Have a presentation developing that entails PowerPoint slides? Creating the content material and design for a brand new presentation is usually a daunting activity.

Between outlining, deciding on a design, filling it out, and finalizing the small print, it is not unusual for a couple of inquiries to pop up.

The place’s the very best place to begin? Are some steps higher to take earlier than others? How are you going to be sure you aren’t lacking something? And the way on earth do you grasp these important — but barely technical — design tips that may take a presentation from good to nice?

→ Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

We’re right here to make the method a bit simpler for you. We have talked to among the finest presenters at HubSpot and have included their suggestions all through this weblog.

With the next suggestions in your arsenal, you’ll navigate PowerPoint way more fluidly and provides a standout presentation that’ll go away your viewers wanting extra.

Easy methods to Construction a Powerpoint Presentation

1. Resolve on a working title and the principle takeaways.

Past choosing a subject, your first step ought to be developing with a working title to your presentation. A working title is extra particular than a subject: Suppose “How the Proper Diet Can Strengthen Your Children’ Bones” as an alternative of “Elevating Wholesome Children.” Take into account that a compelling presentation title is very similar to a compelling weblog put up title: brief, correct, and beneficial.

As soon as you’ve got bought your working title, make an inventory of the principle takeaways of your presentation to start to offer it some construction. This’ll assist you keep centered when writing your define and elaborating on these sections.

Aja Frost, the Head of English search engine marketing at HubSpot, says, “I attempt to construction my shows round a narrative. Not solely does this make the presentation extra memorable and fascinating, it is also simpler to determine which info is related.”

To do that, Frost says to choose a protagonist. She provides, “It is likely to be your staff, your viewers, your buyer…. Then, determine the rising motion, drawback, climax, and falling motion. It is similar to grade college. This construction works whether or not you are speaking about an accomplishment, a problem, an enormous query—something, actually.”

2. Create a brief textual content define together with your viewers in thoughts.

After you have your most important takeaways and your story in thoughts, it is time to start outlining the content material of your presentation in additional element, whereas preserving your particular viewers in thoughts. A presentation on any matter ought to sound totally different in the event you’re chatting with an viewers of school college students versus an viewers of traders, for instance. The tone, phrases, design, and supply of your presentation ought to all cater to your particular viewers for max affect.

Ask your self: What do your viewers members already know? What new info are you able to train them? What are they anticipating out of your presentation? What is going on to be fascinating to them? What is going to preserve them centered and engaged? Then, make selections throughout each stage of the presentation course of accordingly.

Justin Champion, a content material professor at HubSpot, says, “Earlier than diving right into a presentation, I create a top level view of the way it’ll circulation. I do that by creating an intro (what they will be taught), the physique (what they’re studying), and end with a conclusion (recap what they simply realized) I take advantage of bullet level slide loads for speaking factors I can develop on. Professional tip: use animations to information the story. For instance, as an alternative of displaying all of the bullets without delay, click on by way of to every by way of animation.”

3. Formulate your content material as a story, if attainable.

This will likely not apply for extra formal presentation which have inflexible constructions (like efficiency stories), however for shows which have extra flexibility, presenting your content material as a story will be way more compelling.

Tales attraction to folks’s emotional facet in ways in which info, details, and figures cannot. They assist you relate to your viewers — and in flip, they will make you and your message way more fascinating to your viewers. Additionally they assist make sophisticated ideas extra simply comprehensible to your viewers, who might not share the identical expertise degree or work in the identical trade.

Kyle Jepson, a senior professor at HubSpot, says, “Since I’m an educator, I all the time construction my shows across the studying outcomes I wish to obtain. If there are three issues I need my listeners to know on the finish of the presentation, I’ll have three sections. Each time attainable, I put some type of interactive factor on the finish of every part to evaluate their understanding. In a digital occasion, this is likely to be a ballot or a query for folks to reply to within the chat. In an in-person setting, workshop actions or small-group discussions work effectively.”

4. Acquire information and examples.

Whereas sweeping statements can assist you set the stage, supporting these statements with proof will make your argument extra fascinating and credible. Knowledge and examples give your argument content material, and folks will perceive what you are saying significantly better.

