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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

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Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

Blog > Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

08.14.21   •  #powerpoint #tips.

If you know how to do it, it's actually not that difficult to create and give a good presentation.

That's why we have some examples of good PowerPoint presentations for you and tips that are going to make your next presentation a complete success.

1. Speak freely

One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes. The goal is to connect with your audience and get them excited about your topic. If you speak freely, this is much easier than if you just read your text out. You want your audience to feel engaged in your talk. Involve them and tell your text in a vivid way.

2. Familiarize yourself with the technology

In order to be able to speak freely, it is important to prepare the text well and to engage with the topic in detail.

However, it is at least as important to familiarize yourself with the location’s technology before your presentation and to start your PowerPoint there as well. It is annoying if technical problems suddenly occur during your presentation, as this interrupts your flow of speech and distracts the audience from the topic. Avoid this by checking everything before you start your talk and eliminate any technical problems so that you can give your presentation undisturbed.

  • Don't forget the charging cable for your laptop
  • Find out beforehand how you can connect your laptop to the beamer. Find out which connection the beamer has and which connection your laptop has. To be on the safe side, take an adapter with you.
  • Always have backups of your presentation. Save them on a USB stick and preferably also online in a cloud.
  • Take a second laptop and maybe even your own small projector for emergencies. Even if it's not the latest model and the quality is not that good: better bad quality than no presentation at all.

3. Get the attention of your audience

Especially in long presentations it is often difficult to keep the attention of your audience. It is important to make your presentation interesting and to actively involve the audience. Try to make your topic as exciting as possible and captivate your audience.

Our tip: Include interactive polls or quizzes in your presentation to involve your audience and increase their attention. With the help of SlideLizard, you can ask questions in PowerPoint and your audience can easily vote on their own smartphone. Plus, you can even get anonymous feedback at the end, so you know right away what you can improve next time.

Here we have also summarized further tips for you on how to increase audience engagement.

Polling tool from SlideLizard to hold your audience's attention

4. Hold eye contact

You want your audience to feel engaged in your presentation, so it is very important to hold eye contact. Avoid staring only at a part of the wall or at your paper. Speak to your audience, involve them in your presentation and make it more exciting.

But also make sure you don't always look at the same two or three people, but address everyone. If the audience is large, it is often difficult to include everyone, but still try to let your eyes wander a little between your listeners and look into every corner of the room.

5. Speaking coherently

In a good presentation it is important to avoid jumping from one topic to the next and back again shortly afterwards. Otherwise your audience will not be able to follow you after a while and their thoughts will wander. To prevent this, it is important that your presentation has a good structure and that you work through one topic after the other.

Nervousness can cause even the best to mumble or talk too fast in order to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid this by taking short pauses to collect yourself, to breathe and to remind yourself to speak slowly.

6. Matching colors

An attractive design of your PowerPoint is also an important point for giving good presentations. Make sure that your slides are not too colorful. A PowerPoint in which all kinds of colors are combined with each other does not look professional, but rather suitable for a children's birthday party.

Think about a rough color palette in advance, which you can then use in your presentation. Colors such as orange or neon green do not look so good in your PowerPoint. Use colors specifically to emphasize important information.

To create good PowerPoint slides it is also essential to choose colors that help the text to read well. You should have as much contrast as possible between the font and the background. Black writing on a white background is always easy to read, while yellow writing on a white background is probably hard to read.

Using colours correctly in PowerPoint to create good presentations

7. Slide design should not be too minimalistic

Even though it is often said that "less is more", you should not be too minimalistic in the design of your presentation. A presentation where your slides are blank and only black text on a white background is likely to go down just as badly as if you use too many colors.

Empty presentations are boring and don't really help to capture the attention of your audience. It also looks like you are too lazy to care about the design of your presentation and that you have not put any effort into the preparation. Your PowerPoint doesn't have to be overflowing with colors, animations and images to make it look interesting. Make it simple, but also professional.

avoid too minimalistic design for good presentation slides

8. Write only key points on the slides

If you want to create a good presentation, it is important to remember that your slides should never be overcrowded. Write only the most important key points on your slides and never entire sentences. Your audience should not be able to read the exact text you are speaking in your PowerPoint. This is rather annoying and leads to being bored quickly. Summarize the most important things that your audience should remember and write them down in short bullet points on your presentation. Then go into the key points in more detail in your speech and explain more about them.

Avoid too much text on your presentation slides

9. Do not overdo it with animations

Do never use too many animations. It looks messy, confusing and definitely not professional if every text and image is displayed with a different animation. Just leave out animations at all or if you really want to use them then use them only very rarely when you want to draw attention to something specific. Make sure that if you use animations, they are consistent. If you use transitions between the individual slides, these should also always be kept consistent and simple.

10. Use images

Pictures and graphics in presentations are always a good idea to illustrate something and to add some variety. They help keep your audience's attention and make it easier to remember important information. But don't overdo it with them. Too many pictures can distract from your presentation and look messy. Make sure the graphics also fit the content and, if you have used several images on one slide, ask yourself if you really need all of them.

example of good PowerPoint slide with image

11. Choose a suitable font

Never combine too many fonts so that your presentation does not look messy. Use at most two: one for headings and one for text. When choosing fonts, you should also make sure that they are still legible at long distances. Script, italic and decorative fonts are very slow to read, which is why they should be avoided in presentations.

It is not so easy to choose the right font. Therefore, we have summarized for you how to find the best font for your PowerPoint presentation.

How you should not use fonts in PowerPoint

12. Do not use images as background

In a good presentation it is important to be able to read the text on the slides easily and quickly. Therefore, do not use images as slide backgrounds if there is also text on them. The picture only distracts from the text and it is difficult to read it because there is not much contrast with the background. It is also harder to see the image because the text in the foreground is distracting. The whole thing looks messy and distracting rather than informative and clear.

Do not use images as a background in good PowerPoint slides

13. Never read out the text from your slides

Never just read the exact text from your slides. Your audience can read for themselves, so they will only get bored and in the worst case it will lead to "Death by PowerPoint". You may also give them the feeling that you think they are not able to read for themselves. In addition, you should avoid whole sentences on your slides anyway. List key points that your audience can read along. Then go into more detail and explain more about them.

14. Don't turn your back

Never turn around during your presentation to look at your projected PowerPoint. Not to read from your slides, but also not to make sure the next slide is already displayed. It looks unprofessional and only distracts your audience.

In PowerPoint's Speaker View, you can always see which slide is currently being displayed and which one is coming next. Use this to make sure the order fits. You can even take notes in PowerPoint, which are then displayed during your presentation. You can read all about notes in PowerPoint here.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

15. Do not forget about the time

In a good presentation, it is important to always be aware of the given time and to stick to it. It is annoying when your presentation takes much longer than actually planned and your audience is just waiting for you to stop talking or you are not able to finish your presentation at all. It is just as awkward if your presentation is too short. You have already told everything about your topic, but you should actually talk for at least another ten minutes.

Practice your presentation often enough at home. Talk through your text and time yourself as you go. Then adjust the length so that you can keep to the time given on the day of your presentation.

timer yourself to know how long your presentation takes

16. Avoid a complicated structure

The structure of a good presentation should not be complicated. Your audience should be able to follow you easily and remember the essential information by the end. When you have finished a part, briefly summarize and repeat the main points before moving on to the next topic. Mention important information more than once to make sure it really gets across to your audience.

However, if the whole thing gets too complicated, it can be easy for your audience to disengage after a while and not take away much new information from your presentation.

17. Choose appropriate clothes

On the day of your presentation, be sure to choose appropriate clothing. Your appearance should be formal, so avoid casual clothes and stick to professional dress codes. When choosing your clothes, also make sure that they are rather unobtrusive. Your audience should focus on your presentation, not on your appearance.

Choose appropriate clothing

18. Adapt your presentation to your audience

Think about who your audience is and adapt your presentation to them. Find out how much they already know about the topic, what they want to learn about it and why they are here in the first place. If you only talk about things your audience already knows, they will get bored pretty soon, but if you throw around a lot of technical terms when your audience has hardly dealt with the topic at all, they will also have a hard time following you. So to give a successful and good presentation, it is important to adapt it to your audience.

You can also ask a few questions at the beginning of your presentation to learn more about your audience and then adapt your presentation. With SlideLizard , you can integrate polls directly into your PowerPoint and participants can then easily answer anonymously from their smartphone.

19. Mention only the most important information

Keep it short and limit yourself to the essentials. The more facts and information you present to your audience, the less they will remember.

Also be sure to leave out information that does not fit the topic or is not relevant. You will only distract from the actual topic and lose the attention of your audience. The time your audience can concentrate and listen with attention is rather short anyway, so don't waste it by telling unimportant information.

