Tips for Attention-Grabbing PowerPoint Presentations

by Grace Dickins

Whether you are comfortable or not with PowerPoint slideshows, you will probably have to give at least one during your years as a university student. Since most students are exposed to dozens of PowerPoints from instructors and classmates, grabbing the attention of the audience is key. Try the tips below to make your PowerPoint one to remember.

Completely Comprehend Your Topic

Free yourself to create an engaging PowerPoint presentation by knowing the topic of your slideshow inside and out. Before crafting the presentation, be certain you are confident with every aspect of the subject matter you will cover. You should be comfortable enough to answer questions and concerns beyond the material treated in the presentation.

Sharpen the Focus

A PowerPoint presentation should contain all the points you would highlight if you were reading about your topic. Condense the subject matter to the most relevant information. Choose one issue or cause related to the subject matter around which you can center your discussion.

Opt for Simplicity

Rather than presenting complicated paragraphs or long bulleted lists, use one slide for each of your salient points. Whenever possible, include diagrams or photos to get the information across. Use color on your slides to make them more attractive to the eye. Choose easy-to-read fonts, and be sure any text is large enough for the audience to read.

Be Careful with Images

Keep each slide clean and comprehensible. Although images may best convey the content of your presentation, resist the impulse to present images in a collage format. Large, well-focused images chosen carefully will seize your audience's attention and aid in comprehension.

Limit the Special Effects

Your PowerPoint presentation may be serious or lighthearted in nature. Either way, let your research speak rather than relying on animation or spectacular transitions to grab the audience. Excessive digital effects are likely to detract from the meat of your presentation. Engage attention for your ideas, not for fun.

Prepare a Speech

The slideshow itself is only part of an effective and interesting presentation. Just as critical is the script you write to accompany the slides. Write out your entire spoken presentation, and practice it while you run the slideshow. Work on timing, and account for pauses so your audience can absorb the data.

Don't Compete With Yourself

Make sure your audience is not distracted by handouts while you are on center stage. Many times, presenters print out a copy of their slides so the crowd can follow along. This will take the attention away from you. If necessary, hand out copies after the slideshow or post the slides online.