We all know how annoying it can be to see bad presentation slides. Here are 7 easy to follow pro tips to improve your slides and to make a better impact at business meetings, keynotes or sales presentations.
We all know it, PowerPoint presentations with tons of text, confusing graphics, aggressive colors, and potentially also 1990 GIF animations that constantly distract you from listening. It is an art to make an awesome presentation but it doesn’t need much to actually make good ones.
In my many years at conferences, giving keynotes, or also building slide-decks I needed to learn a lot about what to do and what not. Here are my 7 key features that will make your presentation good and will help you do better.
My 7 tips for creating awesome slides
1. Only one topic per slide
Should actually be clear but still happens so often. People tend to pack different things on one single slide. Your audience is confused and trying to follow you. So, make it clear what you are speaking about. Just show 1 Picture, 1 Topic or 1 Sentence on a slide and give them a chance to also listen to you.
2. Write full sentences
While bullet points can make sense in certain topics or certain moments it is far from perfect to just use bullet points for your whole presentation. Whenever possible try to make a short but easy to understand the sentence. That is easier to understand and gives more context to what you want to say.
3. Not too many animations
Some PowerPoint experts want to show off their “Animation Pane Skillset” in the best way possible. This can add a nice touch to an otherwise static presentation but use it in moderation. Don’t build too many animations into the slide itself and also don’t mix too many different animation styles.
4. Don’t distract people
Many have a lot of logo presence on their slides. Sometimes they have 2-3 times the logo mentioned. Any adding the Logos only at the beginning and in the end, you have cleaner slides and less distraction from the content you actually want to present. The same goes for too many pictures and graphs on a slide. Don’t try to overdo it by stuffing the slide with so many objects that the listener gets confused.
5. 1-Slide – 1-Minute
There is actually something like a personal rule I can really recommend and also a lot of other keynote speakers and professional speakers uses: Just talk 1 minute per slide.
This will help you to keep the content fresh on the screen, avoids that you are showing a picture or a slide for 10 min so the listeners have the feeling you got stuck and it also gives you more room for a good structure while you are talking.
6. Involve your audience
One of the trickiest parts of a presentation is actually to involve your audience. With some small questionnaires, some quizzes, or something where the people actually have to think/act/react it is way easier to build a true relationship and also attention for your topic. Try to do it once or twice in your presentation to keep the people engaged but don’t become a quizmaster that is constantly asking for feedback.
7. Presentations are complementary
Keep in mind that every presentation is about helping you to transport your message to the audience. It is not a hand-out, it has nothing to do with helping you – The only goal of your presentation is to augment your spoken word and to give people something which would otherwise not be possible. So, choose the content wisely for this sole purpose – AUGMENTING YOUR TALK.
A simple process for creating keynote slides
Many people are overthinking their presentations and they keep forgetting the audience in the whole process. One of my best working methods is actually very simple to follow. I share with you the process of how I prepare my keynotes, so you can try it out by yourself.
- Picky a topic and the message I want to deliver
- I open an empty Presentation (or Template)
- Create a new slide for every point you want to make (like the Headline you want to say)
- Find the storyline and arrange your slides accordingly
- Look for visuals to put into (Best is one picture per slide)
- Go through the slides while presenting and add the 1 sentence you want to display or the 1 graphic you need
- Scroll through and see if you feel comfortable and adjust if possible
As you see, this process is really straight forward. It’s like writing an article where you first highlight the chapters, then the headlines and finally, you fill it with some life and content.