20. Talk about your topic in an exciting way

Tell compelling and exciting stories to make your presentation really good. If you speak in a monotone voice all the time, you are likely to lose the attention of your audience. Make your narration lively and exciting. Also, be careful not to speak too quietly, but not too loudly either. People should be able to understand you well throughout the whole room. Even if it is not easy for many people, try to deliver your speech with confidence. If you are enthusiastic about the topic yourself, it is much easier to get your audience excited about it.

microphone for presentations

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ppt tips for a successful presentation

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Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.

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Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will review several presentation tips and tricks on how to become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

  • Display one bullet at a time

Avoid unnecessary animations

  • Only add content that supports your main points

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

  • Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

  • He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
  • He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
  • He found made the complex sound simple.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to build powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations and create effective presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to complement your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides below.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty-point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However, by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distraction from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Technology can also help us in creating a consistent presentation design just by picking a topic and selecting a sample template style. This is possible thanks to the SlideModel’s AI slideshow maker .

Each slide should try to represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over-explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience to each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid Giving Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side to your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, and arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely take in the information one way. So ask many of them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allow them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answers to the audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engagement.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font sizes, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practice of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

ppt tips for a successful presentation

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Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas

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2 Responses to “23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations”

Very great advices!

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ppt tips for a successful presentation

How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

The secret structure of great talks

ppt tips for a successful presentation

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ppt tips for a successful presentation

TED's secret to great public speaking

ppt tips for a successful presentation

How to speak so that people want to listen

ppt tips for a successful presentation

How great leaders inspire action

Microsoft Office

10 minute read

Top 12 PowerPoint Tips and Hacks for Flawless Presentations

Saikat Basu

Saikat Basu

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We’ve all seen our fair share of bad PowerPoint presentations . We can all agree that for a PowerPoint presentation to impress, it needs time and attention to detail.

So how can you ramp up your PowerPoint productivity in the shortest time possible?

That’s where we come in. For starters, follow our proven PowerPoint tips and tricks for business presentations , which are sure to make an impact.

Step up your PowerPoint game

Download our print-ready shortcut cheatsheet for PowerPoint.

1. Keep it simple

powerpoint tips

Keep your slides simple. It’s the visual backdrop to what you are going to say.

The most recommended PowerPoint tip for your productivity is called simplicity . You may be tempted by the graphical razzmatazz of beautiful images, background, and charts. At the end of the day, PowerPoint is a background visual aid for your talk. It is not the talk.

PowerPoint has lots of bells and whistles. But you don’t have to use them all. For instance, your content may not need the much-maligned bullet points - you can just use one key point per slide instead.

That’s why…

2. Reduce the text

powerpoint tips

Less is more when it is about the text on your slides.

The average reading speed on a screen is around 100 - 150 words per minute. Too much information on the slide is a distraction and an inattentive audience will lose the message you are trying to convey.

Don’t give them too much to read. Use high-quality pictures and eye-catching graphics instead.

To make information digestible, expert slide designers recommend you write one key idea per slide that is summarized by a clear headline.

Tip: Exploit white space. Create more space between your text, paragraphs, and graphics on your slide.

3. Plan your content first

powerpoint tips

Think about the message you want to convey and use it to write an outline.

As PowerPoint is such a visual medium, it is easy to get sidetracked with the visuals. So it’s important to chalk out what you want to say and in what order even before you open PowerPoint.

Your slides will come together quickly with the help of PowerPoint design options and you can even choose the right templates if you know your stuff inside out. 

Tip: Use brainstorming tools like mind maps, flowcharts, and even storyboards to sketch your content flow.

4. Use PowerPoint Designer for ideas

PowerPoint makes an intelligent guess by looking at the words on your slide and suggests high-quality artwork to complement it. You can pick one of the creative layouts or go back to your own design.

Tip: PowerPoint Designer can also turn lists, processes, or timelines into beautiful graphics too.

5. Use PowerPoint templates

powerpoint tips

Start with a template to break through any creative blocks.

PowerPoint templates are meant to be the starter plugs when inspiration deserts you or you are design-challenged. PowerPoint ships with a set of readymade templates and there are more available online. Pick one to begin.

Tip: Manpreet Kaur, the head of Corporate Communications at Mercer also suggests you use templates for mining ideas for your own presentation.

Whenever you receive any PowerPoint presentation from any of your clients, business partners, or sellers, make it a point to add them to any folder as a stock for templates for future reference. You can leverage these templates to find inspiration for any icon idea, layout, idea presentation, and number representation on the slides.

6. Edit the Slide Master

powerpoint tips

To open the Slide Master view, go to the View tab on the Ribbon and select Slide Master .

The first slide on the top is the Slide Master. Any changes to the Slide Master will be applied to all the slides in the presentation.

The Slide Master view also shows all the slide layouts used in PowerPoint. You can also use these Layout Master slides to control the appearance of any group of slides that share a common layout.

Tip: Make changes to the Slide Master before you start filling a presentation with the content.

7. Use PowerPoint Shapes for visuals

powerpoint tips

PowerPoint Shapes is the most powerful graphical tool in your control.

The multifaceted Shapes feature on the Ribbon gives you infinite ways to use PowerPoint like an illustration program. Look beyond the commonplace rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Every shape is editable. You can customize any PowerPoint shape and create your own custom designs. They can be formatted with colors, 3-D effects and shadows too.

Tip: Most default shapes are overused. So, you can use your own custom shapes to add interest to a key point or a slide. For instance, you can turn a chevron into a more interesting arrow to illustrate the flow of a process.

8. Choose the right fonts

Choose the right fonts that are modern and pleasing.

It’s well established that fonts have a cognitive impact on how your audience will take in the information.

Sans-serif fonts are preferred for their smooth typefaces. But your typography choices will be influenced by the theme of the content. An artsy presentation can be more liberal with fonts that are decorative.

Also, to create contrast, you can use a technique called font-pairing where two complementary fonts are combined. For instance, use a serif font for titles and pair it with a sans-serif font in the body.

Tip: Want a free font library? Head over to Google Fonts and the collection of 916 free licensed fonts.

9. Use visual metaphors for your data

powerpoint tips

Visuals help everyone get the context behind data at a faster rate.

Business executives are used to spreadsheets . But that doesn’t mean they will like it in a presentation. Arresting illustrations are far better than bullet points and shoddy SmartArt.

We have talked about shapes and using high-quality photos before. But what if you have to analyze dry data?

Use visual metaphors or analogies to bring out the scale and relationships in the data. Executives can look up numbers, but the right use of an analogy can bring out the context behind it.

For instance, the evolution of man can be used to show the growth of a startup over time.

Tip: When stuck for ideas take inspiration from the best infographics on Slideshare and Pinterest. Infographics are designed to pack a lot of information in a small space.

10. Customize your slides for different audiences

powerpoint tips

Save yourself a lot of time by reusing your slides for different audiences.

This somewhat lesser-known PowerPoint tip uses a feature called Custom Slideshow to filter what you want your audience to see. Maybe, you want to hide some sensitive information for a lower level of executives while revealing it to those higher up. You do not have to create different slideshows for these two groups.

Create a custom show in five steps.

  • On the Ribbon, go to Slide Show > Custom Slide Show , and then select Custom Shows .
  • Click the New button in the Custom Shows dialog box. 
  • In the Define Custom Show box , choose the slides that you want to include in the custom show, and then hit Add .
  • You can change the order of the slides with the arrow keys.
  • Type a name in the slideshow name box, and then click OK .

  Tip: You can also create hyperlinked custom shows that you can jump to from your primary PowerPoint show.

11. Rehearse Your Presentation

powerpoint tips

Prepare your presentation according to the time allotted.

No PowerPoint tip is useful if you cannot fit the number of slides and the time you take to present them in the schedule. PowerPoint helps you rehearse your presentation before you do it. With the Rehearse Timing feature, you can tweak your delivery according to the time on hand.

A helpful Microsoft Support video walks you through the process.

Tip: Use the timer to check if you're spending too much or too little time on one particular slide. Maybe, explaining the data in a better way can shorten the time.

12. Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible

powerpoint tips

Go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility

Sharon Rosenblatt, Director of Communications at Accessibility Partners stresses the importance of making presentations more inclusive.

Always use the accessibility checker, and not just if your slideshow is being shared with someone you know has a disability, but you never know where files get sent to.

PowerPoint is all about visuals so it’s more important to finetune the little things that can help make the message easily understood by people who have accessibility challenges.

Tip: Microsoft details the best practices for making all PowerPoint presentations accessible .

