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Finally, you should check your PowerPoint slides on a projection screen before your presentation.
Information that looks good on a computer display may not be readable on the projection screen.
Using Visual Aids Effectively
Make sure you choose the visual aids that will work most effectively, and that you have enough without using
too many. How many is too many? The amount of time you have to speak will determine the number of
visual aids you should use, as will your target audience. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least one minute
to present each PowerPoint slide. Leave a minimum of two minutes for audience questions after a 10-minute
presentation, and allow up to 25 percent of your total presentation time to address questions after longer
presentations. (For example, for a 20-minute presentation, figure on taking five minutes for questions.) For a
10-minute talk, try to keep the body of your presentation to eight slides or less. Your target audience will
also influence your selection of visual aids. For instance, your slides will need more graphics and animation
if you are addressing a group of teenagers than if you are presenting to a board of directors. Remember to
use visual aids to emphasize your main points, not to detract from them.
Review each of your slides and visual aids to make sure it meets the following criteria:
The font size of the text is large enough to read from the back of the presentation area.
The slide or visual aid is as perfect as possible, and does not contain misleading graphics,
typographical errors, or misspelled words
the quality of your work is a direct reflection on you.
The content of your visual aid is relevant to the key points of your presentation.
The slide or visual aid does not detract from your message. Your animations, pictures, and sound
effects should support the text. Your visuals should look professional.
A visual aid should look good in the presentation environment. If possible, rehearse your
PowerPoint presentation beforehand in the room where you will give the actual presentation. Make
sure you can read your slides easily from the back row of seats in the room. If you have a friend
who can sit in, ask her or him to listen to your voice from the back row of seats. If you have
trouble projecting your voice clearly, consider using a microphone for your presentation.
All numbers should be rounded unless decimal places or pennies are crucial. For example, your
company might only pay fractions of a cent per Web hit, but this cost may become significant
after millions of Web hits.
Slides should not look too busy or crowded. Many PowerPoint experts have a
rule for bullet
points on a slide, which means you should include no more than six bullet points per slide and no
more than six words per bullet point. Also avoid putting too many labels or pictures on a slide. Clip
art can be
and therefore has no place in a professional business presentation. A
wellselected picture or two can add emphasis to the theme of a slide. For examples of a slide that is too
busy versus one that conveys its points succinctly, see Figures F-17 and F-18.