Even if you're taking part in a business meeting with people from different points across the globe, you can still use a PowerPoint presentation to help get your message across. But just because your presentation is a virtual presentation, it doesn't get you off the hook from making it interesting or easy to understand. The following are three tips to help you improve your PowerPoint presentations. They are intended for use with virtual presentations, but most can be applied to regular presentations as well.
Make Your Presentation Easy to Follow
One of the biggest mistakes people make with their PowerPoint slides is to overload them with words or visuals to the point that it’s almost impossible to follow along. To avoid that problem, keep your slides simple, only using images when they actually add to the content. Leave lots of white space in case people want to print out your slides and make notes on them. When you're making a virtual presentation, it's also important to think about design features like colors and fonts. Basic fonts like Arial and Calibri are easier to read than say, Book Antiqua. Also, if you choose a common font, it's more likely that this font will show up properly on everybody's screen, regardless of what sort of technology they're using. And with colors, remember that even though it might seem boring sometimes, a light background color with a dark text is always easiest to read.
Find a Way to Make Your Presentation Interactive
Even though your audience isn't in the room with you, you can still make the presentation interactive. Whether it's by video chat, text message, or even over the phone, find ways to ask questions and invite feedback from your audience. Nobody likes to just sit and listen to someone else talk for an hour - you need to make sure that your audience is involved and engaged in what you are talking about.
Think of Your Presentation As a Story
A PowerPoint presentation should not be just be a bunch of facts and figures on a screen with a few pieces of clip art thrown in to spice them up. When you're making a presentation, what you're really doing is telling a story, and your PowerPoint slides should reflect that. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end, as well as a climax, perhaps some mystery and intrigue, and of course a good hook. What is it about your presentation that makes it special? Whatever it is, that's your hook. Start with that, even if it doesn't make sense chronologically. People need a reason to pay attention to your story so they don't start thinking about what's for dinner instead. Once you've hooked your audience, then you can develop your story, build up to a climax, and hopefully resolve with a happy ending.
If you take some time to improve your presentations, hopefully you won't hear any more groans and yawns next time the word PowerPoint is mentioned. These presentations can and should be fun, engaging, and stimulating for you as well as your virtual audience.