The bottom line: Get to the point fast

When you are presenting to busy people, you have to cut the clutter but not lose the message. A successful presentation is about brevity and speed.

A business presentation is also a decision-making tool. So make sure you are presenting the information your audience wants to know. And nothing more.

Yes, they do take some work. But with the help of these PowerPoint tips and tricks, you can start and finish any presentation without losing your sleep.

Want more PowerPoint tips? Then check out these other PowerPoint features that will level up your presentations. Or try taking GoSkills top-rated PowerPoint certification course .

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Saikat Basu

Saikat is a writer who hunts for the latest tricks in Microsoft Office and web apps. He doesn't want to get off the learning curve, so a camera and a harmonica claim an equal share of his free time.

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11 Simple Tips to Make Your PowerPoint Presentations More Effective

Written by Jamie Cartwright @cart_writing

powerpoint presentation tips

After all, the skills needed to create good PowerPoint presentations —strong design, appropriate branding, concise content, well-placed visuals, and proofread copy—are the same skills that make or break a digital marketing campaign. I like to treat Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic marketing skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text) then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience. Expertise means nothing without a good presentation to back it up. Strong digital marketing requires a similar kind of attention to multiple forms of communication. Often, we think we need expert designers and writers to present our company in a professional light.

The truth is that PowerPoint enables non-experts to become strong presentation marketers, by providing user-friendly tools with little training needed. All you need is to learn how to let PowerPoint help you. Here are eleven key tips to get started.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoint shows depend on three main factors: your command of PPT’s design tools , your attention to presentation processes , and your devotion to consistent style . If you can do all three effectively, you’ll find that your PowerPoint presentations won’t be the only pieces of your marketing toolkit improving!

Good style is the hardest and most important skillset to master. It’s more than design; it defines your vision for PowerPoint. Here's how to beef up your styling:

1) Keep a Natural Style

Human eyes aren’t used to seeing brilliant, out-of-this-world visual movement. Good presentations aim to comfort the viewer, not amaze. When you choose an overall style, try to envision your PowerPoint slides as one or many real objects. Imagine canvases, tabletops, landscapes, and shadow boxes. Here is an example of a stylized, blank PowerPoint Slide canvas:

blank powerpoint presentation

Then, imagine how you would arrange real text within these various media. You don’t need to constrain yourself to two-dimensional space (i.e. surfaces), but just remember, that real people don’t live in outer space… So, don’t take us there unless you need to.

2) Don’t Let PowerPoint Decide How You Use PowerPoint

Microsoft aimed to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. This does not mean you should use them all. For example, professionals should never use PPT’s action sounds (please consider your audience, above personal preference). You should also make sure that preset PPT themes complement your needs before you adopt them. Consider it a mistake if your audience recognizes a PowerPoint theme as a preset. Be creative; don’t be a poser. Here are three key things to look out for:

  • PowerPoint makes bulleting automatic, but ask yourself: Are bullets actually appropriate for what you need to do? Sometimes, but not always.
  • Recent PPT defaults include a small shadow on all shapes. Remove if not actually needed. Also, don’t leave shapes in their default blue.
  • Try to get away from using Microsoft Office’s default fonts, Calibri and Cambria. Using these two typefaces can make the presentation seem underwhelming.

Presentation Process Tips

If you keep good style, then you don’t have to be an expert PPT designer. But you must know how to handle solid presentation process preparation.

3) Embed Your Font Files

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing—the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed. If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth work around for this issue. (When you involve Mac systems, the solution is a bit rougher. See Trick #4.) Here’s the trick. When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click Save Options in the "Save As…" dialog window. Then, select the Embed TrueType fonts check box and press OK. Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers (unless you give your presentation on a Mac).

4) Save Your Slides as JPEGs

In PowerPoint for Mac 2011, there is no option to embed fonts within the presentation. Which means that unless you use ubiquitous typefaces like Arial or Tahoma, your PPT is likely going to encounter font changing on different computers.

The most certain way of avoiding this is by saving your final presentation as JPEGs, then inserting these JPEGs onto your slides. If you do not utilize actions in your presentation, then this option works especially well. If you do want action settings, you can also choose save partial portions of your PPT slides as JPEGs and overlay other elements on top.

On a Mac, users can easily drag and drop the JPEGs into PPT with fast load time. The compromising factor here is that if your PPT includes a lot of JPEGs, then the file size will increase, so make sure you can manage!

5) Embed Multimedia

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note : Mac OS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you always will need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system, no matter what.

6) Bring Your Own Hardware

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware you need to always use your own portable computer.

7) Use Presenter View

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint 2010 (or 2011 for Mac). Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you use a crutch. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation:

powerpoint tips: presenter view

At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Design Tips

8) utilize the format menus.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right click on an object and select the "Format" option. By doing this, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. Here's the menu that will pop up:

powerpoint tips: format menus

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Examples include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.
  • Putting an object in a very precise location when PowerPoint auto-positions an object to align with another object or margin.

9) Use and Change PowerPoint’s Shapes

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft in 2010, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. Unlike professional design programs like Adobe Creative Suite or Quark, PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options, beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring—utilize shapes to help express you message more clearly.

10) Create Custom Shapes

When you create a shape, right-click and press Edit Points. By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. When selecting two shapes, right-click and go to the Grouping sub-menu to see a variety of options. Combine will create a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.

Union makes one completely merged shape. Intersect will build a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes. Subtract will cut out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other. By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

11) Present Webpages Within PowerPoint

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb, a third-party software developed independently.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option, so a good second choice is to take screen shots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media, such as a YouTube video by downloading it to your computer.

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten.

For small design jobs not worthy of a graphic designer’s time (e.g. calls-to-action, small web graphics), consider having a free staffer use PowerPoint to do the job. Or if you’re in need of more social media content, try uploading a few good presentations to SlideShare as free resources. With the eleven tips I offer here and a little practice, PowerPoint can be a powerful tool you won’t want to stop using.

Jamie Cartwright is the Inbound Marketing Intern at Weidert Group . A senior at Lawrence University, Jamie studies human communication, anthropology, and social marketing.

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Originally published Dec 10, 2013 10:00:00 AM, updated November 07 2023

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How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

ppt tips for a successful presentation

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

ppt tips for a successful presentation

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

This page draws on published advice from expert presenters around the world, which will help to take your presentations from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

By bringing together advice from a wide range of people, the aim is to cover a whole range of areas.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

1. Show your Passion and Connect with your Audience

It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous.

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through.

Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your Audience’s Needs

Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation.

As you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them.

While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that.

You need to make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your Core Message

When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question:

What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away?

You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly.

Some experts recommend a 30-second ‘elevator summary’, others that you can write it on the back of a business card, or say it in no more than 15 words.

Whichever rule you choose, the important thing is to keep your core message focused and brief.

And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and Make Eye Contact with your Audience

This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it.

If you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport , which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people.

To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start Strongly

The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it.

They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that on explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them.

Try a story (see tip 7 below), or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows

This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no less than 30 point.

This last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a bespoke handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell Stories

Human beings are programmed to respond to stories.

Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

Finding The Story Behind Your Presentation

To effectively tell a story, focus on using at least one of the two most basic storytelling mechanics in your presentation:

Focusing On Characters – People have stories; things, data, and objects do not. So ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story.

For example, instead of talking about cars (your company’s products), you could focus on specific characters like:

  • The drivers the car is intended for – people looking for speed and adventure
  • The engineers who went out of their way to design the most cost-effective car imaginable

A Changing Dynamic – A story needs something to change along the way. So ask yourself “What is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it).

For example…

  • Did hazardous road conditions inspire you to build a rugged, all-terrain jeep that any family could afford?
  • Did a complicated and confusing food labelling system lead you to establish a colour-coded nutritional index so that anybody could easily understand it?

To see 15 more actionable storytelling tips, see Nuts & Bolts Speed Training’s post on Storytelling Tips .

8. Use your Voice Effectively

The spoken word is actually a pretty inefficient means of communication, because it uses only one of your audience’s five senses. That’s why presenters tend to use visual aids, too. But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively.

Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention.

For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking .

9. Use your Body Too

It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal.

That means that as well as your tone of voice, your body language is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage.

Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

If you find presenting difficult, it can be hard to be calm and relaxed about doing it.

One option is to start by concentrating on your breathing. Slow it down, and make sure that you’re breathing fully. Make sure that you continue to pause for breath occasionally during your presentation too.

For more ideas, see our page on Coping with Presentation Nerves .

If you can bring yourself to relax, you will almost certainly present better. If you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. Your presentations will improve exponentially, and so will your confidence. It’s well worth a try.

