Guide to Building a Successful PowerPoint Presentation

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Creating a successful PowerPoint presentation means layering together the essential elements that will get your point across and make your presentation memorable. Your PowerPoint slide show should be an enhancement to your presentation and a way to help your audience visualize the points you are trying to make. The use of a well-done PowerPoint presentation can help to add a dimension to your meeting that will give you and your company a professional appearance.

Summary Points

  • If you put too much information into your PowerPoint offering, then you run the risk of taking away from the important details of your presentation. Your slide show should consist of summary bullet points that help to introduce each new topic as you work your way through your presentation. Organize your presentation by topic, and within each topic should be a series of outline points that you will be covering. This way your audience can be reminded of the topic you are discussing, and they can more easily follow along with your information. Avoid making your PowerPoint offering the central focus of your presentation by simply reading from your slides and not offering any new information. A PowerPoint presentation is the meeting outline that the audience follows as you move through your information.

Graphics

  • Another advantage of a PowerPoint presentation is the ability to incorporate graphics and pictures into your presentation to help make your point. If you are introducing a new product, then your audience can better envision your ideas if they can see a picture of the product in action. You can also use graphics to help add a bit of levity to the meeting. Business presentations benefit from the occasional humorous cartoon or graphic that is still working in conjunction with the presentation, but offers the audience a chance to laugh. For example, showing a smiling businessman with money falling out of his pockets to emphasize your point about the profitability of your offering.

Questions

  • An effective meeting is broken up into segments, and your PowerPoint presentation should reflect this dynamic by having a summary sheet at the end of each section--reminding the audience of the bullet points that you just covered--and any important information that may have been a part of your presentation. It is also helpful to have a slide at the end of each section that offers the chance for the audience to ask questions. This slide could be something as simple as the word "questions" over the top of a large question mark. People will feel more comfortable asking questions if they know that it is part of the presentation.

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