APA Research Paper
PowerPoint is a presentation program which helps the users to create simple presentations to complex multimedia presentations. It is a notable member of the Microsoft Office suite. It is used in schools, colleges and all kinds of offices to aid in explaining and presenting a wide variety of topics. While it is very easy to combine text and multimedia to create awesome presentations, most people tend to ignore certain tips and ideas that would make the presentations even more captivating. Therefore, most presentations look too plain or gaudy or sometimes like it is missing something.
Developing the narrative
Firstly, it is very important to develop your narrative. You should decide what the key points of your topic are and what to discuss with the audience. The main message which is supported by all the information should be identified and put up for the audience. One mistake commonly seen in PowerPoint presentation is information overload in terms of text. Ideally, your presentation looks best when it contains only the necessary data. These are the points you can’t do without in the presentation. This helps the audience in understanding what the key points are and helps you in putting them up in an interesting way.
Planning the structure of presentation is imperative. This allows you to understand how much you should speak as well. Ensure that you outline the way you present each slide. Number of slides you are going to create and what you should put in each slide should be decided in advance.
Format your slides
Utilize the formats given on the program itself. Make sure that they suit your presentation and help in raising the overall quality of the presentation. The text on the slides should be easy to read with very little detail as possible. You should that you are not reading out from the slides.
Use graphics to engage the audience but make sure that they are informative in nature and not distractive. Information which are difficult to convey using just words can be given to the audience by using this method. Charts, pie charts and graphs are a good way to give statistical proof to the audience in an interesting manner.
You can also make use of audio and video clips. These help in making the presentation less tedious. If the topic is too heavy, it will also prove to be efficient in giving the audience necessary support to understand the topic.
The key point to note here is that one should never overdo the graphical elements and multimedia in the presentation. If that is the case, these elements would serve as a distraction to the whole presentation. They also make the audience absorb very little information from the whole presentation. This is the reason why some presentations look gaudy.
How to prepare for the presentation
Practice is the key to making the presentation ultimately successful. It also helps in ensuring that your speech and slides match properly and coordinate with each other. If you prefer to put the presentation on automatic, the timing of the speech should be checked in advance. Your speech and the way you present it should be efficient on its own even without PowerPoint. Remember that your PowerPoint presentation is just enhancing the whole experience for the audience.
During the presentation
Even while you are speaking, never ramble. Come to the point in a smooth manner while you explain the presentation. Interact with the audience by asking those questions, their opinion and so on. Make it a point to speak clearly. Practicing will automatically help you in maintaining a smooth pace but do not let nervousness tamper with it. You have to look confident be at ease while delivering the speech.
Precautions and solutions
If you are going to present at a venue with an environment you are not so familiar with, go early and get adjusted to the surroundings. If you want to, you can even try and practice the whole presentation once at the venue after attaining permission from the authorities. Also check the audio and visual aids and ensure that there are no glitches. Last minute problems can increase your nervousness and bother they audience as well since they will have to wait.
If you are not comfortable with public speaking or haven’t spoken to large audiences much, try to gain confidence by speaking in front of a group of friends first. Also try practicing in front of the mirror. This will also help in understanding your hand movement and facial expressions. Body language does play an important role in the overall quality of your presentation, so you must be aware of it. Always maintain eye contact with the audience. This shows that you want them to engage in the presentation and that you are interested in it. It also catches their attention in case they begin to zone out.
Very importantly, dress formally and smartly, especially if the presentation is related to work or anything official. Even otherwise, dressing smartly will give you a professional look and it has been proven that you will have more luck in capturing and maintaining the audience’s attention. Ensure that your outfit suits you and is comfortable enough or it can be irritating and will lead to loss of confidence and attention during the presentation.
Giving the audience a good experience
Make it a point to always refer to the slides by glancing at it when you are talking about a sub topic which has been broken down in the slides. Also, use a pointer when you are explaining graphs, charts, etc. You can also give handouts to the audience but do it only if you are sure about it. Handouts are given when the topic has too many stats and data. In that case, handouts will help the audience in following your speech. You should ask the audience to look at the handouts by referring to the respective page number and paragraph to ensure that your aim is achieved.
It is always benefiting if the audience finds you inspiring. Try to make your speech inspiring and emotionally connect with the audience. This will make your presentation memorable and the audience will appreciate it.
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