Effective PowerPoint Presentation -Tips and facts

classroom-300x192Dr Mansoor Ali
Govt.Homeopathic Medical College. Calicut

A good presentation can impact, influence and impose.

Power point presentation yields positive result among speakers, teachers and students, which will enhance the effectiveness of classroom lectures and seminars. It is proven that the people learn more readily and retain more information when learning is reinforced by visualization

The role of power point presentations in seminar and class room  to make learning real, practical and fun through seeing, hearing, discovering and doing.


  • Help to reduce the talking verbatim of the speaker/teacher
  • They help to make communication situation interesting.
  • They help to increase the receiver’s participation

We have very good teachers, speakers and very good students/audience but poor teaching skills. Even the best medical curriculum or perfect syllabus or seminar would remain dead unless quickened in to life by the right method of teaching.

Good Listener
In order to become a good speaker, you should be a good listener. Attend as much as presentations are possible. So that you can able to identify the merits and de-merits of different types of presentation by different individuals.

Presentation Planning
What is the objective of the presentation? Who is the audience? How large is the audience? Where is presentation to be given? What resources are available? How much time do you have Ask Questions? etc. should be considered.

Preparation of Slides
Understand audience motivations. If you know what they need or wants, you are more likely to be able to give it to them. So preparation depends upon the type of audience and topic. 

Use an image/graph in place of large number of words to convey a message where possible.

Images should be designed to please the mind as well as the eye of the viewer. If an image has no specific place or purpose in a presentation other than “it is pretty”, it should be avoided.

Not more than five words per line and not more than 5-6 lines per slide if possible. Only this much a brain can absorb from a slide at a time while listening to a speaker.

For explaining a Key point it is better to limit in one slide and not more than two because when you advance a slide, the audience would like to see a new topic or matter

If less matter per slide, you can able to use larger fonts so that audience in the back can also read.

If you are putting more matter per slide audience will take a silent dislike to you. If a lot of numerical or statistical data to be conveyed, design an easy to visualize attractive, simple graph or chart.

Give a pause after few slides. You can have funny pictures or small clippings  as slides if your presentation is so long. These are breathing room and avoid boredom.

There should be enough color contrast between the text and the background. Remember that color will be slightly different in screen than as in your monitor. So it is better to have a prior look up through a projector before the final touch up. If you are in confusion use blue letters on white back ground.

Make your own contribution
while using slides in a presentation. Display the key points only in the slides, the rest you have to explain – otherwise the audience may sit like watching a movie- not listening to the speaker or content.

The speaker should be the center of attraction and not the screen. The audience has come to hear you, not to see images on screen.  Your speech should be  compelling along with slides.

Organising Slides
Think hard and imagine about how best to convey the information effectively before preparing slides.

Your slide needs logical flow and organisation. The last slide should have some relation to the first. The audience should not be confused or wandering. One point leads to another and one slide to other.

  • Say what you are going to say
  • Say it
  • Say what you said

This is the general rule in preparing slides.

First slide should display the name of topic, your name. qualifications etc.

The second slide is Introduction – means what you are going to present. This brief introduction link the audience with the subject.

The slide just before the Thank you slide should be a Question mark Slide– audience must a get a chance to clear the doubts.

Slide before this should be a ‘Summary slide’– you have to summarise the entire presentation in one slide. Summary slide re-in force what they have been witnessing for now and even if they forget many points, summary slides will stay with them. When you are about to end the presentation give a signal, because audience don’t to be faced with an abrupt ending. They have to formulate some questions or summary.

“Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.”

The summary slide is the take home message

 Finally thank the audience for their patient hearing. 

Time Limit
Make your presentation as brief and to the point as possible (practically it is a difficult task also) because attention spans are notoriously limited. Average attention span of a human being is 30 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes. This goes down drastically when you have less skill and poorly designed slides. Don’t try to convey all the information (they can always go back to resources, so give references).