However do not simply slap random stats in your slides and count on to “wow” your viewers. Make certain your information comes from a good supply and that you simply’re presenting it in a means that is straightforward to know, like by way of correct charts and graphs.

Lastly, do not overwhelm your viewers with an excessive amount of information. In keeping with psychologist George Miller, we will solely bear in mind roughly 5 to 9 bits of knowledge in our short-term reminiscence at any given time. Preserve that in thoughts as you accumulate your proof.

5. Interact together with your viewers.

Throughout a presentation, it is necessary to attach together with your viewers. However how will you try this whenever you’re simply speaking at them?

Anni Kim, an INBOUND professor at HubSpot, says, “Staying engaged throughout a digital presentation is hard, so present loads of alternatives for participation. You need to add a slide firstly that factors out how folks can benefit from the chat and ask questions all through the presentation.”

As soon as you’ve got set the expectations, sustain on the chat and reply questions as they come up.

Now that you’ve a construction in thoughts, you will begin to write the content material. Under, we’ll give suggestions for begin and finish your presentation.

Easy methods to Begin a Powerpoint Presentation

1. Begin with a narrative.

To not be repetitive, however storytelling is likely one of the finest methods to seize your viewers’s consideration typically. Shows aren’t any totally different. Beginning with a hook is a good way to get your viewers invested in your content material.

Champion says, “One of the simplest ways to begin a presentation is with an fascinating story that connects to the content material. An effective way to maintain you viewers engaged is to make the content material fascinating.”

2. Be your self.

However, when you wish to inform a narrative, you additionally need your viewers to attach with you because the presenter.

Jepson says, “In the course of the introduction, I feel one of the vital necessary issues to do is to set expectations to your fashion as a presenter. You do not all the time want to begin with a joke or a narrative. Begin out by being you, after which preserve being you for so long as you’re on stage.”

3. Embody shocking or uncommon info firstly.

When you’ll almost certainly use a typical method with session title, presenter’s bio, and an agenda, you don’t need your viewers to get bored.

Jepson provides “I feel the usual method (session title, presenter’s bio, agenda) is fairly efficient besides that it’s often tremendous boring. I attempt to embrace the usual info however sprinkle in issues which can be shocking or uncommon.”

Some examples embrace:

  • Including a photograph of your loved ones on the About Me slide. “A variety of presenters put an image of themselves on their About Me slide. However I feel that’s foolish as a result of I’m standing proper there,” Jepson says. “If folks don’t know what I appear like, they’ll by the tip of the presentation! So I’ve began placing an image of my spouse and children on that slide and saying one thing candy or foolish about that.”
  • Asking folks to make use of their telephones. “A variety of in-person shows begin with a request to silence cell telephones,” Jepson feedback. “Typically I’ll do the alternative and say one thing like, ‘Earlier than we get began, I need you all to drag out your telephones. You most likely suppose I’m going to ask you to silence them. However I’m not. I’m right here from HubSpot, and I’m right here that can assist you nonetheless I can. So if there’s anybody out of your staff who may need questions or need assistance from a HubSpotter, I need you to ship them a message and inform them to ship their inquiries to you earlier than we get to the Q&A bit of presentation. To offer you time to do that, I’m going to ship a textual content to my spouse to let her know I made it right here safely.’ After which I’ll actually pull out my telephone and ship a textual content message on stage.”

Now that you’ve got structured your put up and have ironed out the small print of your introduction, it is time to work on the tip of the presentation.

Easy methods to Finish a Powerpoint Presentation

1. Recap what the viewers has realized.

At the beginning, the tip of your presentation ought to tie every part collectively.

Champion provides, “Recap what they simply realized, clarify subsequent steps based mostly on learnings, and provide any related assets to proceed studying.”

This may assist folks bear in mind the content material and provides them assets to be taught extra or attain out if they’ve questions.

2. Q&A.

One other nice method to finish a presentation is with a Q&A.

