers avoid getting lost in jargon or overly intellectual language. (Art can be hard to talk about—better to experience it visually.) I’ve seen great presentations in which the artist or designer put slides on an automatic timer so that the image changed every 15 seconds. I’ve also seen presenters give a talk accompanied by video, speaking along to it. That can help sustain momentum. The industrial designer Ross Lovegrove’s highly visual TED Talk , for instance, used this technique to bring the audience along on a remarkable creative journey .

Another approach creative types might consider is to build silence into their talks, and just let the work speak for itself. The kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin used that approach to powerful effect. The idea is not to think “I’m giving a talk.” Instead, think “I want to give this audience a powerful experience of my work.” The single worst thing artists and architects can do is to retreat into abstract or conceptual language.

Video has obvious uses for many speakers. In a TED Talk about the intelligence of crows, for instance, the scientist showed a clip of a crow bending a hook to fish a piece of food out of a tube—essentially creating a tool. It illustrated his point far better than anything he could have said.

Used well, video can be very effective, but there are common mistakes that should be avoided. A clip needs to be short—if it’s more than 60 seconds, you risk losing people. Don’t use videos—particularly corporate ones—that sound self-promotional or like infomercials; people are conditioned to tune those out. Anything with a soundtrack can be dangerously off-putting. And whatever you do, don’t show a clip of yourself being interviewed on, say, CNN. I’ve seen speakers do this, and it’s a really bad idea—no one wants to go along with you on your ego trip. The people in your audience are already listening to you live; why would they want to simultaneously watch your talking-head clip on a screen?

Putting It Together

We start helping speakers prepare their talks six months (or more) in advance so that they’ll have plenty of time to practice. We want people’s talks to be in final form at least a month before the event. The more practice they can do in the final weeks, the better off they’ll be. Ideally, they’ll practice the talk on their own and in front of an audience.

The tricky part about rehearsing a presentation in front of other people is that they will feel obligated to offer feedback and constructive criticism. Often the feedback from different people will vary or directly conflict. This can be confusing or even paralyzing, which is why it’s important to be choosy about the people you use as a test audience, and whom you invite to offer feedback. In general, the more experience a person has as a presenter, the better the criticism he or she can offer.

I learned many of these lessons myself in 2011. My colleague Bruno Giussani, who curates our TEDGlobal event, pointed out that although I’d worked at TED for nine years, served as the emcee at our conferences, and introduced many of the speakers, I’d never actually given a TED Talk myself. So he invited me to give one, and I accepted.

It was more stressful than I’d expected. Even though I spend time helping others frame their stories, framing my own in a way that felt compelling was difficult. I decided to memorize my presentation, which was about how web video powers global innovation, and that was really hard: Even though I was putting in a lot of hours, and getting sound advice from my colleagues, I definitely hit a point where I didn’t quite have it down and began to doubt I ever would. I really thought I might bomb. I was nervous right up until the moment I took the stage. But it ended up going fine. It’s definitely not one of the all-time great TED Talks, but it got a positive reaction—and I survived the stress of going through it.

10 Ways to Ruin a Presentation

As hard as it may be to give a great talk, it’s really easy to blow it. Here are some common mistakes that TED advises its speakers to avoid.

Ultimately I learned firsthand what our speakers have been discovering for three decades: Presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance, not speaking style or multimedia pyrotechnics. It’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. If you have something to say, you can build a great talk. But if the central theme isn’t there, you’re better off not speaking. Decline the invitation. Go back to work, and wait until you have a compelling idea that’s really worth sharing.

The single most important thing to remember is that there is no one good way to do a talk . The most memorable talks offer something fresh, something no one has seen before. The worst ones are those that feel formulaic. So do not on any account try to emulate every piece of advice I’ve offered here. Take the bulk of it on board, sure. But make the talk your own. You know what’s distinctive about you and your idea. Play to your strengths and give a talk that is truly authentic to you.

