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Creating effective PowerPoint Presentations

Grand Canyon University

Sample A. Student

A PowerPoint presentation can often be used to complement the overall presentation delivery, rather than serving as the presentation.

PowerPoint offers numerous presentation templates. These can be found under the “Design” tab. The templates offer pre-designed backgrounds and Title/Text boxes.

Use of the “Notes” function is beneficial because it allows the author to add information to the presentation as reference without adding too much content to the slide itself.

1

Objectives

Outlining the objectives allows readers to identify the reason for the presentation.

Objectives should be brief and to the point.

List information about what the reader should learn from the presentation.

Objectives should be listed in presentation order.

The inclusion of an “Objectives” slide at the beginning of a presentation allows the viewer to better understand the focus of the presentation.

The objectives should be limited to 4-5 key points and should encapsulate those points that the presenter wants the viewer to learn from the presentation.

The objectives should also be measurable. For example, use verbs such as “explain” or “describe” instead of “understand” whenever possible.

2

Slide Structure

Use bullets to separate out ideas.

Try to follow the 6 X 6 rule.

Limit to 6 bullets per slide.

Limit to 6 words per bullet.

Too much slide information causes confusion.

The audience may become distracted.

The 6X6 rule allows the reader to follow the presentation more easily.

The presenter can include additional notes or comments in the “Notes” section.

Listing too much information on the slide could make it difficult to read and cause confusion.

3

Slide Appearance

Stay consistent.

Use one theme throughout the presentation.

Align text for consistency between slides.

Use transition effects wisely.

Use readable fonts.

Font must be readable.

Font and background colors should contrast.

Font size must remain consistent.

Too many effects can take away from the presentation. Movements, animation and sound should be kept to a minimum and only used where effective.

Ensure that the font style and font size are consistent throughout the presentation. Select colors that are readable against the slide background.

Maintain a consistent font size and style on all slide titles.

4

Content

Keep it simple.

Break up information between slides.

One slide need not house everything.

Be concise.

Wordiness will confuse the reader.

Brevity is always preferred.

It is always a good practice to use additional slides when presenting a lot of information, rather than packing that information into a single slide.

Use as few words as possible to make key points.

Slides should be simple.

5

Visual Aids

Visual Aids can enhance a presentation.

Images must pertain to the presentation.

An abundance of images can be distracting.

Source – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Visual aids (pictures, images, etc.) can greatly enhance a presentation. However, overuse of visual aids can limit the effectiveness of the presentation.

The images used must pertain to the presentation.

Use care to avoid the inclusion of copyrighted material.

6

Charts and graphs

Graphs/charts should tell a story.

Graphs/charts must be clear and pertinent.

Use bullets to provide supporting information.

Source – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Charts and graphs can reinforce the key information in the presentation.

Avoid the use of large spreadsheets that contain information that is too small for the viewer to comfortably see.

Consider the use of “call outs” to highlight key information on a chart or graph.

7

Presentation of information

Always check spelling, grammar, and formatting.

Check for consistency before presenting.

Slide theme

Slide transitions

Punctuation

Ensure that key points are delivered accurately.

It is a good practice to have someone else proof the presentation before it is delivered.

Slides must be consistent in format, font and style.

Use tools to check spelling and grammar.

Punctuation must be consistent: Within bullets, periods should be placed at the end of full sentences.

Ensure that the key points are delivered effectively.

8

Questions

End the presentation with a section for questions.

This encourages audience involvement.

Source – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Always allow time for audience questions.

9

Review

Revisit the objectives to ensure all were met.

Briefly review the key information covered.

A review slide helps to reinforce key points and brings the presentation to an effective conclusion.

It also allows the presenter an opportunity to check for understanding.

10

References

Provide references for any outside sources.

List references in alphabetical order.

Provide references for any pictures or images.

When creating the references slide, use the format outlined by the instructor.

APA or MLA.

Standard bibliography rules apply.

References must be in alphabetical order.

When referencing pictures or images:

Provide a reference on the slide that contains the picture or graph.

Include a reference on the reference slide as well.

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