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PowerPoint vs Other Presentation Tools: Which is Right for You?
When it comes to creating impactful presentations, there are numerous tools available in the market. However, one of the most popular and widely used applications is Microsoft PowerPoint. While PowerPoint has been the go-to choice for many professionals and educators, it’s important to consider other presentation tools as well. In this article, we will compare PowerPoint with other presentation tools to help you decide which one is right for you.
PowerPoint: The Classic Choice
Microsoft PowerPoint has been around since 1987 and continues to dominate the presentation software market. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that make it ideal for creating visually appealing slideshows. With its user-friendly interface, anyone can quickly learn how to use it effectively.
One of the key advantages of PowerPoint is its compatibility with various operating systems, including Windows and Mac. This means you can easily create presentations on one device and present them on another without any compatibility issues.
PowerPoint also provides a vast library of templates, themes, and design elements that allow users to create professional-looking presentations in no time. It offers a plethora of customization options, allowing you to tailor your slides according to your specific needs.
Prezi: The Dynamic Alternative
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that takes a different approach than traditional slide-based tools like PowerPoint. Instead of using slides, Prezi allows users to create dynamic presentations on a virtual canvas where they can zoom in and out and navigate through content freely.
This unique feature makes Prezi an excellent choice for storytelling or when you want to present information in a nonlinear format. It enables presenters to create engaging visuals that captivate their audience’s attention from start to finish.
Additionally, Prezi offers seamless collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same presentation simultaneously. This makes it an excellent choice for teams or individuals who need real-time collaboration capabilities.
Google Slides: The Collaborative Solution
Google Slides is a web-based presentation tool that is part of the Google Workspace suite. Similar to PowerPoint, it offers a range of features to create visually appealing presentations. Its intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools make it accessible to users of all skill levels.
One of the standout features of Google Slides is its collaborative capabilities. Multiple users can work on a presentation simultaneously, making it ideal for team projects or remote collaboration. It also allows for real-time commenting and editing, ensuring seamless communication among team members.
Another advantage of Google Slides is its integration with other Google Workspace apps such as Google Docs and Sheets. This integration allows users to import data directly from these apps, saving time and effort when creating presentations.
Keynote: The Mac-Friendly Option
If you are an Apple user, Keynote is the presentation software designed specifically for you. Keynote offers a sleek and modern interface with powerful tools that allow users to create stunning presentations effortlessly.
One of the key advantages of Keynote is its seamless integration with other Apple devices and software. You can easily create presentations on your Mac and present them using your iPhone or iPad without any compatibility issues.
Keynote also provides a wide selection of pre-designed templates that cater to various presentation styles. Additionally, it offers advanced animation and transition effects that can enhance the visual appeal of your slideshows.
Choosing the right presentation tool depends on your specific needs and preferences. PowerPoint remains a solid choice for its versatility, while Prezi offers a dynamic alternative for nonlinear storytelling. Google Slides excels in collaborative capabilities, especially for remote teams, while Keynote provides an excellent option for Apple users seeking seamless integration across devices.
Consider the features, ease-of-use, collaboration options, and platform compatibility when deciding which presentation tool suits you best. Ultimately, selecting the right tool will empower you to create impactful presentations that engage and impress your audience.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]
Published: August 16, 2023
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.
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 Presentation
- Presentation Tips
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.
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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.
A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.
1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.
If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.
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:
- Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
- Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
- Choose the type of alignment you'd like.
Here’s how to align objects to the slide:
- Select Align to Slide .
- Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .
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:
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:
- Adjusting text inside a shape.
- Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
- Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.
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.
- Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
- Union makes one completely merged shape.
- Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
- Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
- Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.
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:
- Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
- Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.
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:
- Download and save the GIF you want.
- Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
- Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
- From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
- Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
- It will play automatically the moment you insert it.
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:
- Limit bullet points and text.
- Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
- Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
- Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.
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:
- Open up your presentation.
- On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
- Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
- Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.
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:
- Go to File , then click Save as …
- In the pop-up window, click File Format.
- A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
- Click Export .
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:
- Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
- Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).
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:
- Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
- Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
- Go to File , then Import slides .
- A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
- Select your presentation and click Open .
- Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
- Click Import 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.
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.
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Creating Effective Powerpoint Slides
Plan: look at the big picture.