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How to Deliver Effective Presentations

Last Updated: January 24, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Maureen Taylor . Maureen Taylor is the CEO and Founder of SNP Communications, a leadership communications company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been helping leaders, founders, and innovators in all sectors hone their messaging and delivery for almost 30 years, and has worked with leaders and teams at Google, Facebook, Airbnb, SAP, Salesforce, and Spotify. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 19 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 568,593 times.

Delivering presentations is an everyday art form that anyone can master. To capture your audience's attention, present your information with ease and confidence. Act as if you are in a conversation with your audience, and they will pay attention to you. To get this level of fluency, write an engaging narrative, use more visuals than text in your slides, and practice, practice, practice.

Rehearsing Your Presentation

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Delivering Your Presentation with Confidence

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Crafting a Compelling Presentation

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Maureen Taylor

If you're worried about delivering an effective presentation, go over your notes again and make sure your presentation is telling a story with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This type of structure will make it easier for people to follow along, and when you finish your presentation, they'll be more likely to remember what it was about! If you're still unsure, try practicing in front of other people before the big day. By rehearsing your presentation in advance, you'll not only feel more comfortable when you present it in front of an audience, but you can also get helpful feedback from your peers to make your presentation even better. Alternatively, if you're feeling a little nervous, identify what exactly you're afraid of happening during your presentation, and then come up with a plan for each scenario so you're less stressed about it. For example, if you're worried about forgetting what to say next, you could make a list of all the important points you need to make and have it with you during your presentation. For tips from our Communications co-author, like how to appear confident during a presentation, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Updated: July 27, 2022

Published: March 18, 2022

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

marketers learning how to create a great powerpoint presentation

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Slide

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today..

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, and now that you know how to make one, you can delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

1. Open a blank presentation again or start from one you've already created.

If you've already created a presentation, double-click the icon to open the existing file. Otherwise, open Microsoft PowerPoint, click File in the top left corner, and click New Presentation . From there, you can follow the prompts to set up a new presentation.

2. Choose a theme or create your own.

Microsoft offers built-in themes and color variations to help you design your slides with a cohesive look. To choose from these pre-built themes, choose the File tab again, select New , choose one of the options, and click Create .

Otherwise, you can use PowerPoint elements, your design sense, and your brand's color palette to make your own "theme."

3. Create a variety of slides for different purposes.

You don't want to present the same exact slide, only with different content on it. This would bore your audience. Ensure that you create multiple variations, accommodating some of the common uses for slides. At minimum, you'll need:

4. Use the Duplicate Slides feature to save you time.

There's no reason to create these designs over and over again. Now that you have a few to draw from, you can simply duplicate them before inputting your content. Here's how to do that:

This will automatically add a copy of this slide to the presentation. From there, you can customize it for your needs.

5. Add transitions to your slides (optional).

Done well, transitions can add a little bit of movement and showmanship to your presentation. PowerPoint has several transitions built in for you to choose from.

To access them, select the Transitions tab from the top ribbon. From there, you can select a transition for it to preview on your screen. To customize it further, click Effect Options and play with the features to find something that suits your liking. To remove a transition, select Transitions and click None .

6. Add animations to your slides (optional).

Like transitions, animations can add movement, reveal information, and help you underscore the points you want to hit during your speech. To animate an element, follow these steps:

Some of the ways to customize animations include:

These describe how you want the effect to behave, so play around with them until you find an effect that suits your liking.

You'll also have the option to move animations around as you edit your slides by clicking on the Animation Pane button, then reordering the animations in the list that pops up.

7. Save your presentation.

Click File and Save , making sure to specify which folder or destination you want your PowerPoint to be stored. If you're using your slides for education or teaching, it could be beneficial to convert your presentation to an online course .

8. Run your presentation.

It's always good to do a trial run to ensure that your slides are set up properly and your animations fire the way you expect them to.

To present your PowerPoint, go to the Slide Show tab and click Play from Start. The slide will cover your whole screen, blocking out your desktop and PowerPoint software. This is so your audience (in this case, you for the trial run) is solely focused on the visual elements of your presentation.

