Powerpoint Tips
Plus links to powerpoint tutorials and bad vs good powerpoint examples

Here's a list of practical Powerpoint Tips from people who've been using it for ages.

It's amazing how many people are afraid of using presentation software. If you're one of them, why not use these tips to get you started.

After the list there's a link to a powerpoint tutorial that walks you through a real example and builds a short presentation.

There's also a link to a bad vs good example so you can see the difference for yourself.

The List Of Tips

  1. Don't Be Afraid To Use Powerpoint. Some people are scared of being accused of practicing 'death by powerpoint'. Just remember the software isn't the problem. The boring way it's used is the problem.
  2. Use Powerpoint To Help You Remember Your Presentation. Speakers in the Ancient World had to rely on visualization techniques such as imagining the room in which they were to speak and assigning different parts of their talk to different areas. You can just use software!
  3. Use Pictures Not Bullets. Just remember bullets kill people. Whether they're shot out of a gun or used in a powerpoint slide they're deadly. Just because it's the default slide layout doesn't mean you have to use it. You are not a sheep. A picture tells a thousand words right? The internet puts an infinite portfolio at your fingertips, so there's no excuses not to make your slideshows highly visual. When you open Powerpoint choose the blank slide as the first slide's layout and then copy and paste about 10 times to give you 10 blank slides. There's your canvas!
  4. Make Sure Your Hardware Works. One of the most important powerpoint tips, which really has nothing to do with powerpoint! There is absolutely no excuse for hardware problems on the big day. I'm sorry but it's your problem if it happens during your talk. Get there early and make absolutely certain that it's all setup well before the audience gets there. Have a spare projector bulb. Have spare microphone batteries. Have a contingency plan for the worst case when you have to carry on without Powerpoint (ie have at least 1 copy of your full presentation on paper.) You look unprofessional if you're trying to get the slides to show on the screen while mumbling under your breath or making pathetic "technology" jokes to the audience - you look un-professional because you are! Be ruthless on this point and you'll have absolutely none of the fear that bedevils so many speakers.
  5. Don't Look At The Screen Behind You. Why would you do that when Powerpoint is designed to be used with a laptop between you and the audience so you can look over the top of it directly at the people? I don't like laser pointers for this reason, and I don't think you need them if your slides are simple and clear (which they will be).
  6. Use As Many Slides As You Like. Just make each one count and only leave it up on the screen as long as you need it.If you're doing handouts there's no rule that says they need to get one for every slide you use.

I hope these powerpoint tips inspire you to get going.

Here's a link to a powerpoint tutorial that steps you through building a simple presentation.

If you really want to learn all of the features of the latest versions of Powerpoint then there's a review of 3 good books here which offer detailed microsoft powerpoint help

Sharpen up your Powerpoint presentation skills here.

Here's a link to two powerpoint examples, one really bad and one much better. You'll really see the difference and it'll help you.

There's no question that you'll feel less fear about public speaking when you're a more confident user of this program. Also remember these powerpoint tips apply to any presentation software you use. There are other programs available - like for example the absolutely free Open Office Impress.

Here's an article on how to avoid any problems when you use powerpoint projectors.

Here's how to convert powerpoint to flash so you can put your slideshows on your website.

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