CREATING EFFECTIVE PRESENTATIONS!
Having the access to technology when I started this outline on creating effective presentations, I looked up effective in the thesaurus. Effective pointed to several words, including: lively, competent, telling, practical.
Using those four descriptors as an evaluation:
How many times have you seen an effective presentation?
How many times have you presented an effective presentation?
The following is a guide that might help steer you into a better understanding of what works and why! Sure there are several studies that could be cited but this is all coming from the hip, a work in progress (probably won’t ever get done). It is intended to help you evaluate your own presentation while making revisions.
The main drawback (if it is one) is once these points are noted, it is sometimes hard not to notice design problems when you attend presentations. Oh well, that is why they ask for evaluations at the end.
choose a plain font and stick to it
try to maintain a maximum of four to six lines of text per slide
use font sizes large enough to view from anywhere in the room
try NOT to use fonts smaller than 28
choose a consistent background and keep it throughout the presentation IF you want a different background it should be used to bring attention to ONE slide
choose one type of transition (this is not a movie)
use complementary colors (colors that are opposite on the color wheel)
Use bullets to separate ideas
title slides (helps establish a reference point)
print outline if you wish audience to take notes
keep the title in a general location (don’t jump all over the page)
clip art should add to the content (not just to have clip art)
sound clips should add to the content (not just demonstrate new sound card)
don’t make slides to read from (slides should outline discussion)
present on machine the presentation was created on when possible - different RAM, CPU speed, VRAM, plug-ins, fonts, etc. can cause frustration for presenter and audience
experiment in final location before audience arrives (lights, outlets, modem, environment, etc.)
Clip art, sound, fonts, colors, backgrounds, transitions can be distracting and can MISDIRECT the attention of the audience from the intended content. Too often when presenters are preparing a slide show they forget why it is being used. It should be used to FOCUS attention.
All of these ideas might make for a basic presentation - BUT - it is the job of the presenter to be exciting and informative.
FOCUS ON CONTENT - do not try to show off what you can do with a canned package.