9. Advance the slides.

When you're done with one slide and want to show the next in your sequence, click your mouse in presentation mode. This will advance the slide. 

PowerPoint Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Style

1. don’t let powerpoint decide how you use powerpoint..

Microsoft wanted to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. But this does not mean you should use them all. Here are some key things to look out for:

2. Create custom slide sizes.

While you usually can get away with the default slide size for most presentations, you may need to adjust it for larger presentations on weirdly sized displays. If you need to do that, here's how.

Tip : You can avoid a headache with the last step if you resize your slides before you add any objects to them. Otherwise, the dimensions of your objects will become skewed.

3. Edit your slide template design.

Often, it's much easier to edit your PowerPoint template before you start — this way, you don't have to design each slide by hand. Here's how you do that.

4. Write text with your audience in mind.

A significant part of a PowerPoint's content is text. Great copy can make or break your presentation, so evaluating your written work from a few different angles could make you seem more persuasive. Thinking about how your text is received differentiates good presenters from the best.


Many people underestimate the influence of typeface, but choosing the right font is important — the perception of your font type could influence your audience's impression of you. The right font is an opportunity to convey consistent brand personality and professionalism.

Some fonts are seen as clean and professional, but this doesn't mean they're boring. A common mistake is thinking your font isn't "exciting" enough, which could lead you to choose a font that distracts from your overall message. We recommend sticking to simple serif and sans-serif fonts . Avoid script fonts because of potential readability issues.

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

PowerPoint Design

6. use "format object" to better control your objects' designs..

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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How to make executive communications effective

Last updated on: février 7, 2022

Executives might be the most important channels of communication with both external and internal audiences.

As a leader, you are the face of your organization and a reflection of your brand. Therefore, everything you say and do carries immense weight (and consequences).

After all, research has found that CEOs’ observable personalities — including how they interact with the public and media — can negatively affect their company’s stock volatility.

So this article aims to help you understand the importance of executive communication.

Furthermore, it offers practical tips on how to improve it yourself, with examples from communication experts.

Let’s dive in.

how to make ppt effective

Table des matières

What is executive communication?

This type of organizational communication comes from the leadership or the executive team, i.e. from the top.

Executive communication can be:

Leadership communication is vital for any organization’s success. It’s more than a way to relay information and directions to your employees and outside parties.

As a leader, your words are far-reaching and often scrutinized. They have the power to influence, alienate, or open. That’s why you need to choose them carefully and deliberately.

If done correctly, executive communication can inspire and motivate.

On the other hand, if it goes badly, it can ruin the future of your organization, as well as your career.

That’s why many leaders have entire communications teams headed by executive communications managers.

They can work closely with executive coaches, media trainers, reputation specialists, and other experts to help tailor their message and align it with the brand.

Executive communication examples

We’ve asked communication experts to share stories from their professional experience working with leaders .

These stories illustrate the importance of effective executive communication, both internal and external.

🔸 Internally oriented executive communication example

The first example comes from Michael Toebe , Founder and Reputation Specialist at Reputation Quality.

how to make ppt effective

“A client once wondered how to best conduct internal communications after a media story that didn’t paint this executive in the most favorable light. 

He was caught up in ego, victimization, and defensiveness, all very natural reactions when feeling attacked and embarrassed. He was able to see the gap between what his people might think of him and how he wanted them to view him. He knew the only way to accomplish the latter was to show courage in communication — often a difficult, unwanted ‘ask’ of executives. 

After some painful deliberation, he stepped into his conflict and communicated with poise, transparency, humility, responsibility, and remorse, owning his errors and shame, and detailing what specific action he would take to correct it and not repeat it in the future. It was well-received because this approach is so very rare in leadership communication.”

