designing a powerpoint presentation

Designing a PowerPoint Presentation


Successful Preparation is the Basis for a Successful Presentation

Have you ever had to sit through a boring presentation? What made it boring? Did the person use visual aids? Most people learn and remember best when information is introduced by both audio and visual channels. That means that when you’re the one presenting information, you want to both tell your audience and show your audience the important points.

For example, if you are training employees on a new piece of equipment, having them look at a series of steps on a piece of paper probably won’t result in many of them remembering those steps. If instead you show them a diagram with each step, they’re more likely to understand and remember what you talk about.

A good presentation takes planning. Before creating your presentation, you should:

  • Determine the purpose of the project
  • Analyze your audience
  • Gather possible content
  • Determine what content to present to your audienceMind Map

Read more
detailed steps for planning a presentation.

Before opening PowerPoint, create an outline for your presentation. If you’re not comfortable with outline format, you could instead use a mind map like the one shown here, or another type of organizer. The goal is to determine the theme of your presentation, and define the main points so you have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Lack of organization will make it difficult for you to get through your presentation and will make it tough for the audience to follow along.

The most important thing to remember is that PowerPoint is a visual aid. It is
NOT a presentation in itself. For that reason, your PowerPoint slide show shouldn’t include every word you’re going to say. Keeping in mind that it is a
visual aid, figure out what the truly important points of your presentation are, and then determine how to display them on your slides to help people remember them.

This is where your outline will be helpful. The outline should include the most important points as headers and/or subheadings. These are the items that should appear on your slides. Other items to include are useful visuals, such as diagrams or charts. You want pictures that either illustrate the important points or at least draw attention to them. Once you’ve determined what these important points are, you’re ready to start working in PowerPoint.