Making An Effective PowerPoint Presentation

I’ve designed PPT presentations for companies that included all the information they wanted the “audience” to learn, and did it in what I thought was an intelligent and well-planned-out format. It began and ended utilizing a logical order of slides that included running subtleties that appeared on each one, cleverly designed to persuade the viewer in low-key ways, eventually wrapping up the presentation in a final slide pitch for their business.

Each slide provided all the information necessary to educate the viewer in that category, supporting graphic(s) or picture(s), and a repeating header/footer that reminded them each time what the product was and what company was making the presentation. What I learned was this might be great for sending out a PPT movie where having the absence of a presenter was expected, but when it came to the real hands-on, down-and-dirty deed of facing your audience, some of the business-as-usual did not apply.

Consider the preferences of the person responsible for the actual delivery of the presentation; sometimes it might be a member of the company, other times it might be a professional sales organization. In either case, the individual who has the task of delivering the message usually has their own delivery style, and that my friends, is the person you have to please if you’re going to have a chance at success.

When the outcome of a PowerPoint presentation is in your hands, you get to decide on its final content. You can keep the graphic and pictorial support, but the written content has to reflect your “style” of delivery. I’ve found that most seasoned professionals like it to include brief bulleted text rather than paragraphs of copy. It gives that person the ability to speak on every subject and keep the attention on themselves, eliminating dead time while waiting for their audience to read the message in varying degrees on their own. They like to continuously hold the floor, not create awkward periods of silence while some take longer to read than others.

So the next (or first) time you consider making a PowerPoint presentation for any reason, consider the delivery method and consider the person who’s going to make the delivery. Check with that person for their basic preferences before embarking on the design. Remember, it’s not only the look of the slide content that will sway your audience but the combination of your slides and the convincing nature of your presenter. It’s a partnership that must be considered if the outcome is to prove successful.