- Create Slides
Keep It Simple and Clear
- Design Principles
- Have a Back Up Plan
A good PowerPoint slideshow complements your presentation by highlighting your key message, providing structure, and illustrating important details.
While it is not difficult to create a good PowerPoint presentation, it is very easy to create a bad one. Bad PowerPoint presentations may have one or more of the following characteristics: too much specialized detail, too many slides, too many colours, unnecessary images or effects, small text, unreadable figures, and/or unclear slide order.
The strategies below can help you to create effective presentations and to save your audience from “death by PowerPoint.”
- Plan: Plan your talk first (see Academic Skills Oral Presentations) and then plan your PowerPoint to accompany your argument and evidence.
- Audience: Who is in your audience and what do they know about the material? What do you want them to learn? Consider your overall argument and evidence that you want to present.
- Purpose: Define the goals, topic and appropriate depth and scope of information.
- Presentation Length: Know the time available for your presentation. Be realistic about how much material you can cover as it is important that you keep within your time limit. Follow the general rule of thumb: You need about one slide per minute.
You are now ready to create individual slides. If you have never used PowerPoint before, you can find hundreds of good tutorials online. Find one that works for you.
The classic PowerPoint error is to write sentences on a slide and read them. Rather than treating your slides as a script for your presentation, let the content on your slides support your message. Remember: LESS IS MORE .
- Where possible, include a heading for each slide
- Use bulleted points and avoid long sentences (it is often suggested that you include no more than 6 lines per slide or 6 words per line)
- Font size: 30 - 48 point for titles, 24 - 28 for text
- Avoid all capital letters
- Proofread carefully for spelling and grammar
Figures and Images
- Ensure images are clear and relevant
- Label all figures and tables
- Put units beside numbers on graphs and charts
General Design Principles
- Embrace empty space
- Use vertical and horizontal guide markers to consistently align elements
- Avoid too many colours, clutter or fancy visual effects
- Use high contrast to ensure visibility: e.g. Black text on white background or black on light blue
- Maintain consistency of the same elements on a slide (colours, fonts, styles, placement etc.), as well as, between slides in the slide deck
- Use animation sparingly, if at all. If you use transitions, use the same kind each time
- Edit entire slide deck to ensure organization is logical and design is consistent
Even with the best of PowerPoints, good presentations require practice and refinement Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Listen for awkward or unclear wording and make edits as needed. Keep an eye on time limits. Practice presenting alone, but also for friends.
Advance the slide when you reach that point in the presentation. Do not stand in front of the screen or talk to it. Face the audience at all times.
Try to test your presentation in the room before your talk; you may need to adjust the colours or font size for the room and equipment. For further information, see How to Prepare and Deliver an Oral Presentation .
Have a Back-Up Plan
Remember that PowerPoint may look great, but technical failures do happen. Mentally prepare for any eventuality. Make sure to save the presentation several ways: save on a USB stick and email it to yourself. Print out the slides to have a paper version in case of equipment failure and practice giving your presentation without your slides.
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How to Give a Killer Presentation
- Chris Anderson
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:
- Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
- Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
- Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
- Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
- Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).
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.”
- CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
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10 Good PowerPoint Presentation Examples
A PowerPoint presentation stands out when it grabs the audience’s attention. With the help of these good PowerPoint presentation examples, you can create PPTs like never before. These examples showcase innovative designs, engaging visuals, and effective storytelling techniques that captivate viewers.
Engaging presentations are the secret sauce of effective communication, bringing life to ideas and transforming information into inspiration. They are the heartbeat of any memorable message, connecting with your audience. With the power to captivate, educate, and motivate your audience, a good PowerPoint presentation can turn complex ideas into easy-to-understand visuals.
An engaging PowerPoint presentation perfectly blends content, design, and to-the-point information. The visual appeal of a presentation can significantly shape perceptions of credibility, commitment to a project, and relatability. Therefore, in a world full of dull and monotonous presentations, we have curated a list of good PowerPoint presentation examples for you to take inspiration from and make your next presentation stand out.
What Makes A Good PowerPoint Presentation?
