Power Point Tips
  • Do the presentation first, then the slides.
    Many people draft and write their presentation in PowerPoint itself. It's far better to prepare the presentation in Word (or whatever other tool you use to write)--including all the detail you want to present--and then transfer the highlights to PowerPoint. The one problem with using Word for this: It doesn't have a very good outlining tool.
  • Artwork has killed more presentations than it's saved.
    You're not a graphic artist, and neither am I. PowerPoint makes it too easy to add confusing graphics to presentations. Use restraint.
  • Animation is for cartoons.
    Animation tends to take over the presentation, which then becomes more about the presenter trying to make all the builds and transitions work properly than actually presenting the content.
  • Present more than the slides.
    Don't you hate it when presenters stand at the front of a room and read their slides ?  Slides are supposed to convey the major points of the presentation, reinforcing the speaker's points. Use them as prompts to talk about specific topics, as an outline, not as the substance of the presentation itself.
  • Use the notes pages.
    Many people are unaware that PowerPoint lets you attach notes to slides, which can then be printed and used to guide you or to give to the audience. Search for "notes" in the Help file to find out more about this feature.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
    No, you don't have to stand in front of a mirror and do your entire presentation. But a sit-down with some colleagues can answer the questions, "Do these slides make sense?" and "Is this the information people care about?"--before you find out the hard way.