🔸 Externally oriented executive communication example

We were provided the following example by Julie Livingston , PR and Integrated Marketing Expert and Owner at WantLeverage Communications, a PR and integrated marketing consultancy.

how to make ppt effective

“In order to maintain transparency with the media and key targets during a major industry crisis — millions of product recalls of children’s products — I had prepared an executive spokesperson of an industry association for an interview with Good Morning America.

The producer had, as requested, provided questions in advance which provided an opportunity for us to review and prepare our responses. As this was a crisis situation, I prepared the spokesperson for any curveball questions. Unfortunately, the interview quickly changed course and turned into an interrogation. It became a situation where the reporter had a specific story in mind — to vilify the industry and spokesperson for the product recalls — without really hearing the other side of the story.

Yet, because of the intense preparation — we did review key messages and prepare a variety of responses — the spokesperson remained calm and focused. Even as he pressured her, she remained steady and continued to revert back to the messages we had to share with the audience. These included the proactive measures that the industry association and one of its members were taking to rectify the crisis at hand to make sure that children were safe. Not all of our messages made it into the final edited interview, but the pre-interview preparation made a huge difference in the ability of the spokesperson to maintain composure under fire.”

Why is executive communication important?

The examples above showcase some of the benefits of effective executive-level communication. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at those benefits.

✅ Effective executive communication builds trust

Trust is the key ingredient of any successful organization. Research shows that 55% of leaders believe a lack of it directly threatens their company’s growth.

The best way to build trust from the top down is through practicing transparent communication and taking responsibility.

As we have seen from the first example above, the executive regained the trust of his employees when he accepted accountability. Moreover, he embraced a transparent approach to addressing the issue in question.

Had there been radio silence after the incident, or worse, an attempt at a cover-up, the executive would have further perpetuated the issue. This way, he would have completely lost the already fragile trust of his employees.

✅ Effective executive communication boosts engagement

Experts agree that communication is at the core of employee engagement . It’s what keeps the company up and running.

While it’s important that employees communicate among themselves, there also need to be channels for regular communication with the higher-ups. One Gallup research shows that managers can make up to a 70% difference in employee engagement.

It’s clear that a lot of motivation and morale comes from the top down . By regularly communicating with employees, executives nurture a healthy company culture and inspire employees to make an effort.

As in the first example above, executives can also reassure their employees through effective communication in difficult situations. This way, they keep their minds at ease and allow them to stay engaged even in a crisis.

✅ Effective executive communication improves team agility

Gone are the days of siloed organizations where executives can stay in their leadership bubble and rely on trickle-down communication.

Today, effective leaders tailor their messaging to make sure it reaches everyone, no matter their position within the organization. They no longer rely on direct reports to disseminate information.

This way, not only do executives take direct responsibility for their decisions and actions, but they also speed up company processes and improve overall efficiency and agility .

With team chat apps such as Pumble , this cross-functional communication is made easy. All the executive needs to do is consider whom they want to reach and pick the right channel or ping the appropriate user group .

This way, executives also don’t have to wait on their direct reports to deliver a vital piece of info from a specific person in a specific department. They can simply ask for it in the team messaging app and receive an answer directly and immediately.

Pumble allows for swift and direct executive communication with the relevant employees

✅ Effective executive communication is crucial for building a brand image

The voice of the CEO, president, VP, or another public-facing person in the leadership team is the voice of the brand.

It should be at the helm of the company’s PR and marketing efforts and align with them to create a uniform brand voice. This voice dictates how the public perceives your company and its values.

As the example of externally oriented executive communication above shows, it’s not about preparing a word-for-word speech for the public. It’s about working with the communications team to internalize the brand voice and message you want to present to the world.

Had the executive spokesperson only prepared the exact answers to the provided questions, she would have cracked under pressure when the interview took a different turn.

Instead, her communications consultant helped her prepare the general message she wanted to project on behalf of the brand. This framework allowed her to stay on track despite the hostility of the reporter.

So executive communication is essential in building and nurturing brand credibility by projecting a unified message based on the core company values.

✅ Effective executive communication is vital for crisis management

The voice of the company executives is never quite as important as in crisis management . The role of effective communication from the top in times of crisis is pivotal for successfully weathering the storm.

