The key to creating an effective slideshow, however, is to remember that it’s a visual supplement to your spoken presentation. The slideshow is there to reinforce the points you’re presenting; a slideshow isn’t a presentation on its own.
Here are a few tips and tools for building an effective slideshow that is memorable, credible, and engaging.
Tips for Building an Effective Slideshow
Keep text to a minimum
First and foremost, slideshow presentations must be visually engaging. This means including high-quality images and graphics wherever you can. Slides that have too much text are difficult to read; your audience doesn’t want to read paragraphs of text. Instead, use easily digestible bullet points or short sentences to outline the topic and elaborate on each of them during your speaking points. For example, using a graph or chart to present data is stronger and more effective than listing the numbers or facts.
Consistency is key
While each slide in your deck will have different content and points, they should all look cohesive. Make sure you’re using the same colors, fonts, and design throughout the presentation. Some tools make this easier by offering pre-made themes to use, but you can easily duplicate each slide and input different content into each one. Keep your presentation clean, simple, and easy to follow to ensure that your audience can grasp the ideas being presented.
Your slideshow is a tool to help you present your information. Throughout your presentation you should be able to refer to your slideshow to help reinforce your points, but you shouldn’t rely on your slideshow to make those points for you. When building each slide, make sure you’re designing it to help you get your points across and allowing yourself to engage with the slides rather than rely on them.
Best Presentation Tools
A twist on traditional presentation tools, Prezi is a modern way to showcase information. Rather than using slides, with Prezi you can incorporate animations and a nonlinear design to build an interactive presentation. While Prezi makes it easy to infuse creativity and engaging content, it can also be all too easy to go overboard.
If you’re using Prezi for your presentation, make sure all of the designs and animations are necessary and add to your points rather than distract. Think of it like cooking -- adding too many spices can result in an overpowering dish that will take away from the main flavor.
The same goes for Prezi. Use it to add just enough spice to make the presentation memorable and exciting without overwhelming your audience.
Working on a team presentation? Google Slides makes collaboration easier than ever. Part of Google’s suite of web-based services, Google Slides is available to anyone with a Google account.
If there are multiple people contributing to this presentation, each person can have access to the slide deck and simultaneously edit and add to the slides.
Tried and true, Microsoft Powerpoint has long been the go-to tool for creating effective slideshow presentations. Powerpoint is often seen as the industry standard when presenting business information and is a seamless way to create a traditional slideshow.
Like other presentation tools, Powerpoint offers templates as well as animation features. But in order to create an effective slideshow, strive to keep your Powerpoint presentation clean, cohesive, and focused for the best results.
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