Write spectacular and compelling headlines
It’s a common rule, that when someone tells you to “surprise them” it’s the least that comes to your mind. The same goes for headlines as well, but that doesn’t mean you cannot write efficient headlines. Here’s a few tips on what to pay attention to.
- Use keywords: just like in google search.
- You can even use a free online keyword tool to see what short word combinations rock
- Be brief and simple, limit the number of words in a headline to a maximum of 3-4 words
- A good headline should be in the right place. Concentrate on the headlines of the key topics do not try to write something compelling on every single page.
- Use catchy images where you feel they complement your presentation’s content.
Where to look for inspiration?
Are you feeling stuck and you need to create a good PowerPoint presentation? Here is a few tricks on how to find the proper inspiration for you.
- Check out the templates: the newer versions of PP is full of templates one better looking than the other. You will surely find something which looks good enough for you to get inspired. However we warn you never to use pre-defined templates. Use them only as a base when creating your own presentation.
- Use the internet: look for PP presentations in your respective topic, it’s for sure you will find plenty. They will help you a big deal as to how to professionally put it together, what words you should use and how to use them and give you a good idea on how the presentation should look like.
- Again, never copy or rework an existing presentation no matter where it comes from.
Where can I find good fonts?
Good fonts are everywhere. You would be surprised as to how many new fonts are there right in front of you yet you still fail to use them because either you are lazy or your management wants you to stick with specific “evergreen” bulletproof font type. Let’s give you a few tips as to where the best font types are on the internet.
- Word 2013 - you would be surprised how many new fonts Word has today. There are over a 100 fonts and about 80% of these are those which were never used or were never implemented in an Office package before.
- Fotor and other online editors: If you haven’t tried this free photo editing online app, then it’s high time for you to do so. These are full of surprising fonts and some of them would just go great with PowerPoint presentation too.
Wake up the audience
This time around we would like to discuss the so-called ten minute rule and it’s correct use in order to wake the audience up from time to time.
- There are two things to remember when it comes to a professional presentation. The whole presentation should not take more than twenty minutes.
- Out of these twenty minutes, as per the ten minute rule, which says you should do something surprising or interesting to wake your audience up, you have two max three times to do something surprising or to engage your audience.
- Use videos, gifs, and demonstrations or do a draft, ask questions hand out leaflets or questionnaires. Basically do anything to break the monotony of talking.
Use short phrases
PowerPoint tends to be boring these days, therefore people tend to concentrate more on what to bring out of it and how to make the slides more telling and expressive. There are a few easy tricks for that, so let’s share some of these with you:
- Stick with keywords, phrases, lists and bullet points – you will actually talk about all of them so there is no need to write them down in addition.
Short is sweet: Target words, calls for action especially when used with the proper images, icons or pictograms are worth more than one page full of text. Look for inspirations and examples of professional presentations on the internet and see how they are done.
This is always an interesting topic when it comes to presentations. Let’s see how and in what ways you are allowed to surprise or to shock your audience:
- Remember, what’s funny to you may not be funny for others.
- Only use shocking images, symbols, words in the positive sense.
- The use of shockingly beautiful images or shockingly true statements is always accepted but you need to be on point with your timing: just like a good magician.
- Check out presentations from the pros: we recommend life coaches like Tony Robbins. They are the kinds of presenters who you want to look up to because they know how to change the mood of the audience.
Use pictures instead of words
It has been statistically proved that our perception is primarily visual. This simply means that we understand the meaning of an infographic, picture, icon or pictogram way faster than we would read and understand any word. With keeping this in mind you may want to use pictures in your presentation. But how to use them the smart way?
- Use pictures which make sense.
- Check out all the infographics and pictograms which you may be able to use later on. There are various programs which are dedicated to infographics.
- Don’t overload on infographics. We don’t want your presentation become just a bunch of images.
- Use the correct timing and the correct measures when it comes to using pictures
- Only use high quality images which are not copyrighted. Images with clear watermarks count as a huge fiasco in the realms of pro-presenters.
Use only high-quality images and clipart
It is essential to use high quality images or clipart throughout your presentation for various reasons. Let’s provide you with a brief guideline on what to pay attention when choosing the images and how to choose the proper images for your PowerPoint presentation.
- If you choose image from stock ( freely available) photography make sure of the below factors
- The image is not overused: this is extremely common and should be avoided on all accounts
- The image is high resolution: people may view the presentation from further away, it should make sense to them too
- The image should have a direct relation with the content of the presentation
Use no more than 3 fonts on one slide
People don’t like to see more than 3 types of fonts on one slide but let’s emphasise that using more than one particular type of font is likely to be already out of line. There are so many other ways of differentiation which you can use instead of varying fonts.
The drawbacks of varying fonts include:
- It disrupts the harmony of your presentation and will make it look bad
- Each different font has its respective sizing which would make them look silly when featured together
- Find alternate ways to emphasise your content: with size or with color or a simply underlining or bracketing is more than enough.
Use modern fonts
There are three overall types of fonts:
- The evergreens : Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri are evergreen simply because they are neutral, easy to read and will go with any style or type of presentation
- The new fonts: there are always new styles of fonts which get included in Office or other image editor’s library and some of them are really worth trying. If you want to get your hands on brand new fonts check out editors like Fotor. Make sure however you still use fonts which are easy to read.
The out of trend fonts: these went out of trend simply because they went overused. One of the best examples include fonts such as Comic Sans which clearly got overused in the name of being “funny” in presentations.