Both examples above show the importance of maintaining composure under pressure in crisis management . And effective communication is essential for achieving that.

In the first example, the executive handled the tricky situation with poise and honesty, winning over his employees.

In the second one, the executive spokesperson remained composed under pressure and managed to avoid a potential PR catastrophe.

It’s a great idea to anticipate such situations and have a plan in place on how to handle internal and external communication in times of crisis.

💡 Pumble pro tip

We have a detailed guide on how to create a crisis communication plan with a bunch of general and specific templates you may find handy:

Tips for improving executive communication

As you can see, leadership communication has the power to make or break your business.

But, if you’re lacking in this department, there’s no need to worry, as effective communication can be learned.

Here are some tips to improve executive communication.

1️⃣ Develop executive communication skills

Effective communicators rely on a variety of soft skills in different situations. However, some of these skills are must-haves for leaders .

They include the following:


Active listening, the ability to choose the appropriate style.

When we asked Micheal Toebe about the essential executive communication skills, he said the following:

“It’s vitally important to communicate with poise, transparency, directness, an eye on the objective, humanity, and compassion. Don’t speak in a robotic, corporate-speak manner or your audience will likely listen less effectively and not be as influenced or persuaded well.”

No matter how skilled an orator you are, people can smell dishonesty from a mile away. So you can wrap it up and put a bow on it, but if you’re not being transparent and direct, no one will care .

Transparency fosters trust, and trust is the cornerstone of lasting success, both internally and externally.

Transparent communication is important for the free flow of information and trust, but it also makes you a lot more likable in the eyes of your audience, no matter who they are.

Getting lost in the rhetoric is not a great way to steer your communication efforts. You need to communicate with clarity and provide all the information your audience needs to know.

Be as specific as you can so that everyone can understand your message, intentions, and goals.

how to make ppt effective

“Lead through questions and don’t manage through statements.”

This is the number one tip for effective executive communication Peter Boolkah , Business Coach at Forbes, shared with us.

When we asked him about the most important executive communication skill, his answer was straightforward:

“The ability to listen and ask questions without passing judgment. Too many executives don’t listen and just give out commands.”

The message is clear: listen before you speak.

If you perfect the art of active listening, you can better calibrate your messaging as well. By lending an ear to your employees and asking for regular upward feedback , you can learn a lot of things:

The same goes for external communication. You should always listen to what the public has to say about you, analyze the general sentiment, and fine-tune your message accordingly.

You may have a preferred communication style , but as a leader, you also need to be able to switch between different styles according to the occasion .

Everyone communicates in different ways, and people respond differently to different stimuli. Likewise, different groups respond well to different styles.

For example, you will probably use one style to share good news with your staff and another to make an announcement on a TV news channel. In the former case, you can be more informal and laid-back than in the latter.

If you want to know more about various leadership communication styles, you can read up on them in our comprehensive guide:

Research shows that empathy may be the single most important leadership skill in today’s world .

By showing empathy, you:

Empathy also makes everything you say sound more genuine because — well, because it is. If you’re whole-heartedly behind the message you’re delivering, people will see that you care.

2️⃣ Know your audience

Before you can find the best way to present your message, you first need to be thoroughly familiar with your audience.

Here’s what Mr. Toebe has to say about the importance of knowing your audience:

“What are the objectives you wish to accomplish? What matters to your audience and what would be beneficial to them that you can convey that will help you and the organization achieve the desired agreement, action, progress, and goal? Focus on the relationship with the audience and their psychology and human needs. If you think that’s not important, you’re handicapping yourself, your communication, and what you hope to accomplish.”

So it’s not only about what you want to convey, but you also need to think about who you want to convey the message to. That will help you determine your approach.

3️⃣ Think about how your brand fits the context

Whenever you’re entering a communication situation , you need to think about how your personal and professional brand fits in the given context .

How do your core values and goals correspond to the subject matter or message at hand?