Improve your Presentation Skills

Follow our guide to boost your presentation skills learning about preparation, delivery, questions and all other aspects of giving effective presentations.

Start with: What is a Presentation?

Continue to: How to Give a Speech Self Presentation

See also: Five Ways You Can Do Visual Marketing on a Budget Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Typography – It’s All About the Message in Your Slides

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14 effective presentation tips to impress your audience

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Anete Ezera July 15, 2022

An effective presentation can communicate key ideas and opinions, save time, and contribute to your overall success as a business, but good presentation skills don’t come naturally to everyone. In this blog post, you’ll find 14 effective presentation tips you can implement in your next presentation to make it a success. 

Whether you’re preparing for an important presentation at work or school, or you’re looking for ways to generally improve your presentation skills, you’ll find these presentation tips useful. We’ve gathered a list to help you impress your audience from the get-go. You’ll find tips for creating and presenting your slides, talking in front of an audience, and other effective presentation techniques to help you stand out. 

Confident businessman talking into microphone during seminar. Happy male professional is giving presentation to colleagues. He is wearing smart casuals.

Most common presentation mistakes

Before we list our top effective presentation tips, let’s explore the most common presentation mistakes. If you’ve made one or more mistakes in this list, you’re not alone. Most people have made at least one mistake. However, what’s important is to be aware of these errors and try avoiding them next time.

#1 A poor start

One of the most common mistakes people make is undermining the importance of the first few minutes or seconds of their presentation. 

Let’s say you’ve practiced your key talking points meticulously and gone over your slides a million times, but when you’re in the spotlight and need to say your first line, do you know exactly what to say to wow the audience? 

The start of your presentation is crucial. Not only because how you start sets the tone for the rest of your presentation, but also because people generally require around 8 seconds to decide whether they find the subject interesting enough to keep listening. Starting your presentation with a captivating intro is even more important than you think. To ensure you start off right, read our guide on how to start your presentation . 

#2 Lack of preparation

Yes, even though it’s clear that you should prepare before giving a presentation, it’s still a common mistake amongst presenters. Preparing content and talking points is an obvious start, but there are other steps that you might be overlooking.

Before you even join a meeting or walk into a room where you’re going to present, consider the technical requirements and get familiar with the equipment. If you’re presenting online, make sure to test-run your presentation and the visual aids you’re going to use. The last thing you want is a broken video link, poor audio, or a weak connection when you’re presenting. 

Also, consider the questions your audience might want to ask you about the topic. Think about how you’d answer those questions, or do even further research to really impress the audience with your answers. 

Explore other ways to prepare for a presentation to feel even more confident when presenting.

effective presentation tips

#3 Losing track of time

It’s great to feel passionate about your topic. However, you’ll have to consider your audience’s level of interest and knowledge. Some details might seem fascinating to you, and you’d like to talk about them for hours, but for your audience, too much information will drain their energy and lose their attention. 

Therefore, make sure to keep track of time. Also, consider your audience’s interests. A concise presentation is always better than a long one with a ton of information. Plus, you’ll have a higher chance of keeping your audience’s attention throughout the presentation. 

Effective presentation tips

Now that we’ve looked at some of the most common presentation mistakes – let’s dive into effective presentation tips that’ll help you excel in future presentations. 

#1 Tell a story

Stories connect, inspire, and empower people. Telling a story can entice action, help understand an idea, and make people feel connected to the storyteller. It’s also one of the most effective presentation tips. A study by organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found that a well-told story is easier to remember than facts, which makes it a highly effective learning technique. 

With that in mind, telling a story when you’re presenting can engage your audience and make it a more memorable experience. You can either share a personal story or a historical event, just make sure to have a clear connection between the story and the topic you’re presenting. 

effective presentation in a company

#2 Work on your body language

Body language can make a huge difference in how your presentation is perceived. It’s one of the presentation tips you definitely shouldn’t overlook. 

Body language says a lot about a person’s confidence level, emotions, state of mind, and even credibility. For the audience, it’s a way to understand what the person is saying and how interested they are in the topic. 

Therefore, work on your body language to better convey the message you’re trying to communicate. Practice in front of a mirror before your presentation and be conscious of your hand gestures and facial expressions. 

#3 Understand your audience

Before crafting your presentation, you must know who you’re speaking to. Understanding the interests, demographics, professional background, and other valuable information of your audience is crucial in making your speech successful. 

Back view of large group of business peoplein a board room. Someone is presenting in front.

If you’re speaking at an event, contact the organizers to get more information about other speakers and the audience. If you’re presenting at work, you may already know your audience fairly well. Use this information to your advantage and create content you know they’ll resonate with.

#4 Use high-quality visuals

What’s one of the most effective presentation techniques? Use of visuals. They play a crucial role in your presentation. However, only high-quality visuals will make a good impression and effectively communicate your message. Use high-quality visuals like images, videos, graphs, maps, and others to really land your point. 

Using visuals is a great way to convey your ideas as they’re easier to process than text. If you’re not sure where to find great visuals, check out our blog post on presentation visuals for five free resources.

P.S. the Prezi library holds a variety of images, videos, GIFs, stickers, and other visuals, including different charts and maps to spice up your presentation. It’s all available in your dashboard .

#5 Use data visualizations

Do you want to showcase statistics or other datasets in your presentation? Use data visualizations to make your data stand out and impress your audience. 

There’s nothing more boring than a bunch of data presented in a flat way. If you want to tell a story with your data, use interactive infographics or slides enriched with eye-catching visuals. Showcasing data will make your ideas appear more trustworthy and credible. 

Prezi Design offers a range of templates to choose from. You can start creating data visualizations from scratch or choose a template and edit the data there. 

#6 Make it engaging with interactive elements

It’s not easy to deliver an engaging presentation. People can easily get distracted or try to multitask, especially in the virtual environment. Sometimes, it’s difficult to focus on the speaker and the written text. Other times, the content just isn’t impressive enough to hold the audience’s attention. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can make your presentation more engaging for everyone by including interactive content like graphs and charts. With interactive data visualizations, you’ll make the data discovery process more engaging and exciting for your audience. 

Your audience will be able to hover over data points and click on certain icons or datasets to discover information on their own. Interactive visualizations will make the presentation more memorable and impressive. 

As you can see in the example below, you can discover different data by engaging with the infographic. 

#7 Stay consistent with fonts and color styles

You want your presentation to look visually appealing and highlight essential information. To make that happen, stay consistent with font styles and color schemes throughout your presentation. 

Use one or two fonts max to make the text easy to read and understand. Also, use a carefully selected color scheme that’s not too distracting. If you’re using Prezi Design, you can easily copy and paste styles by right-clicking on your data visualizations and selecting “copy styles.” This makes it easier to stay consistent and saves time when picking matching colors. 

#8 Structure your presentation properly

Before creating your presentation, think about its structure. What’s the main idea you want to convey? Use that as your starting point, and only include information that adds value to the narrative. 

Plan out the first topics carefully to properly introduce your argument. Add the essential information in the middle part of your presentation. Lastly, close your presentation with a summary of the main points and leave your audience with an afterthought. Also, plan when you’re taking questions and for how long. 

For more insight, watch this tutorial on how to structure your presentation:

#9 Practice your public speaking skills

Public speaking may not be your forte, but you can get better with practice. Don’t decline a great opportunity to share your ideas with a larger audience just because you feel nervous speaking in front of a group of people. 

One of the best ways to improve your public speaking skills is to practice in front of your family or friends – people you feel comfortable with. Also, focus on the topic you’re presenting and get excited about the idea you want to convey. This way you’ll appear more confident and feel less nervous about public speaking. 

Explore other public speaking tips from Jessica Chen, the founder, and CEO of Soulcast Media: 

#10 Show your slides next to you on-screen

If you’re presenting on Zoom or in a virtual meeting , think twice before you share your screen. The days of hiding behind slides are over. People want to see and connect with other people, not sit through another run-of-the-mill screen share. To do that, use Prezi Video to showcase all your content right next to you in your video feed. 

As a result, your presentation will look more engaging than a traditional virtual presentation . Also, your audience will have the chance to read your body language and follow along with what you’re saying even better. 

If you already have your slides prepared, don’t worry – you can easily integrate them into Prezi. 

See Prezi Video in action and check out our video templates to get started.

#11 Calm down before presenting

Being in front of an audience can feel nerve-racking. However, there are ways to calm down before presenting that will make you feel more centered and confident. The last thing you want is all your hard work to go to waste just because of stress. 

Try breathing exercises or a five-minute guided meditation before presenting. The trick is to remove all distractions and focus on the present moment so you’re not overthinking right before starting your presentation. Also, be fully prepared and know exactly what to say and when which will help you feel more collected. If you want to discover other ways to feel and look more confident, read how not to be nervous before a presentation . 

