How to Create Engaging PowerPoint Slides

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There’s nothing worse than having to sit through a boring PowerPoint presentation. Our clients, when going to speaking events, use these slides to support them, and the slides help them to engage with the audience. As VA’s, we work on a lot of presentation. So we have come up with some of the best tips to use to create the most riveting PowerPoint presentations going.

Plan your structure carefully. 

Before you even jump in to creating a PowerPoint presentation for your client, you need to map it out and define the objective of the presentation. Get a detailed brief from your client, and find out exactly what their audience will want to know, understand, feel and do by the end of it. Together you can determine what the audience will be like in terms of knowledge, attitude and receptiveness to your client.

Having a clear start and end point for a PowerPoint presentation helps you plan specifically for that audience. Map out the main ideas your client puts forward, add in supporting data and place effective visuals that really add value.

Keep the slides clean and simple. 

Slides are there to enhance and support the presentation. They shouldn’t be a distraction for the audience. Keep them uncomplicated and free from unnecessary additions like graphics and text boxes. Having a slide that’s too busy will be a major distraction for the audience.

As well as not being too cluttered, slides should also have plenty of white space on them. Without all of the visual clutter, the main message your client is trying to convey will be a lot more powerful overall.

Choose colours and fonts that are legible. 

Every font you use on a slide should be legible from a distance. Remember, your client is presenting to an audience and there will be people at the back of the room who want to read the slides as well. Font sizes 24-32 are the minimum values you should be using for presentations.

Once you’ve selected your font and its proper size, you have to remain consistent. Use the same font throughout the presentation (a sans-serif style is always reliable) and try not to mix up complementary fonts too much.

Colour is a great way to enhance a client’s presentation, because certain colours increase and improve the retention of information. There are some basic rules that you can follow for this:

  • Colder colours (blues, green etc.) are the best for backgrounds.
  • Warmer colours (reds, oranges etc.) are best for the foreground, such as text.
  • If the venue is darker, use a dark background with white text.
  • If the venue is lighter, use a white background with black text.
  • Never use colour combinations such as red and green, and blue and yellow. These are the worst ones and are not recommended.

Breaking up the text. 

A slide that is over-saturated with text and repeats itself over and over will completely disengage an audience. A presentation is for presenting, not reading. If you want to use bullet points, limit them to 4-5 on a slide. When your client is making a speech, you can use these bullet points to guide them through.

Make great use of visuals.

Pictures, graphs and media clips are brilliant for visual presentations. All of these things make a slide more interesting and engaging without the need for words. Instead of using text, try out a representative image to support the speaker. The people in the audience will connect with a picture more on an emotional level. Great use of media changes the pace of a presentation and your client will experience increased audience interest.

Don’t go for the gimmicks. 

Sounds and over-complicated transitions between slides is a big no-no, so keep them to a minimum. Keep everything simple, and make sure everything appears on click so your client can easily run through the presentation.

End it properly. 

Every presentation should end with your clients call to action. This gives the audience the information they need to make the next steps. And the call to action is the whole reason why your client is making the presentation in the first place.

Run it through to check the flow. 

It may be that some slides need moving around, and this can be something you work through with your client. Every presentation needs a logical flow to it. Going through the presentation with a fine-toothed comb will flag up any slides that look too busy, and may need to be broken up with images or information moved to multiple slides.

We hope that you’ve found our top tips for presentation slides helpful, and as a VA you can use them to create perfect presentations for your clients.

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