Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Advice for Building Persuasive Presentations
Before you can create a presentation with a personal template, you must tell
PowerPoint where your personal templates are stored. To do so, click the
File tab and choose Options. In the PowerPoint Option dialog box, go to the
Save category, and in the Default Personal Templates Location text box,
enter the path to the folder where you keep personal templates. Unless you
tell PowerPoint where to find personal templates, the Personal tab doesn’t
appear in the New window (refer to Figure 1-4). In past versions of
PowerPoint, personal templates were stored in this folder:
Advice for Building Persuasive Presentations
Before you create any slides, think about what you want to communicate to
your audience. Your goal isn’t to dazzle the audience with your PowerPoint
skills, but communicate something — a company policy, the merits of a
product, the virtues of a strategic plan. Your goal is to bring the audience
around to your side. To that end, here is some practical advice for building
persuasive presentations:
Start by writing the text in Word. Start in Microsoft Word, not PowerPoint,
so you can focus on the words. In Word, you can clearly see how a
presentation develops. You can make sure that your presentation builds to
its rightful conclusion. PowerPoint has a special command for getting
headings from a Word file. (See “Conjuring slides from Word document
headings,” later in this chapter.)
When choosing a design, consider the audience. A presentation to the
American Casketmakers Association calls for a mute, quiet design; a
presentation to the Cheerleaders of Tomorrow calls for something bright
and splashy. Select a slide design that sets the tone for your presentation
and wins the sympathy of the audience.
Keep it simple. To make sure that PowerPoint doesn’t upstage you, keep
it simple. Make use of the PowerPoint features, but do so judiciously. An
animation in the right place at the right time can serve a valuable purpose.
It can highlight an important part of a presentation and grab the audience’s
attention. But stuffing a presentation with too many gizmos turns a
presentation into a carnival sideshow and distracts from your message.
Follow the one-slide-per-minute rule. At the very minimum, a slide
should stay on-screen for at least one minute. If you have 15 minutes
to speak, you’re allotted no more than 15 slides for your presentation,
according to the rule.
Beware the bullet point. Terse bullet points have their place in a
presentation, but if you put them there strictly to remind yourself what to
say next, you’re doing your audience a disfavor. Bullet points can cause
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