#12 Use transitions and animations 

Add movement to your slides with transitions and animations. You’ll make your presentation more visually appealing and engaging. However, be careful not to overwhelm your audience with your choice of transitions and animations. 

Choose a transition that matches your presentation visually and use it throughout your presentation. Consider what animations will be relevant to your audience and select a few to add to your slides. Don’t overdo it. Keep the focus on the message you’re trying to convey, and use animations to only support that message. 

#13 Be enthusiastic 

When you’re in a room with a positive and enthusiastic person, you can’t help but feel uplifted as well. High-energy people have this effect on others. Most importantly, a lot of people tend to mimic people’s behavior and mirror their energy when they feel a connection or relate to them. That’s called the chameleon effect . 

effective presentation tips

When you’re presenting, you want your audience to feel curious about what you’re presenting. You may also want to leave your audience feeling uplifted, interested to know more, or inspired. To have that effect on others, try to convey those emotions when presenting. Practice your speech, slow down your narration at times, or take a pause after you’ve delivered a statement, and use different presentation techniques to present your project and really drive your points home. 

#14 End your presentation in a memorable way

The first few minutes of your presentation are crucial for captivating your audience’s attention. However, don’t underestimate the importance of ending your presentation as powerfully as you started it. 

The way you end your presentation will play a crucial part in how your audience will remember it. You want to make a memorable impression by closing your presentation with a summarizing statement, a rhetorical question, a call to action, or another impactful way. Discover 10 ways you can end your presentation in our guide.  

Young woman sharing her views with team in office meeting.

There are a lot of factors to consider when creating and delivering a presentation. You want your slides to look professional and visually appealing while conveying your main points. You also want to look and sound confident even if you’re nervous about public speaking. Whatever your concerns may be, remember that preparation is essential. Practice and dedication are the keys to giving a successful presentation . Make sure to follow these effective presentation tips to excel in your future presentations. If you’re interested in creating a captivating presentation with Prezi, contact us to learn more or try it for free . 

Elevating presentations with Prezi AI

Embrace the innovation of Prezi to bring your presentations to life. With its unique platform, Prezi AI offers more than just visually appealing templates; it provides an immersive narrative experience, engaging your audience with a story-driven approach. By integrating Prezi AI , our platform’s capabilities are further enhanced, offering intelligent design suggestions and optimizing content layouts to ensure your presentations are not only beautiful but impactful. This integration is a perfect example of effective presentation techniques in action, using technology to create a more engaging presentation.

Interactive elements: transforming passive listening into active engagement

Prezi revolutionizes the way information is presented by incorporating interactive elements that invite audience participation. With Prezi AI, these features become even more accessible, suggesting ways to make your presentation more engaging through clickable areas, zoomable images, and dynamic visualizations. This level of interaction encourages exploration, making your message more memorable and transforming a standard presentation into an effective presentation.

Adding a personal touch in digital presentation with video

Prezi Video stands out by seamlessly integrating your content alongside your video feed, bridging the gap between traditional presentations and personal engagement. This feature is crucial for those looking to follow presentation tips that emphasize the importance of connecting with your audience on a more personal level. Prezi AI enhances this experience, ensuring your content is displayed in the most effective way possible, making your virtual presentations feel as though you’re directly conversing with your audience.

Mastering presentation artistry with Prezi

The journey to becoming a skilled presenter involves continuously refining your approach and embracing tools that elevate your ability to communicate effectively. Prezi, enriched with Prezi AI, is one such tool that transforms ordinary presentations into captivating experiences. By leveraging these advanced features, you can deliver presentations that are successful, memorable, and truly unforgettable, embodying the essence of tips for presentation mastery.

Whether you’re an experienced speaker or preparing for your first presentation, Prezi equips you with the tools to succeed. Engage your audience, tell compelling stories, and deliver your message with confidence and creativity. Following effective presentation tips and exploring how Prezi AI can transform your next presentation is a step towards mastering the art of impactful communication. Delve into the features and begin your journey to presentation mastery today.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

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How to give a good presentation that captivates any audience

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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?

How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.

If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.

Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.

If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years . 

Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view. 

It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous. 

Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.

businesswoman-speaking-from-a-podium-to-an-audience-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:

Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.

It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.

Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.

Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.

Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.

Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.

If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included. 

Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling. 

Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.

Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:

1. Keep it simple

Simple means something different to everyone.

Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.

Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience. 

Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.

2. Create a compelling structure

Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.

If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you. 

By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest. 

3. Use visual aids

Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.

Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been. 

If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.

4. Be aware of design techniques and trends

Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.

  Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides: 

  • Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
  • Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
  • Ensure text stands out against the background color
  • Only use high-resolution photos
  • Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
  • Don’t overuse transitions and effects

5. Try the 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.

Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk: 

Tip #1: Tell stories

Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.

Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.

Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience

Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.

Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.

If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored. 

Group-of-a-business-people-having-meeting-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

Tip #3: Work on your stage presence

Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:

  • Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
  • Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
  • Use hand gestures to highlight important information

Tip #4: Start strong

Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:

  • Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person 
  • Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
  • Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk 
  • Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle

Tip #5: Show your passion

Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise. 

In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest. 

Tip #6: Plan your delivery

How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?

The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.

If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.

Woman-presenting-charts-and-data-to-work-team-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

Tip #7: Practice

Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.

Tip #8: Read the room

Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.

Tip #9: Breathe

Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.

The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.

Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action

When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.

If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.

Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

6 presentation skills and how to improve them

How to write a speech that your audience remembers, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, tell a story they can't ignore these 10 tips will teach you how, 3 stand-out professional bio examples to inspire your own, reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller, similar articles, the importance of good speech: 5 tips to be more articulate, the 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills, 30 presentation feedback examples, how to not be nervous for a presentation — 13 tips that work (really), how the minto pyramid principle can enhance your communication skills, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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12 PowerPoint Tips to Make Your Slides More Effective

ppt tips for a successful presentation

The design of your PowerPoint presentation is often underestimated. Everyone knows the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but in PowerPoint land, it seems to be quite the contrary.

 “A thousand words are worth a single picture” would seem to be a more fitting slogan. Slides are often filled to the brim with text, which the presenter literally reads out loud. And that’s why PowerPoint has a reputation for being dusty and static. A missed opportunity!

A well-designed PowerPoint presentation can help deliver your message to the audience. We talked to PowerPoint expert Ferry Pereboom, who shared 1 2 PowerPoint tips and tricks to help you steer your presentation in the right direction. 

You can go through the following list to improve your entire presentation quickly with these tips. It’s a good idea to use it as a checklist to ensure that your slides are alright in three major aspects: text, design, and navigability. 

Now, let’s cover recommendations for each of these aspects in more detail.

Texts on slides support your oral presentation and aim to emphasize the key points. It’s common knowledge that using too much text on slides is a sure sign of a bad PowerPoint presentation.

 However, many speakers still try to cram a truckload of information into their slideshows. That makes it especially important to do a good job on the text aspect in the first place. 

1. Keep it short and to the point

As mentioned, one of the most important things to remember is that PowerPoint is a tool made to support your story. So, it’s wise to avoid putting the entire text on the screen, because your audience will prefer listening to, and not reading the things you plan to say. 

Instead, try to reduce the text, shorten your bullet points, and keep them short and sweet.  You can use the 5×5 rule as a reference: have up to 5 text lines on each slide, each of them with no more than 5 words per line.

Keeping your texts concise will help engage your audience and make them focus on you instead of the slides on the screen.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Pro tip : Optimize the use of white space – that’s what we call empty space, that’s devoid of any color, text, and other elements. Keeping it empty helps to direct the viewer’s gaze. 

In the realm of texts, you can bring a breath of fresh air to your slides by adding extra margins, splitting up long paragraphs, and generally trying to place objects in no more than half of the slide.  

2. Choose the appropriate font

Try to pick a classic font instead of a creative one. Choosing the wrong font can easily make your text unreadable to your audience. And besides, if the computer you are presenting on doesn’t have the font you used installed, PowerPoint will replace it with another one at random. 

Sans serif fonts like Verdana, Calibri, and Helvetica are all safe choices. These fonts are quite popular and available on all computers.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

3. Enhance readability with the proper font size 

Generally, for more effective PowerPoint presentations, it’s always a good idea to make important lines of text and facts look bigger, bolder, and brighter than the others. Fonts can help with this as well. But picking the right font size can be difficult. 

On the one hand, your audience needs to be able to read the slide. And on the other hand, you don’t want your text to dominate the space, as you’d probably like to add some visuals to your slide as well. 

Still, there are quite precise font sizes that you can refer to in order to make good PowerPoint presentations. 