Jepson remarks, “I all the time finish with Q&A. The one tough factor about that’s understanding lower it off in the event you’re getting extra questions than you have got time to reply or in the event you aren’t getting any questions in any respect. In each of these conditions, I do basically the identical: I lower it off and inform folks to come back speak to me individually.”

For in-person conferences, Jepson will inform the viewers to come back discover him after the presentation to ask extra questions. Nonetheless, for digital conferences, he’ll let folks know attain him, whether or not that is by way of LinkedIn or electronic mail.

3. Name to motion.

Calls to motion are an necessary part of any piece of content material and shows aren’t any totally different. What would you like your viewers to do with this info?

In your recap, embrace actionable methods to your viewers to include your info into their day-to-day (if relevant). You can even let folks know to achieve out to you with questions so that they know the following steps in case they wish to focus on the presentation additional.

Now that you’ve an thought of what you are going to be speaking about and the way you will be laying it out, it is time to open up a brand new PowerPoint presentation and apply these fundamental design components.

Outlining Your PowerPoint Design

1. Decide a colour scheme.

Earlier than you start translating your textual content define into PowerPoint, you will wish to begin by including some very fundamental design components to your PowerPoint slides. First, select a colour scheme — one which has sufficient distinction between colours to make colours stand out. Whether or not you resolve to make use of two, three, or 4 totally different colours in your presentation is as much as you, however sure colour combos go collectively higher than others. Learn the sections on creating colour schemes on this weblog put up to determine colour mixture.

Color scheme examples.

Picture Supply

2. Design your slide backgrounds.

In PowerPoint, much less is extra. You don’t ever wish to let the design distract out of your message. However on the identical time, you wish to get extra artistic than a plain, white background — even in the event you’re going for a quite simple design.

The three most important methods so as to add a background design to a PowerPoint presentation are: 1) to make use of a predesigned template from PowerPoint; 2) to create a customized background utilizing a strong colour; or 3) to create a customized background utilizing a picture. Here is do every of these issues.

(We even have a couple of basic PowerPoint templates accessible for obtain right here, which include a sequence of movies to show you some fundamental PowerPoint creation suggestions.)

Easy methods to Browse Predesigned Templates in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with a sequence of predesigned templates to select from.

To browse these templates on a Mac: Click on on the slide or slides you wish to add the background to. Then, click on the “Themes” tab on the prime of the display screen.

PowerPoint themes.

You possibly can both scroll by way of your choices up there, or you possibly can entry the themes gallery in a much bigger window by hovering your mouse over the theme previews and clicking the dropdown arrow that seems beneath them.

Proper-click the background fashion that you really want. To use the background fashion to the chosen slides, click on “Apply to Chosen Slides.” To use the background fashion to all of the slides in your presentation, click on “Apply to All Slides.”

To browse these templates on a PC: Click on on the slide or slides you wish to add the background to. Then, click on the “Design” tab on the prime of the display screen. Within the “Background” group, click on the arrow subsequent to “Background Types” to open up the theme gallery.

PC PowerPoint themes.

Picture Supply

Proper-click the background fashion that you really want. To use the background fashion to the chosen slides, click on “Apply to Chosen Slides.” To use the background fashion to all of the slides in your presentation, click on “Apply to All Slides.”

Professional Tip: You can even apply any PowerPoint presentation or template you have already got as a theme, even when it does not present up within the theme gallery. To try this, click on the “Browse Themes” possibility you will discover on the backside of the dropdown themes gallery, and navigate to wherever the given presentation, template, or theme is situated in your laptop. Then, click on “Apply.”

Easy methods to Create a Customized Background Utilizing a Strong Coloration

Need your slide background to be a easy, strong colour? The steps to do that are virtually similar on a Mac and a PC.

Merely right-click the slide(s) you wish to add a background colour to, then click on “Format Background.” Within the window that seems, click on “Fill” after which “Strong.” Discover you may as well regulate the gradient or make the background a sample. Click on “Apply” on the backside to use the adjustments.

PowerPoint formatting background.

Easy methods to Create a Customized Background Utilizing an Picture

Typically, making the slide background a high-definition picture can actually make that slide pop. It additionally encourages you to chop down on textual content in order that only some key phrases complement the picture. PowerPoint makes it straightforward to create a customized background utilizing a picture you personal.

