How to Make a Good PowerPoint Presentation for College

And develop a core skill for life

How to Make a Good PowerPoint Presentation for College

College students have a hectic lifestyle as every day they have to cope with a myriad of academic tasks and projects. Creating a PowerPoint presentations is a common assignment that students might receive in their classes. Given the ubiquity of PowerPoint slide decks in all sorts of organizations, it is also a very useful skill to develop. If you struggle with designing effective presentations, keep reading. In the article below, we will share some priceless tips that will allow you to make PPT presentation to impress any audience.

Choose the Right Design Template
Instead of designing each slide separately, PowerPoint offers you a wide range of pre-designed templates that will facilitate the process and make your presentation powerful and consistent. The range of templates is immense, so you can choose the one you like the most. It will be possible to adjust some slides according to your needs, but generally it will save you time and effort to select a theme at the outset with which you are already comfortable. You can choose a presentation theme that suits the topic of your college class and ideally that will also grab your viewers’ attention.

Stick to Certain Fonts
It will be recommended to choose a single font (or a few ones, but not more than 2-3 fonts) and stick with your choices. Your deck of slides has to contain text that will be easy to read. Try to avoid decorative fonts and save them for other activities as it’s not appropriate for a college or professional presentation.

Use simple sans-serif fonts and choose the proper size so that everyone can ready and easily digest the information you include in your slides. You want to choose a simple font and consistent font sizes as the attention of your teacher and group-mates has to be focused on what you are saying and not be distracted by the slide deck.

Be Consistent with Colors
Colors that you use while creating your slides are also important. Don’t overload your presentation with all the colors possible. Pick 2-3 colors and try to use them throughout your deck consistently. This is where choosing the right template is also helpful. Don’t forget about contrasting your text with the background color. Dark fonts should be used on light backgrounds while bright white or yellow font colors are common with darker backgrounds. Remember, the audience should be able to read the information easily. Your job is to make sure everything is clear and looks sharp on a screen or projector.

Limit Your Slides
It’s also important to limit the number of your slides. You probably want to include as many pictures, text, examples as possible, but it will only kill the attention of the audience. Before you start crafting your deck of slides, come up with a clear verbal presentation. Only then can you tackle making a presentation. Choose a reasonable number of slides for your presentation length, and use them to enhance your story. Add only relevant statistics, charts, pictures, and videos. Staying concise and to the point is the only way you can keep people engaged. As they say, less is generally more.

Insert Images to Enhance the Idea
It’s paramount to include images that will help you communicate the ideas of your verbal presentation. Don’t be afraid to use pictures, charts, relevant diagrams. It will be easier and faster for the public to understand what you are saying. Images will also make the key points easier to remember if your presentation.

A key issue to mind is image quality. Make sure it all looks sharp. You can search for images that have a minimum resolution under tools in Google. Pictures should never appear grainy or pixelated. There are plenty of apps that will help you create outstanding graphs and charts, so you have nothing to worry about. Focus on adding graphics that will enhance the main idea of your presentation.

Don’t Overload Slides with Text
Make your keynote clear and to the point. Don’t overload your presentation with text, as it will only distract the audience. The main job of a presentation is to share visual data that will strengthen your verbal story. 1-2 sentences per slide will be enough. Instead of bulky text blocks, you can also use bullet points, but you should use them properly. Up to 4-6 bullet points per slide are allowed to maintain the proper audience engagement. Do not read from the slides.

Be Consistent with Transitions
PowerPoint offers you a wide range of transitions that can make your presentation even more appealing. However, don’t overuse a variety of transitions, as your slides might seem childish and it can be distracting for audiences. If you want to look appropriate during a college class, you should choose one or two transition types and include them in your deck. It will jazz everything up and will still look professional.

Use Animations and Media
If possible, feel free to add animations and media as it’s supposed to make your slides more interesting and engaging. Animations in PowerPoint allows you to sequence when bullet points or graphics appear to highlight them as you are talking. Plain text is boring, and in case you want to get your audience's attention having video, music or an animated effect can really catch the audience’s attention. There is a fine line between keeping people engaged and distracting them. Don’t try too much and be moderate in your use of animations, songs, and videos. But if you use them strategically, they will help you come up with a compelling and professional presentation.

Highlight Keywords
To keep the audience focused and help them process your presentation, you should highlight important keywords or phrases. Choose a contrast color to highlight what’s the most important in your slide. These highlights will enable a viewer to take in the crucial details quickly and easily. It’s a nice way to help the audience remember some core facts and data from your presentation.

Practice, Practice Your Presentation Before the Class
And here is the last but one of the most important tips that will help you master your PowerPoint presentation. Before you go to class, it’s paramount to rehearse and run your slides a few times. You should learn to navigate your slides smoothly, turn on all the important videos with no delay. The way you switch slides is also an important factor that will help you create a positive impression and get the desired grade. The more comfortable you are with the slides, the smoother the presentation will be. This will also make it less likely that you accidentally start reading from the slides, which is a big no-no.

Final Thoughts
Knowing how to create outstanding presentations is a core skill that will come in handy not just in college but also in professional life. As you can see, making a PowerPoint presentation will be so much easier and effective once you know these tricks. Apply these lessons in your presentations and you will be able to create an amazing, persuasive deck of PowerPoint slides and get that A grade you were looking for in class or promotion at work!


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