PowerPoint is the most commonly used tool, and whilst it gets a lot of bad press “death by PowerPoint” this says more about the how presenters use it not the tool itself.
There are many things that you can do to make PowerPoint work for you, some of the more obvious ones are:
Keep slides plain – backgrounds that are too fussy will distract the audience. If you want to use a coloured background, chose pastel colours, something that compliments the subject – if you are talking finance don’t go with bright pink for example.
Contrast background – to the text and make sure that both are suitable for the lighting in the room where the presentation is to be delivered.
Use clear fonts – make them large enough to be read – from the back of the auditorium
Slide transitions – Keep these simple. Do not use animation to “fly in” or the like, have the text / visuals come up either all at the same time, or on your click – whichever suits best
Minimum number of slides – Too many slides and the audience will be focused on them and not you. Only use slides to add extra value to what you are saying, they support you, not the other way round.
Do not keep turning around to look at the slides – the audience does not want to see the back of your head. If you want to know what’s on the screen place a pc in front of you – whatever you see there is what the audience can see. You can half turn to point to something on the slide, but do so as infrequently as possible and always face the front when speaking
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- Visual aid design principles (listeningtreecoaching.wordpress.com)