PowerPoint with an image as the background.

Picture Supply

First, select your picture. Measurement issues right here: Make certain it is excessive decision in order that it could fill your slide with out turning into blurry or distorted. Listed here are the 17 finest free inventory picture websites that can assist you discover some massive, nice high quality photographs.

To create a customized background utilizing a picture on a Mac: Click on the slide that you simply wish to add a background image to. To pick a number of slides, click on a slide after which press and maintain CTRL when you click on the opposite slides.

Subsequent, click on the “Themes” tab on the prime of your display screen. Within the “Theme Choices” group, click on “Background,” then “Format Background.”

PowerPoint formatting background.

Within the window that seems, click on “Fill,” then “Image or Texture.” To insert an image from a file, click on “Select Image…” after which find and double-click the image you wish to insert. If you wish to use this image as a background for simply the slides you chose, click on “Apply.” If you wish to use the image as a background for all the slides in your presentation, click on “Apply to All.”

To create a customized background utilizing a picture on a PC: Click on the slide that you simply wish to add a background image to. To pick a number of slides, click on a slide after which press and maintain CTRL when you click on the opposite slides.

Subsequent, click on the “Design” tab on the prime of your display screen. Within the “Background” group, click on “Background Types,” then “Format Background.”

PowerPoint design tab.

Picture Supply

Within the window that seems, click on “Fill,” then “Image or texture fill.” To insert an image from a file, click on “File” after which find and double-click the image you wish to insert. If you wish to use this image as a background for simply the slides you chose, click on “Shut.” If you wish to use the image as a background for all the slides in your presentation, click on “Apply to All.”

Filling Within the Content material

1. Fill within the textual content in your slides utilizing concise language.

Your slides are there to help your speech, not substitute it. In case your slides include an excessive amount of info — like full sentences or (gasp) paragraphs — then your viewers members will not be capable to assist however learn the slides as an alternative of listening to you. Plus … that is boring. As an alternative, use slides to reinforce key phrases and present visuals when you arise there and do the true work: telling a narrative and describing your information.

In the case of your slide textual content, deal with the principle phrases of a bullet level, and canopy particulars verbally. We advocate utilizing as much as three bullet factors per slide and making any textual content as easy and concise as attainable. rule of thumb is that this: For those who’re utilizing greater than two traces per slide or per thought, then you definitely’ve used an excessive amount of textual content. Relying on the kind of presentation, two traces would possibly even be a bit text-heavy.

Are you planning on sending your slides to your viewers afterward? For those who’re involved about placing sufficient info on the slides for folks to know your presentation after they return to it later, you possibly can all the time add little particulars into the slide notes in PowerPoint. Yow will discover the Notes pane on the backside of your PowerPoint display screen, proper beneath your slides. Click on and drag the sting of the pane to make it bigger or smaller.

PowerPoint slides with notes.

2. Brainstorm your remaining title with another person.

As soon as all of your content material is there, you are able to finalize your title. First, refine your working title as finest you possibly can by yourself. Is it compelling and fascinating sufficient to have interaction your viewers from the very begin? Does it precisely replicate your presentation?

Subsequent — and that is necessary — join with another person to brainstorm the ultimate title collectively. Learn this weblog put up for a useful walkthrough on writing an awesome title and title brainstorming with others.

Filling In Your PowerPoint Design

1. Select a font that is straightforward to learn.

Select both one font to make use of all through your presentation, or two (one to your headers and one to your physique textual content) that distinction one another effectively. Here is an inventory of 35 stunning fonts you possibly can obtain without cost to get you began.

For those who resolve on two fonts, your header font ought to be daring and crowd pleasing, and your physique textual content font ought to be easy and simple to learn. (For extra steerage on what fonts work finest collectively, check out this visible information.)

2. Embed your font recordsdata.

Fonts altering from one laptop to a different is likely one of the most typical issues PowerPoint presenters have — and it could actually mess up your presentation and circulation. What’s truly taking place on this case just isn’t that the fonts are altering; it is that the presentation laptop simply doesn’t have the identical font recordsdata put in.