To create the best presentation, we all can go overboard with numerous designs and template options in PowerPoint. Having a variety of choices, like colors, formats, visuals, and fonts, is a creative opportunity. However, being selective is vital because not all design choices lead to success and make for good presentation examples .
There’s no one correct way to design your next PowerPoint presentation, but some good and bad presentation example designs are more effective than others. While a bad presentation can give off an unprofessional look, a good one can visually establish your brand and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Let’s look at some of the really good PowerPoint presentation examples that will help you up your presentation game:
- Limited text
- Less or minimal transitions and animations
- Cohesive color pallet
- Keeping contextual graphics
- Customized illustrations
- Use no font size smaller than 18 point
- Logical flow of content
- Effective use of bullet points
- Proper symmetry between different paragraphs and pointers
- Having an engaging summary with a clear Call to Action
Limited text in a PowerPoint presentation works wonders, transforming it into an engaging and crystal-clear presentation. Less is more when it comes to text on slides. Keeping your content concise allows your audience to focus on your message instead of squinting at paragraphs of information.
A slide with a striking image or a single impactful phrase instantly grabs attention and conveys your point. Using this approach makes your presentation look great and helps your audience remember key takeaways, which is one of the best examples of a good PowerPoint presentations.
PRO TIP: The golden rule of holding audience’s attention is using 30 words per slide or a minimum of 6-8 lines on each slide to help create a seamless flow where graphics complement your spoken words.
Best PPT Presentation Example with Limited Text:
Good PowerPoint example of limited text on slide
Less or Minimal Transitions And Animations
Too many animations and transitions may not be your presentation’s best buddies. They can steal the spotlight from the core of your message. A solid PowerPoint presentation shines by keeping animations and transitions in check. They can be used in moderation as a way to emphasize a point or draw attention to specific elements in your visuals.
One of the best examples of good presentation slides in terms of transitions and animations can be using a “fade-in” animation for bullet points or critical pieces of information. Instead of displaying all the text at once, you can set it to appear one at a time as you discuss each one. This gradual reveal CREATES curiosity and keeps your audience engaged and focused on the current topic.
READ MORE: How to add animation in PowerPoint?
Best PowerPoint Presentation Example with Minimal Animation:
Good PowerPoint example of less or Minimal Transitions and Animation
Cohesive Color Pallet
Another good PowerPoint slide example can be a cohesive color palette throughout the presentation. We are not saying you must brush up on the color theory game before making your presentation, but knowing what colors to use can make a real difference. A well-thought-out color palette combination that complements and harmonizes can effectively direct your audience’s focus. It highlights what matters and downplays less critical information when needed.
Now, picking the right colors might seem like a puzzle. The golden rule is to use colors that work well together and provide a clear contrast without straining the eyes. If you’re short on time or inspiration, Microsoft Office’s ready-made color schemes can be a lifesaver.
Best PPT Presentation Example with Cohesive Color Pallet:
Good PowerPoint example of Cohesive Color Pallet
Keeping Contextual Graphics
A picture really can say a thousand words. One of the examples of good PowerPoint design can be incorporating graphs, photos, and illustrations that enhance your points and keep your audience engaged. But remember, it’s crucial to put these visuals in context. Having contextual graphics or illustrations and explaining why they’re there verbally will help the audience connect the dots and understand the material. It looks great and ensures your message is crystal clear and memorable.
A Really Good PowerPoint Example with Infographics:
Good PowerPoint example of keeping contextual graphics or illustrations
Adding customized illustrations to your PowerPoint slides is one of the best PPT presentation examples. It’s like giving your presentation a unique personality and a touch of authenticity. It’s a game-changer that can take your slides from ordinary to outstanding. Generic stock images or clip art can feel impersonal and overused. On the other hand, customized illustrations are tailored to your message and brand, making your content exclusive. They allow you to convey your ideas in a way that is distinctively “you,” establishing a stronger connection with your audience.
Good PowerPoint Slide Example with Illustrations:
Good PowerPoint example of customized illustrations
Use no Font Size Smaller Than 18 point
Maintaining a minimum font size of 18 points in your PowerPoint presentation is like giving your audience the gift of clarity and readability. It’s a simple yet impactful way to ensure your message shines through and your presentation looks professional. No one wants to squint or strain their eyes to read a tiny text on a slide.
