Need an effective presentation? 6 PowerPoint tips
1. Use the Lessig Method
All too often, PowerPoint presentations become bogged down in graphs, long quotes and giant chunks of text. My advice? Simplify, simplify, simplify. The simpler your presentation, the more memorable it will be. Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford University widely credited with nailing down the perfect presentation technique: extremely simple slides (though I think Lessig uses Apple Keynote, but no matter). Often Lessig's slides will have only one or two words on them to emphasize what he wants his audience to focus on. Dick Hardt gave a presentation in this style and I highly suggest you watch that here. Of course, this method does require a bit of synchronizing and a lot of practicing. You don't necessarily need to go as far as Lessig and Hardt do, but simplifying slides will be a huge help.
2. Get Inspired
Feeling stuck? Try searching SlideFinder to get some ideas for slide shows.
3. Go Opensource
Sometimes computers you are giving your presentation on do not have the latest version of Microsoft PowerPoint and file types can be incompatible. By carrying around a portable version of OpenOffice.org's Impress slide show software sometimes this dilemma can be avoided.
4. Create with Style
Microsoft's program could be a little simpler and a little more intuitive. Consider giving 280slides a whirl. This online tool features a strong and simple interface that can help you get more done, faster. And it's free!
5. Host in the Cloud
Another way to avoid file type incompatibilities and difficulties opening files when you need them most is to host your .ppt file on SlideShare. This way, if anything happens (a file gets corrupted, your jump drive gets misplaced) you have an easy to access backup copy. Further, SlideShare also provides a Flash viewer for the ppt file so even if Microsoft PowerPoint refuses to open, you can still give a fullscreen presentation using this great technology.
6. Make it Dynamic
Let's face it, PowerPoint presentations are getting somewhat dated just based on the medium itself. To really capture your audiences attention, try using the free online presentation tool, Prezi. Prezi creates impressive-looking presentations that zoom and pan and fly around your content. Getting used to the editor takes about 30 minutes to really master but after that things are pretty simple. Prezi hosts your finished creation and you can email this link to friends or colleagues. You can also download the file and launch it without any other software besides Flash which virtually all computers have.
7. Poll your Audience
PollEverywhere allows you to embed a poll into your PowerPoint and then allows the audience to answer your question using their phones. A great way to incorporate audience participation.
These techniques will save you time and will make your presentation stand out from the rest. Good luck!