Communication Skills for PowerPoint Presentations

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Create a PowerPoint presentation to help communicate your ideas.
Create a PowerPoint presentation to help communicate your ideas. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

PowerPoint is a software program that many companies use to create audio-visual presentations. Text, images and charts can be added to PowerPoint slides to create a PowerPoint slide show. For an effective presentation, be thoughtful about the information you include on your slides and the way you deliver your message.

PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides themselves are an important tool for communicating your knowledge. Limit text on each slide to six lines, with no more than six words per line. Choose the most important phrases of your presentations for the text and consider using bullet points to clearly show each separate point. Text should re-emphasize the main points of your talk and should not repeat exactly what you are saying word-for-word. Use photos, images or charts when appropriate to break up the text. Keep slides simple and uncluttered, so those attending the presentation can quickly read the information before turning their attention back to you.

Body Language and Facial Expression

Your body language and facial expression play an important role in what you are communicating during the PowerPoint presentation. It's not enough to simply click through the slides -- use your body language and facial expression to reemphasize the main points of your presentation. Gesture with your hands and change your facial expression to reinforce certain points. Use these two nonverbal communication methods to help reiterate what you and your slides are conveying and to help keep the audience interested throughout the presentation.

Eye Contact

Keep your audience's focus by making eye contact with them. Meeting their eyes shows them that you are interested in the presentation you are giving and you want them to be interested as well. If you avoid eye contact, look at the floor, or simply read from the slides, audience members may think you aren't confident in the material and you'll lose their attention. However, don't use so much eye contact that you make your audience members nervous. Make eye contact with different members of the audience while occasionally looking back at your notes.

Speaking Style

The speaking style you use will influence how the audience receives your presentation. Pay attention to the tone and quality of your voice. Speak clearly and enunciate your words. Speak loud enough that everyone in the room can hear you. Pay attention to your rate of speech and rhythm -- don't talk so slowly that you lose your audience's attention, and don't talk so fast that they miss important aspects of the presentation. Vary your vocal tone and rhythm a bit to help maintain audience interest.

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