It's no secret that PowerPoint presentations have a reputation for being dull. Watching them is not exactly the most gripping way to spend an afternoon at work.
But things don't have to be this way. You can create PowerPoint slideshows that will make people enjoy watching them, instead of wish they knew how to sleep with their eyes open.
As Michael Scott of NBC's The Office demonstrates, just emphatically saying "PowerPoint" does not make a presentation interesting. Instead, you can employ some special tips and tricks that can effectively engage your audience.
Here are three tips for making your PowerPoint presentations downright dazzle:
1. 2 'KISSES' are key
KISS is shorthand for "Keep It Simple, Stupid," but it can also stand for "Keep It Short and Sweet." Both of these meanings should guide the creation of your PowerPoint. Make the presentation as short as it can be while still conveying the important information audience members need to know. If a slide or nugget of information isn't that essential to your presentation, nix it.
2. Have minimal text on each slide
PowerPoint slides are supposed to be easily digestible bites of helpful data – not text-heavy manifestos. And if your audience is reading along with you as you speak the exact words on the slide, they're not listening to you and absorbing anything that you have to say. Keep slides to 50 words max.
3. Use the exciting multimedia available to you
Let's all take a moment and give collective thanks that we are no longer doing business in the 1990s – because with the limited tech tools available, PowerPoint presentations sure were dry then. Your PowerPoint can include a colorful array of media types, such as gifs, videos, social media embeds and animations. People are visual creatures, so use the graphics and materials to make your PowerPoint more exciting to watch. Just no terrible Word Art, please – those days are over, for the better of all humanity.
That's not a green light to stuff your presentation full of cute cat videos that, while funny and adorable, are not relevant to your presentation. Use discretion.
These three tips may seem basic, but you'd be surprised how much they're not followed. And once you make your awesome PowerPoint, be sure to share it in your next video or web meeting as a way to make those calls even more engaging.