Whether you are working on a desktop or a laptop, a tablet or an iPad, a good device is one that supports the PPT format. Fortunately, since Microsoft released its PowerPoint software for Android, along with Word and Excel, about a year ago, making a good presentation is technically quite easy, whatever the gadget you’re using.
Technical aspects apart, there are many other skills that go into making a great presentation. An excellent command over the PPT software and all its tools, along with an understanding of the processes involved, is necessary to transform a good presentation into a great one.
So what are the essentials of an excellent PPT?
Using the tools
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is your individual requirement, based on the objective of the PPT and the audience to which it is targeted. While the Microsoft PowerPoint comes with several in-built design tools, ranging from themes to colors and fonts, you don’t necessarily have to go with a template unless you need to.
On the contrary, it would be better to experiment with variety, in terms of fonts, colors and themes, to make your PPT distinctive and more aligned to your audience’s taste.
Traditionally, a good PPT is said to carry a bullet point text format, which simply means that the content is placed in bullet form, slide after slide. It is believed that such a format encourages easy readability and grasp. However, your particular PPT may not be ideal to be presented in bullet form.
So once again, it’s important to be clear about the requirements of your PPT and the expectations of the audience. In any case, bullet points, like anything else, can become a monotonous way of presentation.
Even if you opt for a design template, you may still want to incorporate certain variations in it, which is best done at the outset. You can use the navigation panel to do this before you start filling up the slides. That will help you save time and effort that would otherwise go in making changes manually across every slide.
Then there’s the issue of size. The Microsoft PPT program comes equipped with a default size for the slides. But your PPT content and design may necessitate the use of different sizes, which you can easily opt for through a simple process. You can, in fact, do the same with the shapes of the slides. The new, advanced versions of the PPT software are smarter than ever before.
Now formatting is something whose importance every professional knows. If the data on the slides is not properly formatted, in terms of font size, alignment etc, your PPT can look extremely untidy, reflecting poorly on your professional caliber. So if you don’t want a good PPT to be ruined by lack of formatting, remember to do the aligning and sizing etc, using the in-built tools and Format menus.
With its more advanced features and simplified processes, the Microsoft PPT’s latest version is easily managed to embed links, images, multimedia and even font files. Font files ensure that the PPT opens as beautifully on other computers as it does on yours.
Grasping the skills
The technical aspects of a PPT apart, there are certain soft skills that go into making a great presentation. Planning and structuring a PPT is an essential requirement for the development of a PPT. Start by preparing a flowchart of sorts, listing out the points to be included in each slide.
Keep the PPT minimalistic, in terms of both, text and design. There’s really no point in making a presentation if you’re simply going to read out what’s written in the PPT. The content, therefore, needs to be crisp and to-the-point. It may not be a bad idea, in fact, to use the PPT text to trigger curiosity among the audience. Let it raise questions, which you can then personally answer as you take the audience through the PPT.
Design also needs to be clean and uncluttered if you want the audience not to get overwhelmed with imagery and colors. The design should not detract the audience from the key communication in the PPT.
Informative graphics are a good alternative to excessive use of text as well as images. Easy to understand and assimilate, graphics also make the PPT more interesting and engaging.
The rule of minimalism
The rule of minimalism actually extends to the whole concept of PPT. An ideal presentation should be between 10-15 slides only, taking no more than 20 minutes of the audience’s time.
More than six words on a slide is definitely a bad way of communicating your point. Remember, a PPT is not for explanation but for sharing ideas only; explanation and elaboration is best left to your personal communication.
And finally, let one slide communicate one idea only. This golden rule of communication is as relevant to the PPT as it is to any other kind of written communication.