Often it is not the PowerPoint presentation but the speaker and the subject that electrifies an audience. The slideshow has to be viewed as a support that may amplify the talk, but should not distract or get in the way. That’s where a professional PowerPoint presentation design comes in.
The PowerPoint presentation should sound like the presenter cares about the story they’re telling. It should bring information to life. The graphics should not be arbitrary but chosen to illustrate. The presentation should have a logic, following a narrative. There should be a coherent progression with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Tricks used by the best storytellers will enhance your PowerPoint talk. First, a “socko” beginning that grabs audience attention. One of the best PowerPoint presentations ever was given by Apple CEO, Steve Jobs when he stepped to the platform and announced, “We’ve got some great stuff for you. There’s clearly something in the air today.”
The first slide could be very simple, just allowing the speaker to have the eyes of the audience. The best novelists know how to throw out little hints about what is to come. PowerPoint presentations can follow their lead. This can be more than a summary of the entire talk, but a question that will be answered or a goal that will be reached. The listeners will want to know the how and the explanation of the why and this will keep their interest.
Spontaneity and directness of communication is important for any presentation. Some of what the speakers says could be unscripted. A presenter should always be comfortable with his or her audience. However, the presentation itself should be based on a carefully written script or plan. Professional PowerPoint presentations are based on a story board, similar to the plans made for motion pictures. Developing a coherent storyboard and writing a basic script is important to keep the presentation smooth and to get the story from beginning to end without confusion.
Developing illustrative, attractive PowerPoint slides that add to but do not distract from the presentation is vital. It is not necessary to have every statement in the presentation read from the slides. Background illustrations should be attractive but not overwhelming. Graphs should be clearly demonstrative of the point they are making. Many PowerPoint presentations use graphs which provide only weak support for the statements the speaker makes about them.
Like a theater piece, the PowerPoint presentation should end in a way that keeps the listeners engaged in the topic.