What preconceptions does the audience have about you?

Why do they have them?

What are the interests of your audience/interlocutors?

Understanding the context around the communication situation will help you respond well, even to unexpected challenges or unpleasant surprises.

For example, if a reporter is giving you a hard time, you’ll know where the antagonism is coming from. This way, you’ll be able to respond carefully with the subtext in mind and not risk unwittingly saying something that might put you in an unfavorable position.

4️⃣ Communicate regularly

Whether it’s internally or externally oriented, executive communication needs to be consistent — not just in terms of messaging, but also in regularity.

With that in mind, it’s a great idea to have an executive communication plan and stick to it.

➡️ Internally oriented executive communication plan

So how do you prepare this plan?

In essence, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

However, based on his professional experience spanning decades, Peter Boolkah proposes a simple solution that works extraordinarily well for his clients:

“Just follow a simple communication rhythm. I like the system used in ‘Scaling Up’ by Verne Harnish. Have daily and weekly huddles followed by monthly, quarterly, and yearly offsite meetings where goals and commitments are regularly reviewed.”

Here’s a breakdown of the basic meetings structure Verne Harnish presents in his book Scaling Up :

If you want to take a more detailed approach to internal communication, we have plenty of templates to help you tailor your approach depending on the situation:

➡️ Externally oriented executive communication plan

In preparation for externally oriented communication, executives often rely on the assistance of communications professionals to help them prepare a strategy.

Julie Livingston has shared with us a formula that, in her professional experience, works best for her clients:

“As a communications professional, my job is to build a relationship so that person will feel comfortable and confident in sharing ideas and reaching out to me for counsel. Therefore, the starting point for writing an executive communications plan is getting to know the executive and building trust. What is her/his personality like? What does the organization wish to accomplish? How can I help her/him to shine? What subjects does s/he have a track record in? What are the issues s/he would prefer to avoid?

In preparation, I will spend time looking at their past media appearances, town halls, speaking engagements as well as their social media, especially LinkedIn. I’ll closely analyze their messaging, oft-used phrases and tone as well as their facial expressions and body language. I’ll share what I think they excel at and areas we could strengthen by working on them together.

Then, I’ll sketch out an annual plan designed to build momentum and hit specific milestones throughout the year. This will include monthly and quarterly goals and activities. We’ll also establish success metrics such as brand positioning, key message replay, tone, etc. so we can analyze program results.”

Her approach is thorough and leaves no room for error, as any public-facing mistake can spiral into a PR disaster.

5️⃣ Use appropriate communication channels

Take the time to evaluate the communication channels matrix in your organization and if it’s effective.

Pay close attention to the channels you’re using to communicate with your employees and managers.

This is especially important if you’re running a remote or hybrid team.

You need to think about the best channels for specific purposes.

For example, what will you discuss in meetings and what issues can you leave out for the team chat?

What’s the most effective way to break out announcements?

What does your feedback system look like, and does it need revision?

Ask these questions when reviewing your communication channels and find the flaws in your system.

You can create an internal communication channel matrix plan so that everyone in the organization knows how to use the available channels the best way. You can find the appropriate temple in our guide on internal communication planning:

6️⃣ Take executive communication training

Ultimately, it can’t hurt to brush up your communication skills and work with professionals to build up your confidence.

There are various executive communication courses you can take either in person or online at your own convenience.

Even if you consider yourself a skilled communicator, you might get some fresh ideas and insights from this kind of course.

Wrapping up: Successful executive communication can help your company soar

As a leader or a part of the executive team, you need to be careful with your communication efforts, whether they are internal or external.

Successful executive communication can help you grow your business, but the opposite can hurt your brand.

Hopefully, our tips will help you develop a sound communication strategy that will take your brand to the next level.

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Andjela is currently Content Manager at Plaky, but she used to be a Pumble communication author and researcher. She has years of experience in content writing and editing and a BA in English. Andjela loves reading through the latest research in the field of workplace communication and sharing insights with the world.

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