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Volume 5, Issue 8

Master the Art of PowerPoint

The right fonts, layout and photos can make a PowerPoint presentation better, writes a leadership coach.

Karin Hurt, author of Energize Your Leadership: Discover, Ignite, Break Through, recently shared several ways to improve a PowerPoint presentation, including:

  • Simplify text. "Keep to the rule of one point per slide and make your point pop," she writes. "Reinforce it with a 5-7 word call out box."
  • Use clean fonts. "Don't use more than three fonts," Hurt writes. "If you have to reduce font size to less than 24pt, you're cramming too much in."
  • Let heading tell a story. "Go through the presentation and just read the headings," she writes. "If your headings don't tell a coherent story on their own, revise them."
  • Use layout to focus attention. "The most important places to put information are the heading, upper left side and the bottom," Hurt writes.
  • Use compelling visuals. "Do not use clip art," she writes. "Instead find clean photographs that tell your story. If the image doesn't enhance the meaning, leave it out. If you present frequently, look for unique pictures as you're out in the world, capture them with your phone and save them in a folder."
  • End with a call to action. "Ask your audience for what you need or want them to do," Hurt writes.
  • Create a separate leave-behind document. "One of the main reasons PowerPoints are so crammed full of words and data is that they're created to be ‘cascaded' and shared by someone other than the presenter," she writes. "If you want to capture your primary audience's attention, build a few slides that truly support your main ideas. Then create a separate document with additional detail and supporting data."

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, Aug. 24, 2015 issue.

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