The term ‘Death by PowerPoint’ was first coined in 1996 in an article by Accountancy Age magazine, and the presentation software has unfortunately been stuck with the reputation ever since. Some PowerPoint* presentations are notoriously boring, but they are also essential tools for any business.
We have created many a PowerPoint presentation in our time, and in fact our digital director Malcolm’s first job in London was as a PowerPoint developer for a merchant bank. Here we have a few suggestions to help you liven things up a bit for your audience.
* Other presentation tools are available, of course, and we’ve been very creative with Keynote, Prezi, Flash and even Acrobat.
Sometimes it can’t be helped if your presentation topic is a dull one, but by adding in more engaging types of content you can immediately add some life to it. Images, videos, animations and diagrams are a sure way to capture someone’s attention, and get the message across in a much more visual way.
Flicking through PowerPoint slides just adds to the monotony of the presentation, so try adding interesting transitions that make the presentation more seamless – note, we don’t mean those star-shaped transitions that you used in school. We’re talking fluid movements that make your presentation appear to move around the screen.
Of course there are always other methods of creating presentations that stay well away from PowerPoint. We like to use the non-linear online presentation software, Prezi. There is more scope for design, for interactivity and it can look better when you need to make an impression.
Our top-tip for making presentations is to remember that your PowerPoint or Prezi is simply a guide. Don’t over-fill it with too much information, and certainly don’t stick to boring bullet points. That’s why we tend to keep copy slim and spend more time writing the scripts.
Get creative with your content and your audience should still be engaged by the time you’ve finished.