As promised, here are 10 PowerPoint tips:

  1. If you can put it on two slides, rather than one, then do.
    Most people put far to much information on a single slide.
  2. If you need notes, put them in the notes section.
    That is what it is for. You can then print and use the notes. Don’t force your audience to look at your notes or prompts.
  3. If you need lots of punctuation, something is wrong.
    Bulleted lists aren’t great, but comma separated lists are definitely hard to read, difficult to follow, tricky to parse, tough to digest, easily lost, fairly ugly, you get the idea…
  4. Try to have no more than 5-7 lines of text per slide, if any.
  5. Stick to one key idea per slide.
    This stops concepts becoming muddled and also makes the deck more ‘usable’ when it is printed.
  6. Slides are there to focus the audience’s mind.
    Design them to do that, ensuring that they don’t accidentally distract from the message you are trying to get across.
  7. Builds control the rate of information delivery.
    This is good, as makes it easier for people to follow, but excessive animation will just distract from the content. Too many builds indicates too much on the slide. Strike the balance, err on the conservative side.
  8. Slide transitions are good.
    A nice slide transition beats a straight cut. We are the movie generation and our eyes and brains have expectations. A transition reminds the audience that you are moving on to the next idea, just as a cut does in a move. Consider using a different transition to mark key sections of a presentation. Once again, be conservative, if the transition is too noticeable, it will distract and detract.
  9. Remember your point and ensure your audience does too.
    If you can’t remember it, how will your audience? Powerpoint was designed to make points. Make yours and make them clear and memorable.
  10. There are no country laws or legal requirements for you to use Powerpoint slides.
    If you are better off without them, then don’t use them. Many of the best ‘presentations’ I have seen were done without slides.

Can someone add another 91 to make it 101! Happy presenting!

Other posts that you might enjoy: 3 Things Not to Forget in a Presentation, A Presentation Lesson from Al Gore.