Using PowerPoint to Support Your Presentation

PowerPoint can be an effective tool in making a presentation, but only if used properly.

Presenters, though, often forget that audiences are “there to see you, not your slides,” says Richard Harrington, a digital video expert. I recently took his online course, PowerPoint: From Outline to Presentation through Lynda.com.

“Effective speaker support is the goal,” he says.

SlideShare recently discussed 2013 trends around presentations and noted the following:
·         People want short, visual content
·         They want less text, meaning show it, don’t write it, and
·         They prefer images and fonts that are big

The key to a successful presentation is to organize it through an outline. Then gather the images, videos and links, finally creating the presentation.

You can build your outline in a Word document or using the outline feature in PowerPoint. Either way, you are determining the critical elements of your presentation.

Once you have your outline, determine what visual elements you can use to illustrate your points. These elements also will serve as triggers when you are speaking. PowePoint’s job is to not be your presentation but rather to support you as you speak.

If you are new to presenting, include your notes on the notes page and then present using “Presenter View.” This allows you to view your presentation with speaker notes on your laptop or tablet, while your audience views the presentation sans notes. To do this, go to the “Slide Show” tab and in the “Monitors” group, click “Use Presenter View.”

Once you have everything prepared, be sure to practice. You want to check the timing to stay within your allotted time. Click through the slides and each item on the slides to ensure that everything is working. Also check for spelling errors.

Now you are ready to give a successful presentation. Good luck!

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