If you use PowerPoint often, you should be aware of a few PowerPoint tips you can use as quick wins the next time you present. Some of these tips essentially come down to knowing a few quick key strokes to make sure everything is as easy and efficient as possible.
If you would like to start the presentation without having to find the button to click in the lower right-hand corner, you can press the
F5 key, which will start the presentation from the beginning. This is extremely useful for not having the crowd in front of you wait on you trying to get things started.
If you have to move away from your presentation to show something else, like a website or another file, you can press
Shift + F5 when you’re back in your presentation to go back to the last slide you were on. Very useful.
The third quick tip that is really great to mix things up a bit is to press the
b key to make the screen black. This is helpful to not only corral the ADD folks but also to pull the attention away from your slides and back onto yourself, especially if you have an important part of the presentation coming up.
Lastly (for now), always remember to keep your video and sound files in the same location as your presentation. If you do not do this and you have media embedded, you will bring your presentation to a screeching halt. Don’t let your good presentation go bad and potentially never recover.
I know what it’s like to be boring and I know what it’s like to be captivating. I prefer to be captivating when I speak on stage. ?
But of course, that takes preparation and knowing the audience you’re about to be speaking to.
In addition to the quick wins above, here are the PowerPoint tips I try to subscribe to in creating and setting up my slides:
- Don’t fill the slides up with text, you want the focus to be on you, not the wall of text they have to read.
- Maintain whitespace so the slides are aesthetically pleasing.
- Make sure text is readable (contrast, size, and more) everywhere in the room.
- Make sure all objects, images, and text boxes are aligned and not scattered.
- Don’t over do it on the transitions
- Don’t use action sounds
- Maintain the consistency of the appearance of your slide deck by running through presentation on A/V computer, using your own hardware, or embeding your font files into the presentation file itself.
- Make sure add-ins, embeds, and other media works properly.
Avoiding Death by PowerPoint
One of my favorite design tips for PowerPoint presentations (slide decks) comes from none other than Pat Flynn. Let’s see how the tips of this professional speaker compare to what I know.
- Know and use the correct slide size. Maybe bring both standard and widescreen.
- Avoid bullet points in order to share the content creatively.
- Each slide has the topic and at least 1 support image to act as a visual trigger.
- Choose a style that works for you. Not only one that you like but one that serves your audience well.
- Keep the text on the top so everyone can see.
- Show a road map so the audience knows where they are at all times.
- Use simple graphs and tables. Use what is necessary to get your point across.
- Highlight the most important portions of your slides using the lightbox trick.
- Go dark during story time so the focus is back on your story.
I dig it. This style requires quite a bit more preparation but that sounds good to me. There are a few things I’ll try next time that I hadn’t previously considered before.
Life After Death by PowerPoint
Of course I can’t talk about PowerPoint tips without thinking about Don McMillan’s Life After Death by PowerPoint act. Now you will too. You’re welcome.