PowerPoint presentations - beginners guide - Galia infographics
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PowerPoint presentations – beginners guide

There is nothing like presentations!

The presentation is a powerful tool that serves us for business, educational and marketing purposes, whether in a conference room, classroom or huge conference hall. The presentation plays a key role when it comes to communicating an important massage. And to think that each of us has Powerpoint,with which one can create such a powerful tool, on his computer  – amazing!

Good presentation makes audience understand more.

 

Usually, in our minds, the message we want to convey seems clear, alive and kicking, while our viewers will not always understand what it is. Your audience may listen to you but imagine a completely different idea in his mind drawn from his private world of images. That’s where your presentation comes in handy, enabling you to communicate complex messages and visually represent cumbersome content.
The slides create a flow and constitute a background with added value. The simultaneity between what is said and displayed on screen, makes the presentation an unparalleled tool.

 

Good presentation mobilizes audience to your cause.

 

Your pitch deck is meant to reinforce your words with examples and proofs, to give background and to “sell” your idea to the audience in an easy and accessible way, to create a dialogue with the audience, to excite them about your idea, to identify with your story and encourage them to take part in the process.
Powerpoint is the leading and most popular software for editing and creating presentations. It enables an easy, intuitive use of this tool. It also enables the updating of current content in a simple and fast manner, by different users: for example in an organizational presentation which requires constant updating by various employees. Another advantage of Powerpoint is the integration of media in a single platform: images, charts, videos, animation, etc. Despite the increasing number of competitors, when it comes to sharing and distributing slideshows, Powerpoint gets the upper hand, it only gets better with each new version, and -Powerpoint 2017 has never looked better, with shiny new features, upgraded UI and with new mobile and web platforms.
In this article I will present you with 5 tips, mostly easy to implement, recommended for anyone interested in bringing their presentation to their full potential. I’ll also refer to basic software features that can help when making PowerPoint presentations.

1. Good presentation is concise

A good presentation gives your audience a sense of flow, it’s easy to understand. The less content it contains, the easier it is to absorb its information, as a result of summarisation, your presentation will communicate immediately and will be more memorable as a result.

This requires conciseness. How many slides should we create? How do we tell if our presentation contains too many slides? Does our slide contain too much data? Refining is an endless process – it is almost always possible to find an unnecessary slide or content.
In the refining process, we need to look at everything from afar and identify the summary of things, the most important things.

A great way of abstracting is creating an information hierarchy, creating a gradual differentiation from the most to the least important data. This way, slides will not compete for attention.

Getting to the least important data, we have to ask ourselves: is it necessary? A good way to answer is to check whether, after removing this data, the message is still clear.

Text should be as concise as possible, try formulating a key phrase to each slide, give it a fixed grid on the slide so that the viewer can identify it easily in transition between slides.

#What can Powerpoint do for us
backup slides – A second chance for all those slides we’ve removed, a form of filtering where we save data as a backup in case the potential investor suddenly asks to see that graph that reinforces our statement for example.
Hyperlinks – these slides can be linked to the presentation slides using Hyperlink, so that we could retrieve them easily if necessary.

2. Sometimes, multiple content is  a necessity

Sometimes, despite our high volume content, we can not shorten it, not even one word to spare.
What if we have a lot to say in a particular slide? What if that slide has already undergone the processes of summarising, and still there are many important facts to display?

At this point, the best solution is splitting the slide. You can create a general title slide, followed by sub-slides, which in turn adds important data.
Another good solution is portraying the data horizontally, over the same slide, For our viewer, this is a single slide, the subject has not changed, yet We’ve been able to show him all of the important facts in a more streamlined way.
#What can Powerpoint do for us
Transitions and animations – In most cases, except for fade, it is recommended not to use the effects. However, in special cases and with a lot of consideration, it is possible to create spectacular transition animations. When we want to Change data on the same slide it is ideal to use transitions.

3. Leave bread crumbs for your audience

A good presentation will always allow your audience orientation. You can not expect your audience to listen to you at any given time throughout the entire presentation, you must provide anchors, even for your most attentive viewers.

One way of creating anchors are icons. The use of icons makes it possible to convey the idea in a much faster and intuitive way than text, We can use it to correlate slides with the entire presentation.
We can begin our presentation with a list of main topics, each represented by an icon, we could also use color coding. The icon will serve as an anchor, reminding us of the topic at hand.
#What can Powerpoint do for us
Icons as EMF files – Icons created in a graphic software can be converted into editable Powerpoint shapes by exporting the icons from Adobe as EMF files, and importing it into Powerpoint.  This will allow control over colors and visibility, we can than use the icons as a Powerpoint component.

4. Picture superiority effect

A visually powerful image becomes a memory trigger, according to the image superiority effect theory, the human mind prefers to process visual rather than textual data. An image has an advantage over a word because it is encoded in our minds twice; Both visually and literally, therefore it will increase our ability to absorb it and later pull it out of our memory when needed. A word only generates literal encoding.
We have become accustomed to the old model in which the presentation are based on text and pictures. However, the ideal model for memorable, impactful presentations is based on ‘picture first – text later’.
Powerful images create an atmosphere, look for images that convey the right emotion for your presentation, photos that will help create an emotional connection between your audience and your idea, Look for images that reflect your brand’s personality.

Usage rights
The best way to avoid copyright infringment is to use professional images from legal image stocks. There are many good paid image stocks, including Shutterstock, iStock and graphicstock. In addition, the use of a professional image database guarantees us the use of high quality photographs taken by professionals.
#What can Powerpoint do for us
Creating uniformity – It is important to unify the presentation’s images into a series. Using the software you can perform basic image editing, give them color uniformity by lowering the saturation or changing the temperature. Or by selecting the same color filter for all of them.

5. Using Infographics

We all love infographics! It captures our attention every time. We are exposed to it on a daily basis. The web search volume for “infographics”, as seen in Google Trends, continues to climb each year.
In a world full of stimuli and information overload, our range of listening capability is only getting shorter, infographic is the ultimate visual means for dealing with this problem. As stated in Section 4, images has an advantage over words, Since the visual learning capacity of most people exceeds the textual one, our brain mostly processes visual data, however, there is a significant part of the brain dedicated to the textual processing of data. The greatest advantage belongs to the element that combines the two – the infographics. The benefits of using Infographics are clear to us, today, more than ever.

#What can Powerpoint do for us
Smart art – The Smart Art component offers a wide range of templates that can be personally designed. This tool is very easy to use, the templates come in a very basic look but they can very easily be given a new style and design. Using Smart Art we can create infographics to describe process, flowcharts, pyramids and more.

So, what did we have here?

We learned that a good presentation is one of the most powerful business tools available to us. We Need it to be concise, easy to understand, spiced up with spectacular images (for the benefit of average human memory) and upgraded with infographics – because it’s trendy, but mostly because the combination of text and graphic element, that is infographics, Simply does the trick.
The efforts involved in upgrading your presentation are definitely worth it.
One thing I can assure you – it gets easier from presentation to presentation 🙂
So, get to work!

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