By Kate McFarlin
Kate has more than 15 years experience as a freelance writer. My articles have been published on USAToday, the Houston Chronicle and several other sites. Kate blogs via Contently.com.
PowerPoint has become the go-to software package for creating webinars. In order to fully utilize this format, it is important to follow a few basic tips in order to create an engaging and interesting presentation.
There are some very common mistakes that are made when creating PowerPoint presentations. The good news is, these mistakes are easy to fix and just about any presentation can be transformed into an engaging and thought provoking webinar with just a few simple steps.
1. Don’t Use Slides as your Script.
While your audience appreciates having key points outlined for them in your webinar, they don’t necessarily want to read the entire thing.
Your slides should act as a back-up to your voice-over. Reiterate key points on your slides, but avoid falling into the trap of having far too much text on each slide. It is better to back up what you are saying visually, rather than overload your viewers with too much text.
2. Go Beyond the Basics.
PowerPoint comes with a set amount of slide backgrounds and unfortunately, many of these are not that visually pleasing. Using the same backgrounds over and over again can also lead to boring your audience and giving them the impression you don’t have anything new to offer, even if that is the furthest thing from the truth.
Microsoft Office offers a variety of backgrounds on its download site, and you can also find professionally designed backgrounds that are free or low cost. Remember, the background should support your presentation, not overwhelm it.
3. Add Visual Interest with Graphics.
As mentioned above, having too much text on a slide is not effective. Instead, use graphics that fully illustrate your point, and then add bullet points around the graphics from key portions of your voice-over.
Cartoons are used by some presenters to help lighten the mood of viewers and engage them. This can help transform what might otherwise be a dreary presentation into a fun presentation.
4. Time your Presentation Slides Properly.
Timing is everything, especially in PowerPoint presentations. Avoid the amateurish mistake of having your voice-over improperly timed with your slides.
You may need to tweak your timing several times before it’s perfect. Take the time to do this right, it will definitely reflect poorly on you if you do not.
5. Pay Attention to Your Competition.
Attend your competitor’s webinars and take notes on how they approach their subject matter, the kinds of backgrounds they use and how they structure their presentation.
You don’t want to copy anything you see, but this can be a great way to find inspiration for your next webinar. Study their presentation and think of ways that you could improve upon it. Then, apply these notes while you create your own presentation.
PowerPoint presentations don’t have to be dull and boring! Utilize these tips when you create your next webinar and you’ll end up with a visually pleasing and engaging final product.