A PowerPoint is a very effective way to deliver a variety of presentations from lectures to research papers. Making a PowerPoint presentation is not as simple as it seems, a lack of understanding about the elements of a good presentation can be a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, when used appropriately, a PowerPoint can aid presenters in delivering their ideas and data clearly and succinctly as possible.
Making a PowerPoint is no rocket science. Anyone can come up with a PowerPoint that delivers the message effectively. Here are simple guidelines in making a successful presentation.
- Background and Text
The right choice of colors can help make your presentation appealing and readable to the audience. Choose a light text against a dark background. Most lecturers make the mistake of using a white background which is too bright and glaring when projected in a big screen and makes the text disappear. A dark blue background and a light-colored text in yellow or white is recommended and is proven to be effective in many presentations.
- Slide Layout
The layout should be simple and uncluttered. A title or heading and bulleted text that does not exceed 6 lines should suffice. If graphics are used, it should be small with a single-line as title or description. Do not place paragraphs on your slide, use bullets and use only key phrases than full sentences. A PowerPoint is simply a visual aid, it is the speaker who elaborates and explains on the points presented.
- Text Selection and Text Size
Use a Sans Serif font (e.g. Arial) because they are more visible than Serif type fonts when projected. Always keep in mind that the PowerPoint will be projected in a big screen in a huge room, thus the text size should be large enough to be seen up to the back row. The recommended font size is between 32pt – 36 pt.
The use of animations especially in formal lectures and presentations is not recommended because it creates a distraction rather than holds attention. Ideally, all the contents of the slide should appear at the same time.
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