Making Powerful Presentations Avoiding the Pitfalls of Bad
Making Powerful Presentations Avoiding the Pitfalls of Bad Slides Tips to be Covered Presentation Structure Slide Structure
Background Graphs Spelling and Grammar Conclusions Questions Presentation Structure
Our brains want structure and routine. They help us make sense of the world, and help us feel comfortable. Whats the best way to put structure in your presentation? You could take Lewis Carolls advice from Alice in Wonderland: Begin at the beginning, the King said, very gravely, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Aristotles 3-Act Structure Duartes Sparkline Nancy Duarte: Secret Structure of Great Talks Campbells Heros Journey Bookers 7 Basic Plots
presentation Write in point form, not complete sentences Include 4-5 points per slide (limit yourself to 6 lines of text per slide max) Avoid wordiness: use key words and phrases only Slide Structure Bad
This page contains too many words for a presentation slide. It is not written in point form, making it difficult both for your audience to read and for you to present each point. Although there are exactly the same number of points on this slide as the previous slide, it looks much more complicated. In short, your audience will spend too much time trying
to read this paragraph instead of listening to you. Slide Structure Good Show one point at a time:
Will help audience concentrate on what you are saying Will prevent audience from reading ahead Will help you keep your presentation focused Slide Structure Bad
Do not use distracting animation Do not go overboard with the animation
Be consistent with the animation that you use Fonts - Good Use at least an 18-point font (this is 18) Use
different size fonts for main points and secondary points Use no more than three font sizes per slide. Use a standard font like Times New Roman or Arial
this font is 24-point, the main point font is 28-point, and the title font is 36-point Fonts - Bad
If you use a small font, your audience wont be able to read what you have written CAPITALIZE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. IT IS DIFFICULT TO READ
Dont use a complicated font see next slide More About Fonts Weird but interesting fonts, like Algerian,
Old English, Curtz MT, or Chiller, are not only hard to read but also will not always be compatible with whatever computer you might use to show your presentation.
More About Fonts Script fonts, like Blackadder, Vivaldi, Lucida Handwriting, or Edwardian Script, are almost totally
unreadable in PowerPoint. Colour - Good
Use a colour of font that contrasts sharply with the background Ex: blue font on white background Use colour to reinforce the logic of your structure Ex: light blue title and dark blue
text Use colour to emphasize a point But only use this occasionally For example, white and yellow letters look great on a blue background
Colour - Bad Using a font colour that does not
contrast with the background colour is hard to read Using colour for decoration is distracting and annoying. Using a different colour for each point is unnecessary Using a different colour for secondary points is also unnecessary Trying to be creative can also be
bad Background Good Use backgrounds such as this one that are attractive but simple
Use backgrounds which are light Use the same background consistently throughout your presentation Background Bad
Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read from Always be consistent with the background that you use Graphs - Good
Use graphs rather than just charts and words Data in graphs is easier to comprehend & retain than is raw data Trends are easier to visualize in graph form
Always title your graphs Graphs - Bad January February Blue Balls 20.4 27.4 Red Balls 30.6
38.6 March 90 34.6 April 20.4 31.6
Graphs - Good Items Sold in First Quarter of 2002 100 90 80 70 60 50 Blue Balls
Red Balls 40 30 20 10 0 January February
March April Graphs - Bad 100 90 90
80 70 60 Blue Balls 50
Red Balls 38.6 40 34.6 31.6 30.6 27.4
30 20.4 20.4 20 10
0 January February March April Graphs - Bad
Minor gridlines are unnecessary Font is too small Colours are illogical Title is missing Shading is distracting
Spelling and Grammar Proof your slides for: speling mistakes the use of of repeated
words grammatical errors you might have make If English is not your first language, please have someone else check your presentation!
Conclusion Use an effective and strong closing Your audience is likely to remember your last words
Use a conclusion slide to: Summarize the main points of your presentation Suggest future avenues of research Questions?? End your presentation with a simple question slide to:
Invite your audience to ask questions Provide a visual aid during question period Avoid ending a presentation abruptly
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