For headers, the minimum is around 20pt, while for the body you can have a minimum of 18pt. With these sizes, you can be assured your text will be legible in every situation. Learners will feel comfortable viewing your presentation on laptops, computers, tablets, TVs, and large screens.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Pro tip : You can manage the hierarchy of headings and subheadings on your slides with the Slide Master feature. Here you can also apply color schemes and a logo to any number of slides and achieve a consistent, unified look. 

Slide Master PowerPoint

Design 

Simple, yet brilliant design can enhance your message and facilitate communication. So, when you design your slides, try to find balance and remember that less is more. 

It’s always better to use 3 or a maximum of 4 colors that you know will combine well, instead of an entire palette, and align objects to establish symmetry. 

Below are a few more simple PowerPoint design tips that will help you create a good presentation.

4. Increase contrast

Besides the look and size of your font, it is important to take contrast into account to facilitate reading. It’s natural to use dark text on a light background, and vice versa. But if you’re using text on a photo, things can get a little more tricky. 

 It’s a good idea to either place a border or cast a shadow around the text to ensure that it’s readable. Or you can place text in one of the PowerPoint shapes. 

ppt tips for a successful presentation

5. Use coloring wisely

Colors are often used to give the slide some ‘flair’ and manage attention. When picking colors, it’s important to keep your audience in mind and define the purpose of the actual presentation. 

For instance, it’s good to use vibrant colors in a presentation for a primary school. However, if you prepare your presentation for business professionals to deliver it in a formal setting, you’ll need to define your colors according to your target audience.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

6. Select relevant, adequate visuals

When people are talking about a car, we often see that the first picture is taken from Google images, or even worse, that clip art is being used. 

This results in inconsistency because some images tend to be illustrations and drawings, making your presentation look unprofessional or simply ruining the viewer’s impression of it. 

To make your PowerPoint presentations effective, don’t use low-quality visual aid. Make sure you select good quality images that support your message.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

7. Use mock-ups instead of screenshots and diagrams 

Diagrams, schemes, and screenshots usually don’t help your presentation. Although this information is usually quite important to your story, it can be excessive. 

 To turn the slides into a good PowerPoint presentation, it’s a good idea to combine the diagram, scheme, or screenshot with an image, such as an image of an iPad, laptop, digital projector, or computer.  

In the example below, you can see that the slide looks much tidier when an image is added.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

8. Present data visually as much as possible

Whenever your presentation contains a lot of data, it might be easier to communicate this data by using visual formats instead of just using text. 

Graphs might give you the results you’re looking for. PowerPoint offers a wide variety of ‘doughnut’ charts, which are ideal for making comparisons.

For example, pick the doughnut graph to show your percentages in the middle of the graph. That way, your audience immediately understands your message.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

9. Simplify your tables as much as possible

Tables are usually crammed with information and numbers. This causes a slide to look crowded and chaotic. In this case, it is important to make the tables as simple as possible.

 Delete unnecessary outlines, colors, and borders. Again, “keep it simple” and “less is more” are key phrases to keep in mind when designing tables.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Navigability

Navigability applies more to the way you deliver slides to the audience and manipulate the playback. However, you need to plan this in advance as well, and pay attention to transitions, notes, animation, and other aspects that will result in an effective slideshow and save you time. 

Here are a few essential PowerPoint tips for easy navigation in your presentation slides. 

10. Minimize the variety of transitions in your PowerPoint presentation 

After creating a PowerPoint slide show, people usually conclude that the presentation comes across as boring or static. So, they start to use transitions. Different transitions are then used to ‘breathe life’ into the presentation. 

However, this is not the way to go. PowerPoint offers the most diverse transitions, which are usually experienced as distracting and unsophisticated. A simple ‘fade’ effect to segue from slide to slide is sufficient.

11. Rely on Presenter View in PowerPoint

Presenter View can help you greatly when delivering your presentation to viewers. With this functionality, you don’t have to keep everything in your head or question your own presentation skills. 

When presenting to the audience with Presenter View activated, you’ll be able to see what’s on the next slide, keep track of the time, use a laser pointer and/or pen, and be able to see your speaker notes. 

You can also paste your script or lecture notes here and avoid making your slides text heavy.

Presenter View in PowerPoint

12.  Provide an outline of the presentation

Giving an outline at the beginning of your presentation will help you start off on the right foot, especially if it’s long or you deliver it with other speakers.  It’s good form to include at least these three types of slides:

  • Welcome slide .  Presenters typically place the title and description of the presentation and their credentials here. 
  • Menu slide . You can place the contents of your presentation here to jump to the needed part quickly when needed (e.g., to refer to a particular idea during a Q&A session).
  • Summary slide . This will summarize the ideas you’ve presented and will be of great help when you’re wrapping up your presentation.

Here are a few more effective tips to structure your presentation – check them out.

Unlock Learner Engagement with iSpring 

Over the years, PowerPoint presentations have made their way out of classrooms and conference rooms to different audiences and evolved into truly informational products that people download, study, and share. That’s why searching for the best PowerPoint presentation tips is as relevant as ever. 

If you rely heavily on PowerPoint in your work, you can improve your slides greatly with iSpring Suite – an authoring toolkit that works in Microsoft PowerPoint.

iSpring Suite PowerPoint

iSpring Suite can replace several design tools and PowerPoint add-ins at once. It provides hundreds of design templates, color schemes, and visual elements, allowing you to create compelling presentations and gain and maintain an audience’s attention. The software comes with Content Library, which offers access to over 89,000 slide templates, backgrounds, and characters.

iSpring Suite Slide Templates

In addition to the pre-designed characters, iSpring Suite also allows you to create your own unique ones. You can change their hairstyles, pick accessories, and choose clothing that matches your brand or storyline and resonates with your learners.

Character Builder

Since you already know how to use PowerPoint, it won’t take much time at all to master iSpring Suite and create an engaging presentation or a full-fledged online course. You can populate it with quizzes, interactions, web objects, quality audio narrations, and videos in a breeze.

Also read:   How to Convert PowerPoint to MP4 Video on Windows & macOS

With iSpring Suite, you can convert your slides into HTML5 format, so your audience can view them online, right in their browsers, with no downloading necessary.   You can also share your presentation as a YouTube video in a click. 

Try iSpring Suite and create a stellar presentation now!

FAQ on How to Make an Effective PPT Presentation 

People often look for some ready-made formulas of a great PowerPoint presentation on the Internet. We’ve found several of them for your quick reference. Feel free to use these rules along with our tried-and-true PowerPoint tips. 

What is the 5–5–5 rule in PowerPoint presentations? 

The 5-5-5 rule stands for having a maximum of 5 text lines on a slide with no more than 5 words in each, and up to only 5 slides in a row that use that format.  Apparently, this encourages creators to reflect on the way they’re making slides, be concise, and do so knowingly. 

What is the 5–second rule in PowerPoint?

The five-second rule prescribes that it should take no more than 5 seconds to grasp the idea of a slide.  You can ensure that this happens by using brief and clear text lines, and convincing design. 

What is the 10-20-30 rule in a presentation? 

The 10-20-30 rule is a fun rule that Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, introduced after watching hundreds of exhausting presentations and pitches.  The rule says that a presentation should be strictly 10 slides and 20 minutes long, with a 30-point font size. Learn more about this rule and how it was devised on Kawasaki’s website . 

Which PowerPoint tips and tricks do you know? Which one is your favorite?  Feel free to share with us below!

About the author

Ferry Pereboom is co-founder of PPT Solutions, a design agency in the Netherlands.

The company specializes in developing inspiring PowerPoint presentations. PPT Solutions has approximately 1,500 clients, and 28 PowerPoint specialists, and delivers work to clients in about twelve countries around the globe. Ferry is mainly responsible for helping both new and existing clients overcome their presentation challenges.

Please check the website www.pptsolutions.nl  for more information on professional PowerPoint tips.

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PowerPoint Tips  - Simple Rules for Better PowerPoint Presentations

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PowerPoint Tips: Simple Rules for Better PowerPoint Presentations

Lesson 17: simple rules for better powerpoint presentations.

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Simple rules for better PowerPoint presentations

Have you ever given a PowerPoint presentation and noticed that something about it just seemed a little … off? If you’re unfamiliar with basic PowerPoint design principles, it can be difficult to create a slide show that presents your information in the best light.

Poorly designed presentations can leave an audience feeling confused, bored, and even irritated. Review these tips to make your next presentation more engaging.

Don't read your presentation straight from the slides

If your audience can both read and hear, it’s a waste of time for you to simply read your slides aloud. Your audience will zone out and stop listening to what you’re saying, which means they won’t hear any extra information you include.