For those who’re utilizing a PC and presenting on a PC, then there’s a easy workaround for this subject. If you contain Mac techniques, the answer is a bit rougher.

On a PC: If you save your PowerPoint file, click on “Save As” after which “Save Choices.” Then, choose the “Embed TrueType fonts” verify field and press “OK.” Now, your presentation will preserve the font file and your fonts is not going to change whenever you transfer computer systems (until you give your presentation on a Mac).

On a Mac: In PowerPoint for Mac, there is no choice to embed fonts inside the presentation. So until you employ ubiquitous typefaces like Arial or Tahoma, your PowerPoint is probably going going to come across font adjustments on totally different computer systems. One of the simplest ways to keep away from that is to avoid wasting the ultimate model of your presentation slides as JPEGs, after which insert these JPEGs onto your PowerPoint slides. In different phrases, make every slide a JPEG image of your slide. (Notice that the file measurement of your PowerPoint will improve in case your presentation consists of loads of JPEGs.)

Mac customers can simply drag and drop the JPEGs into PowerPoint. For those who do not use actions in your presentation, then this selection works particularly effectively.

If you’d like your presentation to look “animated,” then you definitely’ll must do some tinkering. All that you must do is save JPEGs of every “body” of the animation. Then, in your remaining presentation, you will simply show these JPEGs within the order you’d just like the animation to look. When you’ll technically have a number of new slides rather than one unique one, your viewers will not know the distinction.

For those who’re a Mac person and wish to use this selection, then remember to add this to your guidelines as the ultimate step.

3. Modify the font sizes.

As soon as you’ve got chosen your font, you can begin taking part in round with font measurement. Fastidiously select the font sizes for headers and textual content, and persistently use the identical font face and sizes on all of your slides to maintain issues clear and legible. Make certain your font is sufficiently big so even the viewers members in the best way again of the room can learn them.

4. Modify line and character spacing.

The largest PowerPoint no-no is utilizing an excessive amount of textual content on a slide. The simplest slides use textual content sparingly and current it in a means that is straightforward to learn. One trick to make textual content extra legible with out altering the font measurement or structure is to extend or lower the area between every line and every letter.

To regulate line spacing:

Choose the textual content you would like to regulate. On the “House” tab, within the “Paragraph” group, click on “Line Spacing” and select “Line Spacing Choices.” Within the Paragraph dialog field’s “Spacing” part, click on the “Line Spacing” dropdown checklist and select “Precisely.” Within the “At” textual content field, regulate the worth accordingly. Click on “OK” to avoid wasting your adjustments.

PowerPoint line spacing.

To regulate character spacing:

Choose the textual content you wish to change. Then, on the “House” tab, discover and click on the “Font” button.” Select “Character Spacing Choices” from the dropdown menu. Modify spacing as wanted.

PowerPoint character spacing.

5. Add photographs.

Nice visible cues can have a huge effect on how effectively your viewers understands your message. Utilizing beautiful photographs in a slide presentation is the right method to preserve issues fascinating.

It is necessary, although, that you simply do not use photographs to brighten. It is a quite common mistake. Bear in mind: Photographs are supposed to reinforce or complement your message, however they are often distracting. Concentrate on discovering excessive decision photographs in order that they give the impression of being good when expanded with out turning into blurry or distorted.

If you do not have your personal photographs to make use of, take a look at our roundup of the 17 finest free inventory picture websites.

Professional Tip: For those who’re discovering that the background of a picture is distracting, you possibly can truly take away it earlier than placing it into your presentation immediately inside PowerPoint — no Photoshop required. Learn this weblog put up for directions.

Image with and without background.

6. Use multimedia, however sparingly.

Utilizing multimedia in your presentation, like video and audio, will be an efficient method to seize your viewers’s consideration and encourage retention of your message. Generally, it is best to keep away from utilizing multiple or two video or audio clips so you do not detract out of your speak or your message.

