Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All about PowerPoint

I found these articles are really helpful. Since we use PowerPoint pretty often for assignments and other activities, it is important to know what we need when making a presentation using PowerPoint and what to avoid. I summarized a list of five guidelines I think are the most important, as well as the what is annoying when people do not follow them.

1, have limit text on your PowerPoint.
Since you are the one who is presenting, the audience will pay more attention to you then your powerpoint. So if you have too many words on your slide, then people will not know if they should take time to read them all. Also, your font should be big and clear, and the smallest size you should ever use is 28. In the article "Really bad powerpoint", it says no more than 6 words on a slide. I think that is a bit too strict and the information would not be complete sometimes. Therefore, my suggestion would be try to include all the key words only, and make it simple and easy to read.

2. Do not read from your slides.
People tend to read from their slides when they cannot remember what to say, and it is really annoying. The audience can read, so they do not need you to read for them. It is also one of the disadvantages of having too much text. You should have interaction and eye contact with your audience in order to let them be engaged with your presentation and be interested in your topic, as well as sending the information effectively.

3. Use nice color.
I have seen some people use weird colors in their powerpoint, which is very distracting and hurting your eyes. Also, the color of font should have strong contraction with the background in order for people to see clearly and get the idea more easily.

4. Include suitable graphs/charts/videos to help you present.
Sometimes people can get bored if there is only text in your powerpoint. Nice charts for data and graphs of your topic can effectively increase people's interest and help to visualize. Video is good as well but be careful with the lengths and relevance with your topic. Get it ready to go, which means to load it before hand and do not make everyone wait for you.

5. No distracting photos/backgrounds
The point of presenting your powerpoint is to help you communicate better with the audience but not to entertain or distract them. Unsuitable photos can destroy a good presentation since people will not pay full attention to you by looking or discussing about the pictures in your slides. Same thing for the background. Do not use fancy pictures as background unless it is closely related to your topic or you need it for visual effect.

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