Instead of typing out your entire presentation, include only main ideas, keywords, and talking points in your slide show text. Engage your audience by sharing the details out loud.

Follow the 5/5/5 rule

To keep your audience from feeling overwhelmed, you should keep the text on each slide short and to the point. Some experts suggest using the 5/5/5 rule : no more than five words per line of text, five lines of text per slide, or five text-heavy slides in a row.

slide with too much text versus a slide with just enough text

Don't forget your audience

Who will be watching your presentation? The same goofy effects and funny clip art that would entertain a classroom full of middle-school students might make you look unprofessional in front of business colleagues and clients.

Humor can lighten up a presentation, but if you use it inappropriately your audience might think you don’t know what you’re doing. Know your audience, and tailor your presentation to their tastes and expectations.

Choose readable colors and fonts

Your text should be easy to read and pleasant to look at. Large, simple fonts and theme colors are always your best bet. The best fonts and colors can vary depending on your presentation setting. Presenting in a large room? Make your text larger than usual so people in the back can read it. Presenting with the lights on? Dark text on a light background is your best bet for visibility.

Screenshot of Microsoft PowerPoint

Don't overload your presentation with animations

As anyone who’s sat through a presentation while every letter of every paragraph zoomed across the screen can tell you, being inundated with complicated animations and exciting slide transitions can become irritating.

Before including effects like this in your presentation, ask yourself: Would this moment in the presentation be equally strong without an added effect? Does it unnecessarily delay information? If the answer to either question is yes—or even maybe—leave out the effect.

Use animations sparingly to enhance your presentation

Don’t take the last tip to mean you should avoid animations and other effects entirely. When used sparingly, subtle effects and animations can add to your presentation. For example, having bullet points appear as you address them rather than before can help keep your audience’s attention.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you create a presentation—your audience will thank you. For more detailed information on creating a PowerPoint presentation, visit our Office tutorials .

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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

For example, most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize.

You can also guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement also matters. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you. Use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered. Either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts. Just keep legibility top of mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

  • A change in color

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell. Think about the colors and composition in an image and the distinct mood they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in a boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it.

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later? You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos , colorful markets , and so on.

Aerial view of a cargo ship

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag-and-drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu.

Screenshot of how to compress a picture

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low-quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI), and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of compression options for your image

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections, Color, Effects, Animation, and a lot more. This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of picture format options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of how to crop an image

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of how to change the shape of an image

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > Five tips for choosing the right PowerPoint template

Five tips for choosing the right PowerPoint template

The design or template you choose can greatly influence the success of your presentation, either capturing your audience’s attention or leaving them disengaged. To make a lasting impression on your audience, utilize these five tips when selecting your PowerPoint presentation template.

Two pencils with a yellow background

How do you choose a template in PowerPoint?

The initial step in creating your PowerPoint presentation is choosing the appropriate design. To effectively select the best PowerPoint template for your presentation, there are several components you should consider. These components include the following:

1. Consider your audience

The first component you should consider is your audience. Is the presentation intended for a formal setting, such as in a business context, or will it be delivered in a more informal gathering? Are the viewers going to review the slides virtually , in-person, or will they be viewing the presentation independently? What are the demographics of your audience? It’s crucial to contemplate your audience before outlining your presentation, as they significantly influence your design choices. For example, if you are delivering a business-oriented presentation, you might choose a more conservative design, while a more informal presentation may call for a bolder and more captivating template.

Tell your story with captivating presentations Banner

Tell your story with captivating presentations

Powerpoint empowers you to develop well-designed content across all your devices

2. Select a template with appropriate layout options

The layout plays a crucial role in determining how your content is delivered, read, and ultimately comprehended by your audience. When you assess presentation templates, ensure that the layout options align with the nature of your content. Ask yourself, ‘Will this format enhance the readability and comprehension of my content for my audience? Is it the most efficient way to convey my information?

3. Choose a design that fits your style

You’ll feel most comfortable presenting when your presentation feels like yourself. Make you presentation an extension of your personal style and brand, that effectively complements your aesthetic preferences. Whether you prefer minimalism and clean lines or a striking, vibrant presentation filled with animation, select a design that aligns with your style and creates cohesive visuals.

4. Find a template that reflects your message

Outside of aesthetics, your template should reflect the core message of your presentation. If your content is data-heavy, opt for a template with clear charts and graphs. For a storytelling presentation, choose a template that incorporates visuals and storytelling elements. Ensuring your template and message aligns strengthens your presentation’s storytelling .

5. Consider the length of your presentation

The duration of your presentation should be incorporated in your template decision making. Longer presentations may benefit from a clean and organized template that aids in maintaining audience attention. Shorter presentations, on the other hand, provide room for more creative and visually striking templates. Consider the pacing and structure of your content in relation to the template to optimize your audience’s engagement.

The key to an effective PowerPoint presentation template is extensively considering the context of your presentation. Know who your audience is, what your message is, the length of your message, and how the content should be presented. When you consider these elements, you can ensure your presentation will resonate with your audience, with your intended impact. For more ways to improve your next presentation, learn more presentation tips .

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How to add bullet points to a google slides presentation.

Present your slide in an organized manner with bullet points

Google Slides is a feature-packed PowerPoint alternative. The free tool comes with style and formatting add-ons to elevate your presentation in no time. One such option is the ability to insert bullet points to simplify content on your slide. Whether you use Google Slides on the web, an iPhone, an iPad, or an Android phone , here's how to add bullet points to your presentation.

How to add bullet points to Google Slides for the web

We'll start with Google Slides for the web and then move to mobile and tablet apps to add bullet points. Since it's the web version, you can access it from a desktop browser on your Windows PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

1. Visit Google Slides on the web and open a presentation you want to edit.

2. Go to a slide and select the content to convert to a bullet list.

3. Select the Bulleted list icon at the top. You can also use Command + Shift + 8 (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + 8 (Windows) to add a bullet list.

4. When you enter a bullet list on an empty slide, look for the first bullet point on the text field. Press Enter to add a second item to the list.

5. You can create a mini list beneath the main bullet point. This is an effective way to organize the listicle. To do so, press Enter on the main bullet point (or Return on Mac) and press Tab .

6. Add relevant points and press Enter to expand the secondary bullet list.

Change the bullet point color

By default, Google Slides uses black for bullet points. If it doesn't match your presentation theme, use the steps below to change it.

1. Launch a presentation in Google Slides.

2. Click any bullet point to select the entire list.

3. Click A at the top and change the bullet point color. You can use the same trick to change the bullet point color for the secondary list.

Change the bullet point style in Google Slides

Do the rounded-style bullet points feel repetitive? Use the tricks below to explore and add different bullet point styles for your presentation.

1. Open any slide and select the bullet points.

2. Click Format at the top. Expand Bullets and numbering .

3. Expand List options and select More bullets .

4. In the Insert special characters menu, pick a symbol from different categories, search by keyword, or draw one.

5. Select a relevant symbol and check the live changes.

What's the difference between Google Slides templates and themes?

Add bullet points in google slides for android.

Google also offers a robust Slides app on mobile platforms. It's helpful for making little tweaks on the go.

We use Google Slides for Android in the screenshots below. You can follow the same on Android tablets.

1. Launch Google Slides on your phone and select a presentation. Tap the slide you want to edit.

2. Select Edit slide

3. Tap any text area and select bullet list from the bottom menu.

4. Type your text and tap Enter to expand the list.

Use bullet points in Google Slides for iPhone and iPad

If you use Google Slides on an iPhone or iPad, use the steps below to add bullet points to it. Let's take the iPad as an example.

1. Open Google Slides and select a presentation.

2. Tap a slide and select Edit slide .

3. Select any text area and tap the Bulleted list icon at the top.

4. Tap Return to continue adding items to the list.

5. Tap Return and tap the indent icon next to the bullet point to add a bullet point within a bullet point list.

6. Tap the checkmark in the upper-left corner and you're set to deliver your presentation.

Does Google Slides bullet points work with PowerPoint?

Do you plan to open your Google Slides presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint? Your added bullet points show up exactly as they do on Microsoft's software. There won't be any formatting issues.

Make your presentation crisp and clear

Organizing relevant slide content in easy-to-understand bullet points leaves a positive impression on your audience. While you are at it, turn on autoplay to deliver your presentation effortlessly . If you want inspiration to get started with your upcoming presentation, check our dedicated Google Slides templates list for work, school, and home.

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How To Compress A PowerPoint

Compressing a PowerPoint presentation improves its accessibility, and makes it easier to share, transfer, and store.

There are many reasons why compressing your PowerPoint presentation is a good idea.

