In last week’s blog, we have talked about how to develop your communicative skills, capture your audiences’ attention. Besides your verbal and body language skills, your technical skills are significant for your performance. When you achieve integrating them in a completing way, you can hit a brick wall. After preparing a draft and an outline of your speech or presentation content, you should start to devise your slides. The first step is to choose the most suitable template for your topic, the setting and audiences. If your audience is kids, you may choose colourful templates. If your audience is managers, your colleague, you had better choose basic templates not confusing or much colourful. PowerPoint offers you a broad array of templates, I suggest you choose a template with dim grey, black or creme tones. You can build your charts, tables, diagrams, pictures on these basic coloured backgrounds easily. These colours don’t detract audiences with movements in the background and enable them to focus on your content more. You should implement visual aids to highlight the chief ideas as you progress through the presentation. For example, you divided a topic into three. You can use a small atom icon to underpin the coherence between three components. You can use punctuation mark icons, graphics, shapes, and it totally depends on your visual creativity. Visuals and graphics should be appealing and attractive. They must also be explicit, legible and enormous enough to be seen from all parts of the room. When you use pictures, you should be cautious about the quality of the visuals and not including more pictures than it is necessary. It can cause distraction vice versa.
When you prepare your slides, the other key mark is to choose the right font not so bold, not calligraphic, decorative, or Lombardic styles (difficult to read). You should choose a font what others can comfortably read and understand (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman etc.). Additionally, you should keep the same font style throughout your presentation. You shouldn’t involve wordy sentences in your slides, and you should keep words short, simple and items instead of full sentences. You should use notes/cue cards not to depend on slides and practise your delivery. The more familiar you become with them, the less you will need to look at them. Each slide should focus on a central point so that others will identify even if they don’t know the details of the topic. You should use sub-titles in bold and mark the critical words. Colour can be used for emphasis, distinction and clarity as well. Highlighting headings and key points, graphs and charts is an efficient functional use of colour. However, you must be aware that the colour does not interfere or distract from the visually presented information. That’s why you shouldn’t colours more than 3. You should be careful with coloured backgrounds as some colours can make black text or figures less distinct. A valuable tip is to use background and foreground colours that complement each other and have high contrast. The size of the fonts shouldn't be less than 22 for the text and 34 for titles. They should be large enough to be legible to be seen from all parts of the room. The number of slides shouldn’t be more than 20 (The max.) unless it is an intensive course, a monthly report, etc. You should always write the topic of presentation in the first slide and attach your name below on the right side. You should include the outline of your presentation in the second slide. You should have separate slides for various topics, don’t place everything in 5 slides. You should typically include three parts in your presentation, introduction (the entrance to the topic), body part (explaining and discussing), conclusions (summarizing), references (if you have) and showing your gratefulness to audiences with a message at the end. For more ideas, you can check out the link below!