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From Beginner To Expert : Improving Your PowerPoint Presentation Skills

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From Beginner to Expert : Improving Your PowerPoint Presentation Skills
Once you have gained confidence with the basic aspects of Microsoft PowerPoint, you may wonder about how you can further improve your presentation skills. While you may have a firm grasp of the most basic principles, PowerPoint is a complex tool that you can use to present information in an incredibly effective way. By taking advantage of the following tips, you can refine your skills in order to make presentations that are sure to impress any audience.

Follow the Rule of Thirds
Photographers and artists often use the rule of thirds to create visually attractive and effective images, and you can use the same principles of composition involved to create PowerPoint slides that are pleasant to look at and effective for communicating your ideas. Essentially, the rule of thirds states that you should position the most important visual elements of your image along imaginary lines that divide your image into thirds. You can use this page to see visual examples of the rule of thirds.

When looking at a slide, imagine that two vertical lines and two horizontal lines are dividing the slide into nine equal sections. According to the rule of thirds, you can enhance the visual appeal of your slide by placing important elements along either the horizontal or vertical lines that separate your slide into thirds.

By aligning a bulleted list, chart or image with one of these lines, you are also directing your audience’s eyes toward that content. You can use this principle of composition to make decisions about where you place information on your slides. By organizing your content according to the rule of thirds, you can create slideshows that help you to emphasize certain aspects of your presentation. By doing so, you can gain greater control over what your audience will focus on during your presentation.

Choose Colors That Contrast
By selecting colors that contrast with each other, you can make your presentation easier for your audience to view. If you select a dark background color and pair it with a light color for your text and other content, then you can create slides that have text that seems to float on the screen.

In addition to making your PowerPoint themes easy to view and read, it also adds visual interest to your slides. The human brain is geared for detecting differences such as this, and your audience’s attention will be directed toward visual elements that are in contrast. When you are designing your presentation, you can use this to your advantage by making important details irresistible to your audience’s focus.

Use Charts and Graphs Effectively
You are probably aware that it usually more effective to present information through images rather than plain text. However, there are ways that you can refine your use of charts and graphs to make them even more effective at communicating your ideas.

When you are designing visual displays of information, take care not to overload the image with too much material. If you are attempting to show complex sets of data, such as sets that change over time, consider splitting the data into multiple charts and graphs.

Your objective is to communicate your ideas as clearly as possible, and you can do that more effectively when you make each piece of information as simple as possible to understand. By breaking apart large chunks of information into easily digestible pieces, you make it easier for your audience to understand your images. Then, your audience can spend less time trying to figure out what your image is trying to communicate and more time on you and your main ideas.

Practicing Your Presentation and Preparing for Delivery
While an excellent PowerPoint slideshow is a powerful tool that can aid your presentation, it needs to be fully integrated with your performance to work successfully. The first thing you can do to prepare yourself is to become more familiar with your slideshow. Practice delivering your speech or lecture alongside your slideshow several times to make sure that your presentation is coherent and unified.

If it is possible to do so, practice delivering your presentation with your slideshow in the space that you are scheduled to deliver it. Doing so can help you feel more comfortable, and your audience is likely to view comfort and familiarity with your presentation as confidence. You can also record yourself making your presentation to view your performance from your audience’s perspective.

By following using the rule of thirds, contrasting colors and effective visual elements, you can create a visually stunning PowerPoint slideshow. Then, when you fully integrate it with your presentation, you are ready to make an outstanding impression on your audience.

This guest post was written by Eric V, marketing director for PresentationBundle.com. Visit us for amazing Microsoft PowerPoint charts and diagrams.

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