It can load faster (especially if it contains a lot of images or other media), and be easily shared and viewed by others.

Also, if you have limited storage space on your computer or server, compressing your PowerPoint presentation can help free up space . Let’s get into it:

How To Compress A PowerPoint 🤔

Some tips to reduce your presentation file size 🧐, frequently asked questions 🙋.

Important disclosure: we're proud affiliates of some tools mentioned in this guide. If you click an affiliate link and subsequently make a purchase, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you (you pay nothing extra). For more information, read our affiliate disclosure .

To compress a PowerPoint presentation, follow these steps:

  • Open your PowerPoint presentation and click on the "File" tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

2. Click on "Info" in the left-hand menu, and then click on "Compress Media" in the middle of the screen.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

3. In the Compress Media menu, you can choose to compress all pictures and media in the presentation, or only selected media. You can also choose the level of compression you want to apply.

4. Once you've chosen your desired compression level, click "OK" to start the compression process.

5. Once the compression process is complete, your PowerPoint presentation will have a smaller file size, making it easier to share and transfer.

If your presentation's file size is too large, you can try the following to make it more manageable:

  • Minimize the size of images in your presentation.
  • To minimize image sizes, once you have selected the image you’d like to compress, click on the “Picture Format” tab.
  • Head to the “Adjust” group and click on “Compress Pictures” .
  • In the “Compression options" section, make sure that “Apply only to this picture” is unticked, so that any changes will apply to all images.
  • Next, select the option for “Delete cropped areas of pictures” . This will remove any cropped picture data.

5. And finally, under “Resolution” , opt for “Use default resolution” .

ppt tips for a successful presentation

  • Reduce the default image resolution
  • To reduce the default image resolution, navigate to File > Options > Advanced . Under the Image Size and Quality section, check the box for “Discard editing data” .

2. Make sure that the option for “Do not compress images in file” is not selected.

3. Choose a resolution that is 150ppi or less from the “Default resolution” list.

ppt tips for a successful presentation

Why should I compress my PowerPoint presentation? As mentioned above, compressing a PowerPoint presentation reduces the file size, making it easier to share and transfer. It's particularly helpful when working with large presentations that may take up significant storage space or when sending presentations via email.

Can I compress only specific images or media in my PowerPoint presentation? Yes, you can choose to compress all media or select specific images or media to compress. This gives you more control over the compression process and helps to ensure that critical content is not degraded during compression.

Will compressing my PowerPoint presentation affect the quality of the content? Unfortunately, compressing images and media may result in some loss of quality . However, the degree of quality loss depends on the compression options you select. Refer to the compression options above to help minimize any loss of quality.

Can I preview my compressed PowerPoint presentation before saving it? Sure, in fact, we recommend this step to ensure that the compressed file has not compromised the quality of your content and you are happy with the end result.

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A montage of solar eclipse photos. In the top row, the moon's shadow gradually covers the sun's disk, moving from upper right to lower left. The center row shows three images of totality and near-totality. The bottom row shows the solar disk reemerging.

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On Monday, April 8, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse — a rare astronomical event where the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, blocking out the sun’s light almost completely. The last total solar eclipse in the contiguous U.S. was in 2017, and the next one won’t be until 2044.

If the weather cooperates, people across the United States — from northeastern Maine to southwestern Texas — will be able to observe the eclipse using protective eyewear. Those in the path of totality , where the moon entirely covers the sun, will have the best view, but 99% of people in the continental U.S. will be able to see a partial eclipse. Weather permitting, those on the MIT campus and the surrounding area will see 93 percent of the sun covered, with the partial eclipse starting at 2:15 p.m. and reaching its peak around 3:29 p.m. Gatherings are planned at the Kresge Oval and the MIT Museum , and a live NASA stream will be shown in the Building 55 atrium .

Brian Mernoff , manager of the CommLab in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is an accomplished astrophotographer and science educator. Mernoff is headed to Vermont with his family to experience the totality from the best possible angle — but has offered a few thoughts on how to enjoy the eclipse safely, wherever you are.

Q: What should viewers expect to see and experience with this solar eclipse?

A: When you’re watching TV (the sun) and your toddler, dog, or other large mammal (the moon) blocks your view, you no doubt move over a bit to try to get a partial or full view of the TV. This is exactly how the path of totality works for an eclipse. If you are exactly in line with the moon and sun, it will be completely blocked, but if you start moving away from this path, your view of the sun will start to increase until the moon is not in the way at all.

The closer you are to the path of totality, the more of the sun will be blocked. At MIT, about 93 percent of the sun will be blocked. Those in the area will notice that things around you will get slightly darker, just like when it starts to become overcast. Even so, the sun will remain very bright in the sky and solar glasses will be required to view the entirety of the eclipse. It really goes to show how incredibly bright the sun is!

Within the narrow path of totality, the moon will continue to move across the sun, reaching 100 percent coverage. For this short period of time, you can remove your glasses and see a black disk where the sun should be. Around the disk will be wispy white lines. This is the corona, the outermost part of the sun, which is normally outshone by the sun’s photosphere (surface). Around the edges of the black disk of the moon, right as totality begins and ends, you can also see bright spots around the edges, known as Bailey’s Beads, caused by sunlight shining between mountains and craters on the moon.

But that’s not all! Although you will be tempted to stare up at the sun throughout totality, do not forget to observe the world around you. During totality, it feels like twilight. There is a 360-degree sunset, the temperature changes rapidly, winds change, animals start making different sounds, and shadows start getting weird (look into “shadow bands” if you have a chance).

As soon as totality ends, and you start to see Baily’s Beads again, put your solar glasses back on as it will get very bright again very fast as the moon moves out of the way.

Q: What are the best options for viewing the eclipse safely and to greatest effect?

A: No matter where you are during the eclipse, make sure you have solar glasses. These glasses should be ISO-approved for solar viewing. Do not use glasses with scratches, holes, or other damage.

If you are unable to obtain solar glasses in time, you can safely view the eclipse using a home-made projection method , such as a pinhole camera or even projecting the image of the sun through a colander.

The best view of the eclipse will be from within the path of totality, but even if you are not within it, you should still go outside to experience the partial eclipse. Use the NASA Eclipse Explorer to find the start, maximum, and end times, and then find a nice spot outside — preferably with some shade — put on your glasses, and enjoy the show.

For a closer view of the sun, find a friend that has a telescope with the correct ISO-certified solar filter. This will let you see the photosphere (or chromosphere if it is an H-alpha scope) in a lot more detail. If you do not have access to a telescope, NASA plans to livestream a telescope view throughout the eclipse. [The livestream will be displayed publicly on a large screen in Building 55 at MIT, rain or shine.]

The only time you can look at or image the sun without a filter is during 100 percent totality. As soon as this period is done, glasses and filters must be put back on.

After the eclipse, keep your glasses and filters. You can use them to look at the sun on any day (it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that I could use the glasses at any time instead of lugging out a telescope). On a really clear day, you can sometimes see sunspots!

Q: How does eclipse photography work?

A: This year I plan to photograph the eclipse in two ways. The first is using a hydrogen-alpha telescope. This telescope filters out all light except for one wavelength that is given off by hydrogen. Because it blocks out most of the light from the sun’s surface, it allows you to see the turbulent upper atmosphere of the sun, including solar prominences that follow magnetic field lines.

Because this telescope does not allow for imaging during totality as too much light is blocked, I also plan to set up a regular camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the total eclipse with the surrounding environment as context. During the 2017 eclipse, I only captured close-ups of the sun using a regular solar filter and missed the opportunity to capture what was going on around me.

Will it work? That depends on if we get clear skies, and how many pictures of my 1.5-year-old need to be taken (as well as how much chasing needs to be done).

If you would like to take pictures of the eclipse, make sure you protect your camera sensor. The sun can easily damage lenses, sensors, and other components. Here are some examples of solar damaged cameras . The solution is simple, though. If using a camera phone, you can take pictures through an extra pair of solar glasses, or even tape them to the phone. For cameras with larger lenses, you can buy cardboard filters that slide over the front of your camera or even buy ISO-approved solar film and make your own.

Q: Any fun, unique, cool, or interesting science facts about this eclipse to share?

A: If you want to get even more involved with the eclipse, there are many citizen science projects that plan to collect as much data as possible throughout the eclipse.

NASA is planning to run several experiments during the eclipse , and researchers with MIT Haystack Observatory will also be using four different technologies to monitor changes in the upper atmosphere , both locally and across the continent.

If you are interested in learning more about the eclipse, here are two of my favorite videos, one on “ unexpected science from a 0.000001 megapixel home-made telescope ” and one on solar eclipse preparation .

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