How do I create effective PowerPoint presentations?

projecteion screen on a tripod   How to make an effective visual presentation

"I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge" -- the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:6

Getting people's attention and helping them learn: PowerPoint is a wonderful user-friendly tool that will heighten the interest and impact of a lecture or class presentation.

  1. Aim for a professional look
    1. Keep it simple
      • Use PowerPoint to reinforce and enrich
        • Don't fill your slides with text. You're not writing a novel!
      • Use common Windows fonts
        • Stick with the fonts that come installed with Windows.
        • If you must use an add-on font, check the "Embed True Type" box when you save the presentation. While that will make the file larger, it will ensure that your presentation looks like it did on the computer where you created it.
    2. Be consistent
      • Use the same background throughout your presentation. Changing backgrounds with every slide will detract from your content rather than adding to it.
      • Stick to the same font throughout.
        • Using a variety of fonts will not enhance communication. It may even be a distraction.
        • To emphasize something, use italics or bold.
    3. Keep it readable
      • Use high contrast between text color and background.
  2. Proofread.
    Don't let spelling errors make people think less of your work. Proofread every slide more than once. You can run a spell-check by pressing F7. Take a look at my tongue-in-check "Writing Checklist."
  3. Backup.
    Make backups of your work. Files get corrupted. So, always have a copy of your presentation on a backup thumb drive or else quickly available on a network drive.
  4. Make sure you can show it.
    1. Arrange ahead of time for a computer and projection equipment to show the presentation. If you cannot show your presentation for lack of equipment, your time and effort will be wasted.
    2. Arrive a few minutes early so that you can boot up the computer and have the projector running when class starts. Don't make other students sit there waiting for you to get things ready. If you are in my class, let me know your equipment needs at least a day ahead of time.

Miss a PowerPoint presentation used in a class session?

NextMany of the PowerPoint presentations used in my classes are on this web site.

    -- Howard Culbertson,

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