When you stick to a 18-point font or larger, your content becomes instantly more accessible. Your audience can comfortably read what’s on the screen, allowing them to stay focused on your message rather than struggling to make out the words. An easily readable font is not only a good PPT example , but it also helps your audience to easily digest your content and perceive your presentation as professional and user-friendly.
Good PowerPoint Slide Example with Font Sized 18:
Good PowerPoint example of keeping a minimum font size
READ MORE: Best Presentation Fonts
Logical Flow of Content
One of the best examples of good PowerPoint presentations is maintaining a logical flow of the content in your PowerPoint presentation. It is like crafting a smooth, well-executed experience for your audience. It’s the roadmap that keeps them engaged, helps them follow your story, and ensures your message hits the mark.
A presentation with a jumbled sequence of ideas or topics can leave your audience puzzled and disconnected. A logical flow, on the other hand, guides your audience seamlessly from one point to the next, making it easy for them to grasp the bigger picture. When your content unfolds in a logical order, it forms a narrative that’s easier for the human brain to digest and remember.
Example of Good PowerPoint Presentation with FlowChart:
Good PowerPoint example of logical flow of the content
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Effective Use of Bullet Points
Effectively using bullet points in your PowerPoint presentation is like serving bite-sized portions of information to your audience. It is an excellent way of keeping them engaged and ensuring your message is digestible and memorable. Bullet points break down complex ideas into concise, easy-to-follow chunks. They act as signposts, guiding your audience through your content with a clear roadmap.
Limiting the number of bullet points to 8-10 per slide prevents information overload and gives each point the attention it deserves. People have a limited attention span, so bullet points are your allies in delivering information efficiently. They allow your audience to absorb key takeaways without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, bullet points serve as excellent prompts for your verbal delivery, keeping you on track and ensuring you don’t forget essential details.
Example of Good PowerPoint Presentation with Bullet Points:
Good PowerPoint example of effective Uue of bullet points
Proper Symmetry Between Different Paragraphs and Pointers
Ensuring proper symmetry between different paragraphs and pointers in your presentation is similar to creating a smooth flow that captivates your audience. It’s all about balance, and when done right, it can significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your slides. Just as a well-balanced meal is more appetizing, slides with balanced content are more visually appealing.
When you maintain a consistent and symmetrical structure, it creates a sense of order and professionalism. Symmetrical layouts help your audience anticipate what’s coming next. When they see a pattern, like consistent bullet point structure or paragraph formatting, it becomes easier for them to follow your narrative. This predictability allows your audience to focus, not jumble.
Good PowerPoint Slide Example with Symmetry:
Good PowerPoint example of proper symmetry between different paragraphs and pointers
Having an Engaging Summary With a Clear Call to Action
Last on this list of best Powerpoint presentation examples is an engaging summary with a clear call to action. Think of the summary as the highlight of your presentation. It recaps the essential takeaways, ensuring that your audience fully grasps the key messages you want to convey. This reinforcement is critical because it’s what your audience will most likely remember long after your presentation.
A clear CTA is like extending a helping hand to your audience, guiding them on what steps to take next. Whether it’s encouraging them to explore further resources, make a decision, or get in touch with you. Adding an engaging summary with a clear CTA to your slides is the grand finale that ties your presentation together.
Good PowerPoint Slide Example with Clear Call to Action:
Good PowerPoint example of having an engaging summary with a clear call to action
EXPLORE: Call to Action PowerPoint Templates
Important PowerPoint Presentation Tips
While building a PowerPoint presentation’s design, content, and flow shall be tailored to hit its target audience. Making your presentation eye-catching is essential to steer clear of Call to Action goals. However, taking your PowerPoint presentations to the next level can be time-consuming. So, getting yourself help from professional presentation providers like SlideUpLift can be a game-changer you’ll want to know about.
PRO TIP: It’s important that you follow the Who, What, and Where tips to up your presentation game.
SlideUpLift provides expert guidance on presentation best practices and helps you customize your slides as per your requirements. Our extensive library covers a wide range of industries and topics. But that’s not all. SlideUpLift also offers a collection of beautifully designed templates, graphics, and icons and provides professional PowerPoint Templates and Google Slides Themes for your needs.
