5 PowerPoint Hacks to Improve Presentation Skills: Part 2

Posted by Elizabeth Levey
February 5, 2015

by Elizabeth Levey

elizabeth-levey-1Welcome back to the second half of our PowerPoint hacks post.  Last time we blogged about this topic, we shared a few easy hacks to improve presentation skills with PowerPoint.

Here are a few more you can use to help support your next presentation:


1. Slide Monitoring.  Not using a remote?  Instead of manually clicking on your slides, you can control your slides by using F5 to start the slide show, N to advance further and P to page back, just in case the need arises.


2. If in doubt, cheat! Listen, not all of us are graphic designers. If you’re not creatively-minded and don’t feel confident in producing your own slide designs, get someone else to design them, or use templates from up-to-date sites. Choose wisely, though!  Don’t forget about the Rule of 6 and the peril of adding fancy audio and visual components. Use clear formats, constrained animations and adhere to the old adage  "less is more!"


3. The 20% rule.  Last post, we discussed the 75% rule.  It’s also important to know The 20% Rule.giving-a-demo-2 Which 20% of your content is the absolute most important?  Stuff happens  power outages, delayed audience arrivals, audio/visual equipment failure.  And suddenly, your 30-minute presentation has been slashed down to 5 minutes. Having a firm and immediate knowledge of the “essence” of your presentation   the 20% that is absolutely non-negotiable to exclude — can help you deal with the unexpected and still get the most important information to your audience. 


4. A flawless ending.  Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Well, final impressions are just as important. It's an easy blunder to click past the end slide. If you duplicate the last slide of your presentation and leave a blank one at the end, you have more time to stop. The audience won’t see the show revert back to the program, or any of the numerous other tabs and apps you have open on your computer.


5. Most importantly, if nothing else, remember that PowerPoint is just a visual assistant.  YOU, the presenter, are what brings a slide show to life!  That human connection is the magic that truly makes a presentation special. Don’t let yourself be undermined or overwhelmed by the power of this useful bit of technology.  The hacks in this two-part series can help you use PowerPoint to your advantage, in a strategic and enhancing way. 

Got any more hacks to add to our list?  Let us know in the comments section!

And if you liked this, you'll love:


demonstration speech

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