How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation for College: Tips from Experts
When you need to deliver a speech or a presentation, be sure that a slideshow made in PowerPoint complements it. With the help of a PPT presentation, you can highlight the key ideas in a clear and comprehensive way. Besides, your target audience will focus on the major aspects of your project. With the help of a PowerPoint slideshow, you can pinpoint to the most significant ideas, add visuals, and organize some text in a well-structured form.
While it is not hard to create a good PPT presentation, it is certainly more challenging to provide a great one. Thus, it is no wonder that so many students seek for professional help in their urge to learn how to make a PowerPoint presentation for college. A flawed PPT may have one or a few of the following characteristics: an abundance of details on one slide, too many slides, too much text per slide, different colors and fonts, illegible figures, etc. Hopefully, with the professional strategies provided below, you will be able to provide a flawless presentation and make your audience engaged in it.
How to Create an Effective College PowerPoint Presentation?
Select an appropriate template for design
MS PowerPoint is particularly handy when it comes to choosing design for your PPT: you do not need to manually select design for each slide but choose one design for the whole presentation. There are many templates that are suitable to a specific topic, way of presenting or style. So, you can choose the one that appeals to you most and that would be most appropriate in relation to the discipline or topic. In any case, there is an option to modify it according to your preferences.
Be attentive when using media and animations
If you decide to use animations, make sure they are relevant: they should add more value to the topic instead of merely distracting attention from the key ideas. Thus, do not opt for sophisticated animations – you may simply use fades or cuts.
When it comes to media usage, you are welcome to utilize videos, audio, and pictures – again, only when these are relevant within the context. They should help you describe or explain some part of the topic.
3 Tips for Ensuring Top-Quality Design of Your Presentation
Tip 1. Enrich it with relevant colors
If you are delivering a speech in front of a huge audience, or maybe if you are representing your college at some conference, utilize your college colors for designing the slides. These colors may be used as accents in bullets, graphs, diagrams, charts, and other visuals.
Tip 2. Ensure sufficient white space
White space is your friend when it comes to creating presentations, posters, etc. It helps focus on the most important elements and break the whole presentation into blocks. With its help, the text will not look cluttered.
Tip 3. Devote one slide to a separate topic or idea
Do not cram a few ideas or subtopics into one slide. Do not overstuff the slides with the information.
Other Recommendations That Make Your Presentation Superb
1. Avoid excessive text
Do not cram your slides with excessive or irrelevant text. When slides contain more text than visuals, it makes you read the text in front of the audience as if from your notebook. When you need to deliver a PPT, your main goal is to present key points. So, be attentive to the visual form: use lists, bullet points, tables, charts, and other tools that can convey ideas in a concise and brief format.
2. Research the topic to find sufficient supporting evidence
You should have enough illustrative materials for your PPT. If you investigate some topic, make sure you have evidence to back up the argument. The type of presentation depends on the type of speech or paper that you have to prepare. For example, it may be informative, entertaining, persuasive or argumentative. So, before you present some topic, research it thoroughly and find out the essentials of your PPT type. Remember: your presentation should make it easier for you to defend your research project.
3. Practice presenting and gather feedback
One of the major challenges about delivering a PPT presentation lies in the speech you should provide. So, try to practice public speaking, particularly when you need to present some topic in front of a huge audience. You may try to rehearse in front of your family or friends. This would also be a perfect chance for you to ask them for some feedback as to what you look or sound like.
Pay attention to the following while rehearsing:
- Avoid fillers, such as «like», «um», «ah», etc. Excessive usage of these fillers signify that you are nervous or anxious. Instead of filling your speech with them, pause for a moment and take a deep breath.
- Do not read your presentation from the slides. Use the slides as a visual support for yourself. When you have some text on the slides that you try to read, you can be distracted and lose focus. So, it is recommended to focus on speaking while using the slides for illustration and visual aid.
- Come up with plan B in case of any technical problems. Rehearse not only the process of speaking but also the case if something goes wrong with technology. Practice connecting Internet or projector, and also try to use all tools on your own before the presentation.
- Bear in mind the importance of eye contact. You are telling something to the audience with your presentation, so keep eye contact with them. If you are delivering a presentation in front of the camera, look into the camera but not somewhere else.
How to Finish a Presentation?
Many students do not even think about how to end a presentation. For many, it is not even some kind of question they should bother about. In essence, it may be even harder to end a presentation than to start it because when you conclude a presentation, you need to leave a lasting impression on the audience. Thus, it is important to preserve all important ideas and messages and make sure no ideas are left unclear.
One of effective ways to finish a presentation is to provide an open question. It may be a food for thought. As a rule, such techniques have a favorable impact on listeners, and they do not lose focus from your speech after you finish it.
Another good way is to provide a call to action. You can use such an approach in cases when your presentation is devoted to making life or planet better.
Last but not least, you may provide some controversial fact, a quotation or some statistics. Normally, these should also have the function to preserve readers’ attention on some burning issue.
No matter what is the purpose of your presentation, just bear in mind that it has to be effective and complementing your speech. Use the tips above when developing your PPT, and remember to practice it.