How to Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting

If you’ve ever sat through a boring PowerPoint, you probably know exactly what not to do for your next presentation. PowerPoints are a great way to convey information and ideas, but if they’re used incorrectly, they might not engage your audience very well. By keeping a few design and presentation tips in mind, you can make sure your PowerPoint is clear, concise, and above all, interesting.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Design

  1. Pick 3 ideas to talk about. Giving your audience too much information will be hard for them to absorb. Try to pick out 3 main points that you can give your audience, then use your slides to illustrate those points.[1]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • It might help to write out your speech first and then create your slides. That way, you can use your slides as a speaking aid, not as the main event.
  2. Try bullet points instead of walls of text. Too much text is hard for your audience to read, and it’s not very engaging. Instead, stick to bullet points or small sentences so people can skim your slides quickly.[2]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • A good rule of thumb is 6 words per line, 6 lines per slide. However, you don’t have to stick to that 100%.
  3. Use blank slides when you’re speaking. It might seem counterintuitive, but adding in a few blank slides when you’re talking will help the audience focus on what you’re saying. Use a plain white or black slide to take a pause within your presentation.[3]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • You can also put a blank slide at the end of your presentation as you wait for questions.
  4. Add in a few metaphors to illustrate your point. Reading information over and over can get a little stale after a while. Instead, try putting some metaphors in your slides and then explaining them when you present.[4]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • For example, you could compare office teamwork to a beehive to illustrate the importance of working together.
    • Or, you could compare learning in school to building a house to point out the need for a strong foundation.
  5. Include a few questions for the audience. If you gave an informational presentation, do a little pop quiz with a fun prize at the end. Or, ask the audience if they’ve had any experience with the topic of your presentation. If you can get them talking, they’re more likely to be engaged.[5]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • If you do want to include a fun prize, it doesn’t have to be anything big. A piece of candy or a nice pen are great gifts to give away.

[Edit]Presentation

  1. Frame your presentation like a story. It should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you can stick to that theme, your audience will be more engaged since they’ll want to know where it’s going.[6]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 6 Version 3.jpg
    • For example, if you were presenting about a new communication method at work, you could first talk about the problems employees are facing. Then you could talk about how you brainstormed together to find a solution, and finally, you could reveal your new online communication tool.
  2. Talk to the audience, not your PowerPoint. Stand on one side of the screen and face your audience as you talk. If you can, try to situate your computer in front of you so you can see what the PowerPoint looks like without turning around to stare at it.[7]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • It’s really not fun to look at the back of someone’s head for an entire presentation. Glance out into the audience and try to make eye contact with people periodically.
    • If making eye contact feels a little intimidating, look at someone’s forehead instead.
  3. Build off the text instead of reading it word-for-word. Your audience can see what’s on the screen, so they don’t need you to repeat it. Instead, use your text to illustrate key points as you explain more in-depth with your words.[8]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you’re giving a presentation about the Civil War, your bullet points could be “April 1861,” “South Carolina,” and “Confederate vs. Union.” Then, you could talk more about when and where the Civil War started and who was fighting whom.
  4. Add in a few jokes. Humor can really add a little spice to your presentation. If you find a few spots to insert a joke, add one or two to keep your audience engaged.[9]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Try to keep the jokes minimal—more than a couple could make your presentation feel less professional.
    • Serious topics don’t work well with humor. If you’re giving a presentation about something that isn’t funny, don’t worry about adding jokes.

[Edit]PowerPoint Basics

  1. Pick out a template and stick to it. Switching formats in between slides can be a little jarring, and it might make it hard for your audience to pay attention. Pick out a slide format that you like, then keep it that way throughout the entire presentation.[10]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 10 Version 3.jpg
    • Simple, clear formats are always better than busy or cluttered ones.
  2. Stay away from animations. While animations can sound like a way to make your presentation more fun, they’re actually more distracting than anything. Try not to insert any animations or motions unless they’re strictly necessary.[11]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Animations also slow down the pace of your presentation, and they can lead to a choppy or jumpy PowerPoint.
  3. Use high-quality pictures and videos instead of text. If you have a really good talking point that could use a photo or a video, put that on your slide! Make sure it’s high quality so that it looks good up on the big screen.[12]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 12.jpg
    • For example, if you were giving a presentation about parks and recreation services, you could insert a photo of a family using an outdoor area as you talk about community wellness.
  4. Stick to about one slide per minute. Speeding through your slides is a bit jarring, but moving at a snail’s pace can get boring. Try to move through your slides at about 1 per minute to keep a good pace.[13]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 13.jpg
    • You don’t need to time this exactly, but your slides should be short enough that you only spend about 1 minute talking about them. If you need more time, split the slide up into 2 parts.
  5. Make a handout to give to the audience so they can follow along. If you want to really engage your audience, put together a one-page paper that compiles the most important text and visuals from your presentation. It shouldn’t be a direct copy of your PowerPoint, but it should include the highlights from your speech.[14]
    Make PowerPoint Presentations More Interesting Step 14.jpg
    • This is a way for the audience to follow along or look back at your presentation later.
    • You could also leave some room for notes at the bottom if the audience members want to jot something down.

[Edit]Sample PowerPoint Presentations

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • Practice your presentation at home to work out any kinks before you stand in front of your audience.

[Edit]References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/22/10-smart-ways-to-make-any-powerpoint-presentation-way-more-interesting/?sh=5d23daab2d24
  2. https://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
  3. https://www.bates.edu/helpdesk/2011/05/14/powerpoint-presentation-tips/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005174/
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/22/10-smart-ways-to-make-any-powerpoint-presentation-way-more-interesting/?sh=58c3b0c02d24
  6. https://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation
  7. https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide/teaching-with-powerpoint.shtml
  8. https://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
  9. https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2011/04/slipping-humor-scientific-presentations
  10. https://www.dor.ca.gov/Content/DorIncludes/documents/DisabilityAccessServices/Seven%20Steps%20to%20Creating%20an%20Accessible%20PowerPoint%20Slideshow%20June%202019.pdf
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189377/
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no3Oxb0_jaQ&feature=youtu.be&t=21
  13. https://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
  14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/22/10-smart-ways-to-make-any-powerpoint-presentation-way-more-interesting/?sh=58c3b0c02d24
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