PowerPoint allows you to both hyperlink to video/audio recordsdata externally, or embed the media immediately in your presentation. You need to embed these recordsdata in the event you can, however in the event you use a Mac, you can’t truly embed the video. We’ll get to that in a second.

PC customers: Listed here are two nice causes to embed your multimedia:

  1. Embedding permits you to play media immediately in your presentation. It will look way more skilled than switching between home windows.
  2. Embedding additionally signifies that the file stays inside the PowerPoint presentation, so it ought to play usually with out additional work (besides on a Mac).

Mac customers: You might want to be additional cautious about utilizing multimedia recordsdata. You may all the time must deliver the video and/or audio file with you in the identical folder because the PowerPoint presentation. It’s finest to solely insert video or audio recordsdata as soon as the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a conveyable drive of their everlasting folder.

In case your presentation goes to be performed on a Home windows laptop, then Mac customers want to ensure their multimedia recordsdata are in WMV format. That may get sophisticated, so if you wish to use PowerPoint successfully, think about using the identical working system for designing and presenting it doesn’t matter what (if that is one thing you possibly can management).

7. Design your title slide.

The title of your presentation is usually the primary impression it offers off — particularly if it is going to be on show as folks file in to your presentation — so it is necessary to place a while and cautious thought into its design.

Listed here are 20 structure concepts for PowerPoint title slides from Chris Lema:

8. Add any constant components, like your organization emblem.

There is a cause that is on the finish. For those who add issues like your emblem that you simply wish to be in the identical place on each slide, any changes you make to particular person slides might barely alter the alignment … and you will have to return and regulate them once more.

Getting ready For the Presentation

1. Evaluation and edit your slides.

Spend a while by yourself flipping by way of your slides whereas training your speak. Be sure to can verify the entire following off the checklist:

  • Your slides circulation effectively and align together with your speak.
  • Your slides are freed from all grammatical, formatting, or design errors.
  • Your multimedia recordsdata work.
  • You’ve got double-checked any mathematical calculations you made your self.
  • You’ve got correctly attributed any statistics, information, quotes, concepts, and so forth. to the unique supply.
  • You’ve got double-checked you are truly allowed to make use of the pictures/photographs you used. (Do not skip this step. Here is a cautionary story about web copyright regulation.)
  • You are positive nothing in your presentation might doubtlessly hurt any of your companions, stakeholders, viewers members, or your organization.
  • You’ve got checked with a pal that nothing in your presentation would possibly offend sure folks in your viewers — or, if that’s the case, that it is price it.

2. Know your slides inside out.

The most effective presenters do not learn off your slides, so it is necessary to organize and observe your presentation forward of time. You by no means wish to be the individual finalizing your speak or presentation half an hour earlier than an occasion … that is simply poor planning. Plus, what if the projector fails and it’s a must to give your speak with out slides? It could actually occur, and if does, you will be extremely completely satisfied you spent a lot time making ready.

3. Apply utilizing “presenter view.”

Relying on the venue, you may need a presenter’s display screen accessible to you along with the principle projected show that your viewers can see. PowerPoint has an awesome device known as “Presenter View,” which incorporates an space for notes, a timer/clock, a presentation show, and a preview of the following slide.

Make sure that “Presenter View” is turned on by deciding on it within the “Slide Present” tab of your PowerPoint.

To observe utilizing “Presenter View,” open the “Slide Present” tab inside PowerPoint. Within the “Presenter Instruments” field, click on “Presenter View.”

PowerPoint presenter view.

4. Carry your personal laptop computer and a backup copy of your presentation.

This is not only a bonus step — it is an important one. Know-how can mess up on you, and that you must be ready. Between working techniques and even between totally different variations of Microsoft Workplace, PowerPoint can get a bit wonky. One method to keep away from issues is to make sure you have all the fitting {hardware} with you. Carry alongside your personal laptop computer whenever you’re presenting, simply in case.

Even in the event you deliver your laptop computer, however particularly in the event you for some cause can’t, deliver a backup copy of your PowerPoint file on a flash drive.

What different suggestions do you have got for nailing PowerPoint shows?

Editor’s notice: This put up was initially revealed in October 2015 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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