Explore our presentation design services to create stunning PPTs. Give us a try with our custom-slides service , or schedule a call with us to know more!
What makes a PowerPoint presentation "good"?
A good PowerPoint presentation effectively communicates its message, engages the audience, and utilizes clear, visually appealing slides with well-structured content.
Where can I find examples of well-designed PowerPoint presentations for inspiration?
You can find examples of well-designed PowerPoint presentations on websites and platforms that offer presentation templates like SlideUpLift.
What are some key examples of good presentation?
Successful PowerPoint presentations often include:
- concise content
- engaging visuals
- a logical flow
- limited use of text, and
- a clear call to action
How can I ensure my PowerPoint presentation aligns with the best practices?
To ensure your presentation follows best practices, focus on storytelling, maintain visual consistency, limit bullet points, use high-quality visuals, and practice your delivery.
Are there any tools or resources to help me improve my PowerPoint presentations?
Yes, SlideUpLift provides various tools and resources, including PowerPoint add-ins, design templates, and online tutorials that help you enhance your presentation skills and create compelling slides.
Table Of Content
FlowChart PowerPoint Template Collection
Project Management PowerPoint Template Collection
List PowerPoint Template Collection
10 Bad PowerPoint Slides Examples to Avoid
10 Best Animated PowerPoint Templates
10 Best Business PowerPoint Templates for Presentations
10 Best Free PowerPoint Templates
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Resource Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations
Slideshows are quick to produce, easy to update and an effective way to inject visual interest into almost any presentation.
However, slideshows can also spell disaster even for experienced presenters. The key to success is to make certain your slideshow is a visual aid and not a visual distraction.
Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Use the slide master feature to create a consistent and simple design template. It is fine to vary the content presentation (bulleted list, two-column text, text and image, etc.), but be consistent with other elements such as font, colors and background.
- Simplify and limit the number of words on each screen. Use key phrases and include only essential information.
- Limit punctuation and avoid putting words in all-capital letters. Empty space on the slide will enhance readability.
- Use contrasting colors for text and background. Light text on a dark background is best. Patterned backgrounds can reduce readability.
- Avoid the use of flashy transitions such as text fly-ins. These features may seem impressive at first but are distracting and get old quickly.
- Overuse of special effects such as animation and sounds may make your presentation “cutesy” and could negatively affect your credibility.
- Use good-quality images that reinforce and complement your message. Ensure that your image maintains its impact and resolution when projected on a larger screen.
- If you use builds (lines of text appearing each time you click the mouse), have content appear on the screen in a consistent, simple manner; from the top or left is best. Use the feature only when necessary to make your point, because builds can slow your presentation.
- Limit the number of slides. Presenters who constantly “flip” to the next slide are likely to lose their audience. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute.
- Learn to navigate your presentation in a nonlinear fashion. PowerPoint allows the presenter to jump ahead or back without having to page through all the interim slides.
- Know how to and practice moving forward and backward within your presentation. Audiences often ask to see a previous screen again.
- If possible, view your slides on the screen you’ll be using for your presentation. Make sure the slides are readable from the back row seats. Text and graphic images should be large enough to read but not so large as to appear “loud.”
- Have a Plan B in the event of technical difficulties. Remember that transparencies and handouts will not show animation or other special effects.
- Practice with someone who has never seen your presentation. Ask them for honest feedback about colors, content and any effects or graphic images you’ve included.
- Do not read from your slides. The content of your slides is for the audience, not for the presenter.
- Do not speak to your slides. Many presenters face their presentation onscreen rather than their audience.
- Do not apologize for anything in your presentation. If you believe something will be hard to read or understand, don’t use it.
The Seven Deadly Sins of PowerPoint Presentations
By Joseph Sommerville
It’s not surprising PowerPoint© slideshows have become the norm for visuals in most business presentations. Slideshows are quick to produce, easy to update and effective to inject visual interest into the presentation. However, slideshows can also spell disaster even for experienced presenters. The key to success is to make certain your slide show is a visual aid and not a visual distraction. For the best results, avoid these common “seven deadly sins” of PowerPoint© presentations.
