There is now a technical term for boring presentations: “Death by PowerPoint.” Who doesn’t know it? Bad and monotonous presentations that are overloaded with too much information on the slides overwhelm the audience.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a handy and versatile tool that you can use to create informative and engaging presentations to accompany your oral presentations. Here are our top tips on how to properly use PowerPoint.
Infographics and Icons
If complex facts must be visualized or a lot of data must be conveyed, infographics and symbols are extremely helpful.
An infographic simplifies information and visually correlates complex issues. The simplification in the infographic serves as an orientation for the audience; the important information lost in the graphic is conveyed orally through the presentation. This way, you can avoid slides with endless columns of numbers or a lot of text. A good infographic is much better remembered by the viewer than 25 bullet points.
Symbols also clarify a topic and many are universally understandable. A stop sign, for example, is understood worldwide. A similar system can be seen in many other symbols; due to the globally networked world, more and more pictograms and symbols are understandable worldwide.
Animated charts and graphs
The longer a presentation becomes, the more important it is to break up the information conveyed with graphics and diagrams. The same applies here: Pictures are better remembered than 25 bullet points.
Graphical forms of representation such as the infographics mentioned above, or, in the case of processed data, diagrams are better than the use of text. To help them be better remembered, you can animate them in PowerPoint. Moving graphics or diagrams draw the listener’s attention at the right time and stay in the memory longer.
If you want to show changing proportions (for example, changing income and expenditure situations), you can add a bar chart to your presentation, in which the individual bars change the size, or create a filling pie chart.
To animate a chart, all you have to do is left-click on the chart and select the “Animation” tab at the top. Here you can select the right animation for your presentation in the effect options.
If you want to customize the animation even further, you can divide your chart into different sections. To do this, you can insert the diagram using the “Windows Meta File” option. You then have to select the “Ungroup” option twice in the diagram’s context menu so that you can animate the individual parts of the diagram individually.
With a long presentation, even the best presentation will eventually lose the audience’s attention. Videos are a good way to loosen up the lecture, offer a short break, and attract the listener’s attention back to the presentation and the lecture.
Also, with a video in the presentation, you can address your audience on an emotional level in addition to a cognitive level. The various possibilities of videos, i.e., visual language and sound or music, are better suited than graphics, diagrams, and text to arouse emotions in the audience or to produce a mood.
It is important to embed the video file in PowerPoint presentations. While this significantly increases the size of the .pptx file, the video plays faster in the presentation. If the video file is only linked, PowerPoint references just a path to the video on your hard drive or data carrier. This increases the loading time if you call up the slide with the presentation during your presentation and if you have the video saved on your hard drive but the .pptx file on a different data carrier that is then no longer connected to the computer with this hard drive, the video will no longer appear!
Use the right images
By default, almost everyone who uses PowerPoint already includes images in their presentations to support their information. But images alone don’t do much to improve the quality of a presentation.
A target slide should no longer be illustrated with just a target!!!
A big mistake would be to use typical PowerPoint images that your audience has seen too many times in one way or another. Instead, it pays to think a little “outside the box.” Instead of using the obvious candidates, you can simply surprise your audience; new visual content promises more attention than familiar ones.