Powerpoint Expert

PowerPoint seems easy enough to use, but you’ve seen your fair share of painful clip art-adorned slides using Comic Sans. If you have a professional presentation coming up soon, you’ll want to make sure your slides don’t look like they’ve come straight from 1999.

Here are some easy tips my team at Kraft Technology Group have put together to help you become a PowerPoint master overnight and make your presentation stand out.

Be Succinct

PowerPoint is not the place to be verbose. You’ll be elaborating on the points you make on your slides in your oral presentation and you don’t want to potentially confuse your audience by giving them too much to read and listen to at once. Keep your slide text short and sweet and use your presentation time to elaborate on them. That said, you should still include enough information on your slides that your audience can get the gist if they’re not auditory processors.

Use Headings and Bullet Points

Headings and bullet points will make your slides easier for your audience to follow from one topic to the next. Your headlines should let your audience know what to expect, and your bullets should outline the major topics and subtopics of your presentation.

Choose Easy-to-Read Fonts

It can be tempting to choose pretty or bold fonts that appear to be more fun or engaging. However, most of these fonts are hard to read, especially from far away. The most important thing about your presentation is that you’re able to get important information across to your audience. If your slides are in cursive or an awkward font, people may not be able to read them well. Choose plain serif or sans serif fonts and make sure they’re the appropriate size.

Use High-Quality Images

Naturally, you’ll want to include images that illustrate your topics or just help take up white space on slides to make them more interesting to see. Make sure the images you select are of high quality. Avoid clip art at all costs and instead, opt for sleek, professional-looking photography.

Make Data Visual

If you’re going to be presenting data, avoid listing numbers like you would write text. Instead, use colorful graphs, charts, and other visual ways to present data. You want your audience to be able to easily see the data points you’re making without having to work too hard to figure it out.

Use the Slide Master to Apply Changes to All Slides

Finally, to become a PowerPoint master overnight, you need to use the Slide Master. This is a unique feature of PowerPoint that allows you to create a master or main slide with formatting that can be used for all other slides in your presentation. If you’ve created a master slide, any changes you make to that slide will be made on the other slides as well. For example, if you selected a hard-to-read font at the start of creating your presentation and decide to change it, you can select a new font on the master slide and it will then be applied to the following slides.

Pro Tip: Create your master slide first, before you create any other slides. This allows you to save time on creating your presentation, which is particularly helpful if you need to turn your project around quickly. Instead of individually formatting each of your slides, the Slide Master allows you to create templates that can be used for all slides within your presentation. A simple fix to the master slide can give your presentation a completely new look and feel, and refurbishing old presentations and adding new data becomes a breeze.

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Don Baham
Don Baham, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, is president of Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. KTG offers a wide range of services, including technology strategic planning, virtual CIO services, network engineering, hardware and software selection and installation, ongoing network support, managed services, IT function outsourcing, and cloud solutions. Within his role, Don is responsible for delivering IT strategic planning and virtual CIO services, the development of client relationships, bringing new solutions to the market, and leading the strategic direction of KTG. Don has more than 17 years of experience in information technology with a blended background in technology consulting and architecture, information security and business development.

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