How to Make a Great PPT Presentation

There are plenty of misconceptions about what the presenter thinks the audience wants. Remember that a good PPT presentation is not about flashy templates or slide transitions. It is about the message that the PPT is intended to enhance. It is not easy, but if you follow these effective tips for PowerPoint presentations, you increase your chances of leaving the audience impressed. Note that these are useful tips for PowerPoint Presentations for students and professionals, so no matter which one you are, you can benefit.

Tips for the Introduction

If you want to know how to make a good PPT presentation, then you should recognize that it all starts with making a great first impression. One of the essential tips for effective PowerPoint presentations is to start strong by giving the audience something they are not expecting. Studies have shown that we are conditioned to not pay much attention when we know what to expect from a cue. But if we are not certain what's going to happen, it arouses our curiosity.

So how can you use this to your advantage when making a PPT presentation? Several options are depending on the topic, the occasion, and how you prefer to deliver a presentation. Let us take a look at five of them.

  • Ask the Audience Questions

Conventional wisdom is that the presenter is the one who answers the questions. This is why turning the tables and starting the presentation off by asking questions can really throw the audience for a loop. In a good way! However, keep the questions rhetorical rather than looking for a yes or no answer. The point of asking questions is to stimulate the audience's minds as they ponder the answers. They will follow along as you proceed to provide them with these answers.

  • Keep Them Curious

If you want to keep the audience hanging onto every word you say, keep them curious.  Experts who know how to make a good presentation live by this rule. Studies have found that when an individual is curious, their brain is better prepared to absorb information. This is perfect when you are giving a presentation. See, when we are curious about something, we want to know the answer. We must solve the puzzle! Therefore, we are more inclined to follow along while the person is giving their presentation.

  • Be Bold. Start with a Factoid That Surprises Them

“All our lives we've all been taught to believe we only have 5 senses. But in reality, scientists believe the number is closer to 20...”

That is a statement that is bound to cause a few audience members to do a double-take! If your goal is to keep the audience's attention and persuade them, you do not want to wait until the end to throw out those impressive facts. Be confident in your delivery and proceed to explain your claims. They will definitely be intrigued to hear what you have to say.

  • Start Things Off With a Story That Surprises

When you are starting your presentation, do not simply go right into it. Telling a captivating story will have the effect of endearing yourself to the audience, especially if it is a personal narrative. Keep in mind that stories are not merely intended to be entertainment. Through thousands of years of human evolution, telling stories has been necessary for human survival. As a result, we are hardwired to pay attention when somebody has a story to share. Of course, make sure the story is relevant and tied directly to the topic you intend to discuss or serves as inspiration for why you have chosen to present that particular topic. We obviously are not suggesting that you merely blurt out a random story.

  • Say Something that Runs Counter to What They'd Expect

The audience might have certain expectations about what you are going to say. Surprise them with a statement that defies these expectations. Now that you have gotten their attention, you can proceed to the topic that you plan to discuss.

Presentations Tips At the Midpoint

Now that you have received tips for PowerPoint presentations that can get you off to a good start, let us turn to the middle.

  • Know When to Take Pauses

Note that a presentation is not about rushing through or trying to set records for how many words you can say in ten minutes. Once you make an extremely important point, pause for a moment to let the audience soak it in. The key is to keep the audience from losing interest, which is what would happen if you go too fast. You would likewise want to pause if you have injected some humor. Give the audience a chance to chuckle and relax before continuing. If your presentation is broken down into a series of points, you should also pause for a moment as an indication that you are moving on to the next major idea.

  • Nice Visuals Allow the Presentation to Flow Smoothly

Quick, how many TED Talk videos have you seen that did not involve a PowerPoint presentation? The answer is likely zero. Even the most talented presenters use PPT as a visual aid. Why? Because the human brain loves them! They allow us to understand concepts better. Combining the senses of sight and sound helps us to keep our focus entirely on the presentation. The PPT can also serve as a way to navigate the audience through the different points of your presentation, avoiding the possibility of confusing them or leaving them feeling lost. Looking for some effective ways to create a PowerPoint presentation slide show that compliments your speech? Search online for specific tips on how to make a good presentation using PPT.

The Finish

Your presentation needs to be purposeful from start to end. Not only would ending it with, “Well, but I also guess that's all I have to say” be anti-climatic, it completely renders the entire presentation pointless. After all of the work you up into the introduction and middle, you certainly wouldn't want to end it on a low note. Indeed, you want the audience to walk away remembering what you have told them!

There is more than one way to go out with a bang. Choose the one that is most appropriate for your given situation

  • Tell the Audience How They Can Help Your Cause

Imagine that you have an extremely important topic that you want to share and you hope that the audience will join you in advancing the cause...but you have not given them any instructions on what they can do! In that scenario, what was the point of giving the presentation in the first place? Be very clear about how they can take action to solve a problem or advocate for change. 

  • Give Them a Positive View of What The Future Holds...

Go out optimistically! Inform the audience about how things will look if they take action. Not only will it be memorable, being able to envision the possibilities could very well encourage them to believe that they can make a real impact!

  • ...Or Go, Grim

Discuss the urgency of the problem and warn the audience of the consequences of not taking a particular action or fighting for change. Leaving the audience shaken is definitely a technique that will make for a very memorable presentation.

From Beginning to End - Leave Your Mark

If you fail to keep the audience's attention, your presentation is doomed. This is why you need to lead off by asking questions, keeping them curious, making a statement, contradicting their expectations, or telling them an interesting story. By whetting their appetite from the start, they will stay glued to your presentation.

For the middle, create a PowerPoint presentation that highlights the main points. The mix of audio and visuals working in harmony will keep the audience completely focused on your message.

Ending the presentation on a memorable note is also essential. Do not awkwardly trail off. Tell them how they can make a difference, plant a positive image in their minds of what the future holds, or discuss how grim things could be if they don't do something to improve the situation. You want to walk out of there having left a powerful last impression.

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