- Slide Transitions And Sound Effects: Transitions and sound effects can become the focus of attention, which in turn distracts the audience. Worse yet, when a presentation containing several effects and transitions runs on a computer much slower than the one on which it was created, the result is a sluggish, almost comical when viewed. Such gimmicks rarely enhance the message you’re trying to communicate. Unless you are presenting at a science fiction convention, leave out the laser-guided text! Leave the fade-ins, fade-outs, wipes, blinds, dissolves, checkerboards, cuts, covers and splits to Hollywood filmmakers. Even “builds” (lines of text appearing each time you click the mouse) can be distracting. Focus on your message, not the technology..
- Standard Clipart: Death to screen beans! PowerPoint© is now so widely used the clipart included with it has become a “visual cliché.” It shows a lack of creativity and a tired adherence to a standard form. First, make certain that you need graphical images to enhance your message. If you do, use your own scanned photographs or better-quality graphics from companies such as PhotoDisc (www.photodisc.com) or Hemera’s Photo Objects (www.hemera.com). Screen captures can add realism when presenting information about a Website or computer program. Two popular screen capture programs are Snagit (www.techsmith.com) for Windows and Snapz Pro (www.ambrosiasw.com) for Macintosh. Both are available as shareware.
- Presentation Templates: Another visual cliché. Templates force you to fit your original ideas into someone else’s pre-packaged mold. The templates often contain distracting backgrounds and poor color combinations. Select a good book on Web graphics and apply the same principles to your slides. Create your own distinctive look or use your company logo in a corner of the screen.
- Text-Heavy Slides: Projected slides are a good medium for depicting an idea graphically or providing an overview. Slides are a poor medium for detail and reading. Avoid paragraphs, quotations and even complete sentences. Limit your slides to five lines of text and use words and phrases to make your points. The audience will be able to digest and retain key points more easily. Don’t use your slides as speaker’s notes or to simply project an outline of your presentation.
- The “Me” Paradigm: Presenters often scan a table or graphical image directly from their existing print corporate material and include it in their slide show presentations. The results are almost always sub-optimal. Print visuals are usually meant to be seen from 8-12 inches rather than viewed from several feet. Typically, these images are too small, too detailed and too textual for an effective visual presentation. The same is true for font size; 12 point font is adequate when the text is in front of you. In a slideshow, aim for a minimum of 40 point font. Remember the audience and move the circle from “me” to “we.” Make certain all elements of any particular slide are large enough to be seen easily. Size really does matter.
- Reading: A verbal presentation should focus on interactive speaking and listening, not reading by the speaker or the audience. The demands of spoken and written language differ significantly. Spoken language is shorter, less formal and more direct. Reading text ruins a presentation. A related point has to do with handouts for the audience. One of your goals as a presenter is to capture and hold the audience’s attention. If you distribute materials before your presentation, your audience will be reading the handouts rather than listening to you. Often, parts of an effective presentation depend on creating suspense to engage the audience. If the audience can read everything you’re going to say, that element is lost.
- Faith in Technology: You never know when an equipment malfunction or incompatible interfaces will force you to give your presentation on another computer. Be prepared by having a back-up of your presentation on a CD-ROM. Better yet is a compact-flash memory card with an adapter for the PCMCIA slot in your notebook. With it, you can still make last-minute changes. It’s also a good idea to prepare a few color transparencies of your key slides. In the worst-case scenario, none of the technology works and you have no visuals to present. You should still be able to give an excellent presentation if you focus on the message. Always familiarize yourself with the presentation, practice it and be ready to engage the audience regardless of the technology that is available. It’s almost a lost art.
Joseph Sommerville has earned the title “The Presentation Expert” for helping professionals design, develop and deliver more effective presentations. He is the principal of Peak Communication Performance, a Houston-based firm working worldwide to help professionals develop skills in strategic communication.
Tips for Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Select a single sans-serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. Avoid serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Palatino because these fonts are sometimes more difficult to read.
- Use no font size smaller than 24 point.
- Use the same font for all your headlines.
- Select a font for body copy and another for headlines.
- Use bold and different sizes of those fonts for captions and subheadings.
- Add a fourth font for page numbers or as a secondary body font for sidebars.
- Don’t use more than four fonts in any one publication.
- Clearly label each screen. Use a larger font (35-45 points) or different color for the title.
