How to Make a Great PowerPoint Presentation

Four Methods:Create Your NarrativeUtilize the FormatNail Your PresentationSample PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint is a Microsoft Office Suite program which is used to make presentation slideshows, combining text and images to create captivating and motivating presentations. However, the skills and secrets to make these excellent presentations are often, simply not there within the ones who make them! If you feel your presentation could use a little extra something, read below for some helpful ideas to take it from so-so to absolutely amazing.

Method 1
Create Your Narrative

  1. 1
    Decide what you want your audience to learn. Before you begin, it will be necessary to determine what you want your main take-away message or information to be. This should be an identifiable main point, which all of your other information will support. If you are doing an academic presentation, it will be the equivalent of your thesis statement. If your presentation is business related, it will be the product or service which you are proposing or advocating. Nevertheless, prepare for the content to put in your presentation before you open and start with a blank presentation.
  2. 2
    Boil your information down. Try to only keep the information that you can't do without. If you have a load of text in your hands, cut it down to the most important bits. If you have a boring graph about how internet users have increased throughout the years, make a statistic instead. Say, the amount of internet users have tripled since the last decade, now up to 3 billion. This way, you will be presenting the same information to your audience, just in a more interesting and instigating way. It will also keep your presentation from being to long or sounding "rambling".
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    Plan out your structure. Now that you know what information must be included, begin to plan the structure of your presentation. You will want to plan as much of your speech and slides on paper as possible. Outline not only your speech but your slides as well.
    • The structure of an academic presentation should follow roughly the same structure as an academic paper, first introducing your main point, supporting it with evidence, and then a short conclusion.
    • For business presentations, Guy Kawasaki (a notable business adviser and marketing guru) suggests this standard presentation structure[1]:
      • The Problem
      • Your solution
      • Business model
      • Underlying magic/technology
      • Marketing and sales
      • Competition
      • Team
      • Projections and milestones
      • Status and timeline
      • Summary and call to action

Method 2
Utilize the Format

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    Streamline text. When using PowerPoint slides you want them to actually help and raise the quality of your presentation, not simply exist alongside it. The best way to do this is to ensure that your slides do not simply restate what you are saying. You should not be reading from your slides. Really, you want PowerPoint presentations to contain as little text as possible. Having to read text will distract your audience, even if only unconsciously, from what you are telling them. With this in mind, keep your text to a minimum and present it in a way that is easy to read, such as a bulleted list.
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    Give handouts. So, if you can't put all your information onto your slides, how are you supposed to tell your audience everything that can't fit into your speech? Handouts! Make a one or two page handout, for each audience member or for people to take at will, which contains a section for each slide or portion of your presentation. Here you can put extra information or key points of information that were included in your presentation.
  3. Image titled Make a Great PowerPoint Presentation Step 6
    Use informative graphics. Graphics are what make a really engaging PowerPoint presentation. These can provide your audience with a new way of looking at what you are trying to tell them. They can provide information which may be difficult for you to convey in words, such as charts and graphs. You will want to be sure, however, that they actually add to your presentation and do not simply provide a distraction.
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    Cut unnecessary sounds and visuals. With the above information in mind, you will want to be absolutely sure that you do not include unnecessary visuals or audio. Examples would include transition animations, clip art, sound effects, and cluttered templates or background images. These are the features which tend to make Powerpoint presentations boring, dated, and unhelpful.[2] They distract audience members and add nothing to the presentation. They even hinder the audience's ability to absorb information.

Method 3
Nail Your Presentation

  1. 1
    Practice. You will want to spend a lot of time practicing before delivering your presentation. Make sure that your speech matches well with your slides. You will also want to be sure you know how to time your speech, especially if you want to put the presentation on automatic, rather than having to stop or refocus to change slides.
  2. 2
    Present as if there were no PowerPoint. Don't use your slides as a crutch. They're there to add to your speech, not carry it along. If you present as if there were no slide, by being an engaging, enthusiastic speaker, your audience will be enthralled and remember your presentation for years to come.
  3. 3
    Get to the point. Don't ramble. Don't include information you don't need. Tell your audience what they need to know and don’t take any more time than you need to get there. Use bullet points for important information and expand on it while presenting instead of writing a long paragraph and reading it word for word. Remember, presentations should never be more than 20 minutes long. If you are a teacher with time to fill, break up presentations with activities. Having to listen to a presentation for more than 20 minutes will cause most people to disengage, which is not what you want to happen.
  4. 4
    Be inspiring. Find ways to inspire your audience. You want to give them an emotional connection to the material you are presenting. This will make them more invested in the information and will also help the retain the information more accurately and for longer. Be enthusiastic about what you are presenting and make the audience understand why it’s important.
    • It’s not enough to show why your information is important to someone else; you have to make it important to your audience. Make them understand why they should care. For example, don’t give a lecture on history and just expect students to care. You need to show them how that history directly ties to current events and affects their lives. Look for parallels and direct correlations to tie your information to your audience.

Sample PowerPoint Presentations

Sample Photo Slideshow About Flowers

Sample Business Presentation

Sample PowerPoint Presentation for School


  • Watch masters of the PowerPoint to learn which methods are effective and which aren’t. Steve Jobs was well known for being an excellent presenter. TED Talks are also very good examples of PowerPoint presentations done well.
  • Every office package comes in with lots of new features,jazzy graphics display and animations. Avoid the trap of trying to use them all to show your proficiency in making a PPT. Concentrate more on the content and let the PPT help you in your Presentation.
  • Remember the 10/20/30 Rule -- no more than 10 slides, no longer than 20 minutes, and no smaller than 30 point font.
  • Don't use someone else's image unless you are sure that you have permission to do so.
  • If you're using Flickr Creative Commons images, make sure you give attribution to the owner of the picture (you can do a whole page of credits at the end of your presentation).
  • Credit the images that you used when necessary.
  • Use some transitions and animations to engage the audience more.
  • Do not use more than 6 words per slide
  • Different ideas need to be placed on separate slides, not on the same slid
  • Slides need to have pictures, as slides are visual and its details must be received, not much perceived.
  • Making hand gesture while you are presenting your PowerPoint will make you look more professional.


  • Practice makes perfect. Finish your presentation and then speak it out loud. Try again until you have it "down."
  • Even if you miss a slide or miss a topic, avoid fumbling to find it. Move along and just before the end, say that you need an important addition to be looked upon which you had skipped purposely and then revert to the slide that you have missed and fill in the gaps. At no point should it be felt that you are not in-charge of your own PPT.
  • Sometimes the projector you are using may develop a problem. Be patient and let the appropriate authorities handle it. Do not swear or sweat, it happens! Then, once it's fixed, you may continue from where you left with a smile or a short joke or, if the repair took a very long time, start from the beginning.
  • Never read your slides word for word.
  • Do not overdo with the transitions and slide animations, as it can become a distraction

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Categories: PowerPoint Presentations