Use metaphors and analogies
While metaphors and analogies can come handy during a presentation they may also have some downsides. Let’s see the pros and cons of using these
- Modern analogies are pretty cool to be used nowadays even in movies and in various songs, including hip-hop. However, make sure you stay on the safe side.
- Analogies which are not used correctly or which have even a slight negative embedded in them may reach a controversial effect in your audience. Double check with friends and colleagues to see if your analogy is really a good idea.
- Some analogy may make you seem full of yourself ( aka narcissistic) make sure you always stay humble even if you try to be funny.
Use informative graphics
Graphics are used as additional illustration to any text in a presentation let’s get to see some of the basics when using graphics to support our content
- Always experiment then pick the best tools for your design
- Make sure you choose the right color for the graphics you are using in order for them to harmonize with the content of the slide or to call attention in the best possible way.
- Learn from graphic designers. There are tons of videos on YouTube about this. If you feel you are more interested, you can also enrol in a graphic design course.
- Work with all sorts of fonts to see what goes best with what, in terms of an overall slide design
Use in the whole presentation no more than 5 colors
When it comes to utilizing various colors in a PowerPoint presentation, it’s always safer to stick with the use of 1 or 2 key colors. Let’s help you with your choice with this short color guideline:
- Unless you need to stick with company colors, go for the use of a maximum of 3-4 different shades and 1-2 different colors. It will keep the presentation more professional and comprehensive.
- The white background and black or grey letters is always the safest way to choose
- Go for a shade of grey as standard text and emphasize any given text by making it black or any other color.
- If it comes to alerts and attention-calling red is always the go-for color.
- Green and blue are the most popular colors to use in presentations.
Use icons to speed up the perception of information
Pictograms and icons are best used when it comes to transferring any given information let it be a task, a program or any content related to-do.
Icons can represent the following:
- Type of topic
- A type of action
Icons are used the best ways when it comes to alerting the audience or highlighting of what you have to say without any additional text. According to statistics a well known pictogram makes us perceive information way faster than any text written or verbal would do. Therefore don’t be hesitant to apply icons where there is an actual reason for their use.
Examples of use: break-time, lunch-time, reading/listening time action time
What do we mean on handouts? Handouts are part of your strategic approach which is also called as the 10 minute plan. This is the time when you are to engage or re-engage your audience by handing out leaflets or any paper documentation, to wake everyone up. This will actually break the sleepy rhythm of an average presentation and will re-transfer the attention to you. Make sure your handouts are being handed out for a good reason though. Make them engaging even if they serve as ads. If they are coupons is all the better, but take care hand out anything sale or discount related at the very end of a presentation.
Follow the basic layout rules. Use different formatting to facilitate the perception of information
There are multiple ways for us to perceive information. How can PowerPoint formatting help in making this perception as successful as possible?
When it comes to PowerPoint presentations we can offer several ways for the users to perceive information:
- We often tend to forget, that the written part of the presentation is always the secondary in function to the whole presentation.
- The oral presentation is always the key for us to hear and understand what the presentation is all about. The key things which are on the slide only serve as extra reminders in case our attention would start to wonder.
- When it comes to different formatting we mean the switching of
- Slide style
- Text to images
- Images to photos
- Or photos to pictograms
Switching formatting styles can help bring back attention when it’s about a longer presentation
Use a good combination of colors
If you want to become successful as a PowerPoint presenter you need to utilize some color psychology in your presentations.
Color psychology and facts:
- Use a standard color wheel - a simple google search can show you the best results.
- Avoid heavy contrasts as it’s tiring for the eyes and distracts attention from the content
- Stick with a white or light pastel coloured background
- Green has chosen to be the most popular color in presentations but choose a shade that’s pleasant to the eyes and still calls for attention
- Blue has become all too common therefore, if you plan on using it, have a shade that’s different from the common ones.
Stick with black when it comes to standard texts.
Think over everything to the smallest detail
When you are to talk about any given topic you need to be aware of a few things beforehand:
- You need to demonstrate an active knowledge about your topic
- Therefore you need to get prepared to any possible questions which might be asked from you during or after your presentation.
- That’s exactly why you don’t only need to memorize all what you are to say, you will need to comprehend to everything what you are to talk about.
- Upon structuring and planning make sure everything goes as fluid as possible. That’s why rehearsing in front of a mirror and in front of a small group of people is so essential before you are able to step up to a bigger stage and present with confidence.
There should not be a lot of text on the slide
When you are a beginner you tend to complicate things with presentations. Here are a few guidelines to stick to when you compose your PowerPoint presentation.
- A presentation is not the content it is only an aid to the whole content that’s verbally presented by you.
- Therefore presentations contain key words, key phrases and key attention callers, all of which should be large enough to really call attention and for them to be visible and legible even if the audience is larger therefore the presentation is further away.
- Newer overload a presentation as it’s not the right tool for doing so.
- If you want to include texts to help you while talking do so in a “note” format ensuring it’s only you who see them on the slides.
The second slide is information about the issue or problem that you are revealing
Whe it comes to professional structuring of your PowerPoint presentation, there are a few guidelines you need to stick to. Here are some examples you need to keep in mind when you edit your presentation:
- The first two slides should contain the following:
- Who you are and the key reason for you to make this presentation
- The table of contents which you will need to memorize then explain in a brief yet clearly understandable, fluid way. You should never ever read from your own slides
- The second slide should contain the introduction of your topic in a few sentences. Make sure your style, the intonation of your voice and the gestures all support what you are to say.
- Always be aware that the frame of all story and presentation is the start, a culmination and a clear ending including a call to action.