- Use larger fonts to indicate importance.
- Use different colors, sizes and styles (e.g., bold) for impact.
- Avoid italicized fonts as these are difficult to read quickly.
- Avoid long sentences.
- Avoid abbreviations and acronyms.
- Limit punctuation marks.
- No more than 6-8 words per line
- For bullet points, use the 6 x 6 Rule. One thought per line with no more than 6 words per line and no more than 6 lines per slide
- Use dark text on light background or light text on dark background. However, dark backgrounds sometimes make it difficult for some people to read the text.
- Do not use all caps except for titles.
- Put repeating elements (like page numbers) in the same location on each page of a multi-page document.
- To test the font, stand six feet from the monitor and see if you can read the slide.
Design and Graphical Images
- Use design templates.
- Standardize position, colors, and styles.
- Include only necessary information.
- Limit the information to essentials.
- Content should be self-evident
- Use colors that contrast and compliment.
- Too may slides can lose your audience.
- Keep the background consistent and subtle.
- Limit the number of transitions used. It is often better to use only one so the audience knows what to expect.
- Use a single style of dingbat for bullets throughout the page.
- Use the same graphical rule at the top of all pages in a multi-page document.
- Use one or two large images rather than several small images.
- Prioritize images instead of a barrage of images for competing attention.
- Make images all the same size.
- Use the same border.
- Arrange images vertically or horizontally.
- Use only enough text when using charts or graphical images to explain the chart or graph and clearly label the image.
- Keep the design clean and uncluttered. Leave empty space around the text and graphical images.
- Use quality clipart and use it sparingly. A graphical image should relate to and enhance the topic of the slide.
- Try to use the same style graphical image throughout the presentation (e.g., cartoon, photographs)
- Limit the number of graphical images on each slide.
- Repetition of an image reinforces the message. Tie the number of copies of an image to the numbers in your text.
- Resize, recolor, reverse to turn one image into many. Use duplicates of varying sizes, colors, and orientations to multiply the usefulness of a single clip art image.
- Make a single image stand out with dramatic contrast. Use color to make a dramatic change to a single copy of your clip art.
- Check all images on a projection screen before the actual presentation.
- Avoid flashy images and noisy animation effects unless it relates directly to the slide.
- Limit the number of colors on a single screen.
- Bright colors make small objects and thin lines stand out. However, some vibrant colors are difficult to read when projected.
- Use no more than four colors on one chart.
- Check all colors on a projection screen before the actual presentation. Colors may project differently than what appears on the monitor.
- Plan carefully.
- Do your research.
- Know your audience.
- Time your presentation.
- Speak comfortably and clearly.
- Check the spelling and grammar.
- Do not read the presentation. Practice the presentation so you can speak from bullet points. The text should be a cue for the presenter rather than a message for the viewer.
- Give a brief overview at the start. Then present the information. Finally review important points.
- It is often more effective to have bulleted points appear one at a time so the audience listens to the presenter rather than reading the screen.
- Use a wireless mouse or pick up the wired mouse so you can move around as you speak.
- If sound effects are used, wait until the sound has finished to speak.
- If the content is complex, print the slides so the audience can take notes.
- Do not turn your back on the audience. Try to position the monitor so you can speak from it.
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Center for Teaching
Making better powerpoint presentations.
Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory.
Research about student preferences for powerpoint, resources for making better powerpoint presentations, bibliography.
We have all experienced the pain of a bad PowerPoint presentation. And even though we promise ourselves never to make the same mistakes, we can still fall prey to common design pitfalls. The good news is that your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be ordinary. By keeping in mind a few guidelines, your classroom presentations can stand above the crowd!
“It is easy to dismiss design – to relegate it to mere ornament, the prettifying of places and objects to disguise their banality. But that is a serious misunderstanding of what design is and why it matters.” Daniel Pink
One framework that can be useful when making design decisions about your PowerPoint slide design is Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory .
As illustrated in the diagram above, the Central Executive coordinates the work of three systems by organizing the information we hear, see, and store into working memory.
The Phonological Loop deals with any auditory information. Students in a classroom are potentially listening to a variety of things: the instructor, questions from their peers, sound effects or audio from the PowerPoint presentation, and their own “inner voice.”
The Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad deals with information we see. This involves such aspects as form, color, size, space between objects, and their movement. For students this would include: the size and color of fonts, the relationship between images and text on the screen, the motion path of text animation and slide transitions, as well as any hand gestures, facial expressions, or classroom demonstrations made by the instructor.
The Episodic Buffer integrates the information across these sensory domains and communicates with long-term memory. All of these elements are being deposited into a holding tank called the “episodic buffer.” This buffer has a limited capacity and can become “overloaded” thereby, setting limits on how much information students can take in at once.
Laura Edelman and Kathleen Harring from Muhlenberg College , Allentown, Pennsylvania have developed an approach to PowerPoint design using Baddeley and Hitch’s model. During the course of their work, they conducted a survey of students at the college asking what they liked and didn’t like about their professor’s PowerPoint presentations. They discovered the following:
Characteristics students don’t like about professors’ PowerPoint slides
- Too many words on a slide
- Movement (slide transitions or word animations)
- Templates with too many colors
Characteristics students like like about professors’ PowerPoint slides
- Graphs increase understanding of content
- Bulleted lists help them organize ideas
- PowerPoint can help to structure lectures
- Verbal explanations of pictures/graphs help more than written clarifications
According to Edelman and Harring, some conclusions from the research at Muhlenberg are that students learn more when:
- material is presented in short phrases rather than full paragraphs.
- the professor talks about the information on the slide rather than having students read it on their own.
- relevant pictures are used. Irrelevant pictures decrease learning compared to PowerPoint slides with no picture
- they take notes (if the professor is not talking). But if the professor is lecturing, note-taking and listening decreased learning.
- they are given the PowerPoint slides before the class.
Advice from Edelman and Harring on leveraging the working memory with PowerPoint:
- Leverage the working memory by dividing the information between the visual and auditory modality. Doing this reduces the likelihood of one system becoming overloaded. For instance, spoken words with pictures are better than pictures with text, as integrating an image and narration takes less cognitive effort than integrating an image and text.
- Minimize the opportunity for distraction by removing any irrelevant material such as music, sound effects, animations, and background images.
- Use simple cues to direct learners to important points or content. Using text size, bolding, italics, or placing content in a highlighted or shaded text box is all that is required to convey the significance of key ideas in your presentation.
- Don’t put every word you intend to speak on your PowerPoint slide. Instead, keep information displayed in short chunks that are easily read and comprehended.
- One of the mostly widely accessed websites about PowerPoint design is Garr Reynolds’ blog, Presentation Zen . In his blog entry: “ What is Good PowerPoint Design? ” Reynolds explains how to keep the slide design simple, yet not simplistic, and includes a few slide examples that he has ‘made-over’ to demonstrate how to improve its readability and effectiveness. He also includes sample slides from his own presentation about PowerPoint slide design.
- Another presentation guru, David Paradi, author of “ The Visual Slide Revolution: Transforming Overloaded Text Slides into Persuasive Presentations ” maintains a video podcast series called “ Think Outside the Slide ” where he also demonstrates PowerPoint slide makeovers. Examples on this site are typically from the corporate perspective, but the process by which content decisions are made is still relevant for higher education. Paradi has also developed a five step method, called KWICK , that can be used as a simple guide when designing PowerPoint presentations.
- In the video clip below, Comedian Don McMillan talks about some of the common misuses of PowerPoint in his routine called “Life After Death by PowerPoint.”
- This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights a blog moderated by Microsoft’s Doug Thomas that compiles practical PowerPoint advice gathered from presentation masters like Seth Godin , Guy Kawasaki , and Garr Reynolds .
Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story , by Jerry Weissman, Prentice Hall, 2006
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery , by Garr Reynolds, New Riders Press, 2008
Solving the PowerPoint Predicament: using digital media for effective communication , by Tom Bunzel , Que, 2006
The Cognitive Style of Power Point , by Edward R. Tufte, Graphics Pr, 2003
The Visual Slide Revolution: Transforming Overloaded Text Slides into Persuasive Presentations , by Dave Paradi, Communications Skills Press, 2000
Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck: And How You Can Make Them Better , by Rick Altman, Harvest Books, 2007
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