The Power and the Point of Powerpoint

Jun 9 19:50 2007 vince stevenson Print This Article

How to get the best audience experience from your use of MS Powerpont. Incorrect use of Powerpoint gives public speaking and effective communication skills a bad name. How many times have you sat through an endless slide show?

Copyright (c) 2007 The College Of Public Speaking

MS Powerpoint is a mature product in a mature industry and yet still it is the most frequently misused application on the market.

Why is this?

Well,Guest Posting the mistake that most inexperienced users make is that they think that Powerpoint is the presentation itself - whereas the truth is that Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist the speaker's key messages.

People spend hours creating scores of slides with large chunks of text in a small font size. Make sure that you're using your voice to its maximum potential. Nobody wants to hear a monotonous drone. This is more a case of assisted reading rather than imparting key messages with impact.

Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist the speaker key messages.


The presenter must take centre stage and take control. Do not be a slave to the PC or the projector.

It's vital to have a structure so that you can map out what is about to happen. This assists the audience enormously when you tell them what you're going to tell them.

Keep it simple, one major point per slide. Ensure that each slide serves its purpose and pulls its weight. Can your audience read the slide?

Consistently use fonts and font sizes. Use non-serif fonts. No more than 2 per page. If your company has a logo or brand, ensure it appears in each page (master slide - usually bottom right hand corner).

Know your audience - who are they and what's in it for them? Are you there to inform, persuade, inspire, motivate? Stick to your theme. We are all guilty of trying too hard to please. Sticking to the theme will help the audience enormously – confusing messages or themes makes the audience feel uncomfortable and you will see them shifting in their seats if they are confused.

Know your PC.

It's important to know what make of PC you'll be using. They differ from vendor to vendor. Email your presentation to the organisers and take a copy on a memory stick, just in case. Most modern laptops no longer use floppy disks. Find out in advance and always expect the unexpected.

It's easy to make the mistake of talking to the screen and not to your audience. Don't forget that your major concern is your audience. There is no need for a speaker if there is no audience. When you deliver a key message or even a key line, make sure that you're looking directly at the audience and not at your notes. That will give that point added weight and greater impact.

These days, there's no excuse not to have a remote mouse. Being free to move around the stage and address individual segments of the audience will make certain that you'll look calm and professional. That, of course, is exactly what you want. Being invited to speak again is your reward for your hard work, preparation and delivery.

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vince stevenson
vince stevenson

Powerpoint for beginners. Speaking for beginners. Making the most of the magical opportunity of delivering speeches and presentations to a live audience. Deliver with confidence, coherence and clarity.

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