Be brief. If asked to speak for 45 minutes, speak for 35, and encourage discussion afterwards. Never, ever go over your allotted time slot. To over-run your allotted time is unfair to the organizers and the audience who may really want to hear the speaker after you or make it to another talk. If your talk is too long, do some editing.

Keep your slides two to five minutes – not more than that. People want to hear the new information, resources, or ideas  on each slides, keep them  interested… 

No need to read the entire contents of the slides

Spelling & Grammar
Poor spelling and grammar distracts the audience. They will remember errors in a slide. This is not only the tendency to criticize but each spelling or grammatical mistake could reduce interest in your presentation.

Variety Slides
You have to present the slides in front of different kind of people having various mood and taste. So it is better to avoid same fonts or Times New Roman in all slides. But mixture of fonts like comic sans, verdana,tahoma,calibri,lucida etc. but never too much fonts in one slide. Think about font and correlate with your points.

Never use text below 18pt and never use all caps or all italics.

It is better to avoid same slides/cases even though you are presenting at different places, since some of the audience may be common.

This is true in the case of class room teaching also. Teacher has to present something extra to each forthcoming batch and should not be a repetition of the same. Majority of the teachers are taking same topic throughout their entire service. If a materia medica teacher taking 15 drugs at the time of joining the service, he has to change the medicines in the forthcoming years. Unfortunately majority are teaching the same drugs during the 25-30 years of their service. If a teacher feel boredom in his teaching that is the worst thing in medical education. If you are not updating regularly you will become outdated.

Give references in one slide preferably towards the end which ad authenticity.

Really good. But it is better to avoid too much animations, images, transition effects or clip arts. Make sure they are appropriate and relevant to the content. Photos must look professional. Avoid too lengthy video case presentations, show only important parts of a case. 

You must rehearse your presentation as you are going to speak on a stage. Effective presentations will be achieved and mastered only through practice. You will need to see how long you are spending on each slide- so you can cut down the time in certain places and increase in other slides.

During your presentation
Never look on the screen constantly
. Eye contact with audience is must. Never turn your back to the audience. You are not able to perform effectively if you are looking on the screen most of the time and reading what is in the screen.

When you turn your head to look at the screen , make sure your words are spoken into the microphone. This is true whether the microphone is attached to you or the podium. It is difficult for the audience to follow you when you are alternately loud and soft.

Try not to read from a text if at all possible. Know your topic and rehearse it so well that you can speak the talk with your text or notes.

Avoid using monotonous voice or pitch during your presentation, audience may go to sleep. Change you manner of speech according to your material Speak loudly as every one hears you.

Repeat  audience questions so the entire audience can appreciate your answer.

Before Presentation

  • Remember to charge the laptop battery just before you go on!
  • Wear something you know you look good in. It will boost your confidence.

Try not to turn all the lights off in the auditorium; you are not going to see a movie, but to listen a speaker. Keep a few lights on along the sides or at the back. It also helps people take notes or keep up with any handouts to which you might be referring. A spot light should be on the speaker.

Don’t wait for someone to change the slides for you, unless you have no way of doing it yourself. It takes time, interrupts the flow of the talk, and looks pretentious. It is better to have windows default background in your laptop monitor than photos of your wife, children or animals.

Power Failure
At the time of power failure, don’t panic. I f you are confident and prepared your topic well, present with out slides. Nothing commands authority like confidence. The audience is your friend, they want to like you and to hear what you have to say..

Present the facts
Make sure you understand your own viewpoint. If you are going to try to convince somebody that the homeopathy is the most scientific, find out the facts first, don’t make assumptions. To communicate effectively, you must state your facts in a simple, concise and interesting manner.

Power point 2007 is also very easy to use. All the details are available in the Help section and website.

Encourage & train your PG & UG students for presenting their seminars & book reviews as PP show.

You will get more themes and templates through Microsoft Office Online Website or www.snipca.com/x965

Slide Master in Power Point 2007 contains versatile and innovative options. Just play with it, you can study everything yourself

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