Putting the power back in your PowerPoint

How to fortify your presentation, regardless of your point.

How to fortify your presentation, regardless of your point

Though PowerPoint can help audiences understand complex ideas, too often its slides distract by bogging down busy brains with superfluous information. Here are six tips to tighten and, in turn, strengthen your presentation.

#1: Why are you speaking?

Before you even you start working on it, ask, “What is my core message?” Focus on your audience and what they know or don’t know already. Boil your main ideas down to a sentence or two.

#2: Less is more.

Your audience came to hear a presentation, not to read a speech, so don’t make them read. Eliminate extraneous bullet points, paragraphs, and disparate graphics and ideas, and limit each slide to a key word or phrase. Compile slides focused on a theme; then ask, “What isn’t absolutely necessary?” Identify, and toss. Limiting your slides will also keep you from flipping from slide to slide to slide, numbing your audience—or, worse, annoying them. As a rule of thumb, plan to spend about a minute per slide.

#3: Streamline.

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