The two most important rules for effective PowerPoint presentation

There’s a rule of thumb amongst speakers and lecturer that if you speak for longer than 10 minutes, you’ll likely exhaust your audiences’ attention spans and start to see glazed expressions looking at you (or elsewhere)!

In the same way, for your professional development it is significant to know how to always hold the eyes and minds of your audience toward the message you are communicating. Read here on the two main requirements for designing a professional PowerPoint presentation that give the game away.

1. The golden characteristic of a PowerPoint presentation

The one and only thing that makes a PowerPoint presentation exceptional is the ability to convey clear and precise information in a short period of time. 

At any point, if the PowerPoint presentation becomes a mere dump of information, it is rendered useless. No amount of graphics or playing around with colour, fonts and illustrations can make up for the problem.

However, the audience should be switching from listening to you to looking at the slides without realizing that different senses are being stimulated and different message delivery methods are being used. In both cases, there should be one main message in every slide that is highlighted. 

2. The content of the PowerPoint slides has to be designed according to the Context

Depending on the audience, the content and the context of a PowerPoint presentation varies. Consider a few examples. If one is defending his/her thesis, the presentation effectively summarizes the years of effort that went in research. Similarly, during a business meeting, the business PowerPoint presentation basically gives a message on the health of the company or industry with relevant numbers and graphs. 

If the audience is the Finance head of a company, the PowerPoint presentation is filled with numbers. But if the audience is the creative board, the PowerPoint presentation should be filled with pictures and illustrations. 

But if the PowerPoint presentation is a dump of the entire thesis or the entire P/L statement, the very purpose of the presentation is lost. Thus, an exceptional PowerPoint presentation always conveys the intended message to the respective audience in an unambiguous manner in a short period of time.

Then, according to the context, the presentation design can be also aligned with a story that delivers the main message of the presenter. First, you should decide the content, images and videos. But then, remember that all of them should be designed in a meaningful presentation that tells a story and you are the storyteller. 

Arundhathi Ganapathy
Published by Arundhathi Ganapathy

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