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This can be a great tool for presentations, but it is often misused. The program is only as good as the person using it at the time. If you want to effectively use Power Point, then here’s what you should remember:

  • The presentation should be a design, not a script. Designing your presentation makes it more interesting. Analyze your audience. By knowing its interests, needs, levels of education, etc. you can create an excellent outline of your presentation. It should include an opening, your objective, the main points, and if needed, a question and answer section, the conclusion, and finally the close. After you have all of these facts outlined, you can determine what you want on your slides. Make sure you use things that stick to each area, and use only relative information on your slides.
  • Get your audience involved in the presentation. Figure out a way to make your audience respond to what you’re saying. You can ask them a question, ask information from them, or make sure they understand. Anything to get them involved. You can also have something for the audience to do. Games, small group activities, discussions, any activity that will energize them will be good, as long as it is relevant to your topic.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Make your presentation thorough, but don’t go overboard. Make sure it’s simple, and easy to follow and understand. That goes for the design you’re creating as well. When preparing your Power Point slides, you may have an urge to amaze your audience with animation. Resist it. You can use some animation for short periods of time, but make sure not to leave them on the screen for too long, they can become annoying and distracting. If you use charts and graphs, make sure they are simple and easy to read. If possible, use pictures instead of words. If you use too many words, they will be reading and not listening to you.
  • It’s good to use humor if it’s appropriate. Humor is good, but resist the urge to use jokes. It is better, instead, to tell stories that illustrate your main points in humorous ways. Use yourself as the object of the humor if possible. If you have a story that tells about the time you made a complete idiot of yourself, use it. These types of stories usually turn out to be hilarious to tell. By using yourself, you don’t offend others.

Technology is a wonderful asset to presentations if it is used correctly. Like any aspect of your speech or presentation, it should be well planned and thoroughly thought out. If you use Power Point, and create a good design for your slides, you can give a good, attractive presentation that will enhance your audience’s ability to capture what you want them to know.


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