Redegal, Google Partner Premier agency 2023
PowerPoint is one of the most popular presentation tools used by large, medium and small businesses around the world. It is found within Microsoft PowerPoint, a standard component of the company’s Microsoft Office suite software in which slides are presented to convey information with multimedia elements. This program is used to create from simple academic presentations to complex business presentations. As it is part of the Microsoft suite it is paid but you can find alternatives to PowerPoint that allow you to make dynamic presentations as well: LibreOffice Impress (a very similar free version), Google Slides, Keynote (for Apple), Prezi and even Canva.
How to make a professional PowerPoint presentation?
You don’t need to be an expert in PowerPoint to make amazing professional presentations. A very good way to start is to start from a base that allows us to show the content without starting from scratch. In the case of working in a company with a defined identity and presentation templates, using them will help to maintain the brand image. If this is not the case, our recommendation is to start by using a professional template such as those from Envato Elements that can be customized in just five steps (and if you have a company presentation template, you’ll save the first two):
- Selecting slides: any of the professional templates you select within Envato Elements have dozens of slides. So when you include them in PowerPoint you should go to the “View” tab and click on “Slide Sorter”. This removes the ones you don’t need and you can rearrange the sequence to suit the storytelling you want to do.
- Adapt the design to the corporate image: everything must keep a sense, therefore it is necessary to use the appropriate typography, the distinctive colors of the company and add the logo in strategic places. Once this is done, you will be able to keep it to make more corporate presentations and save time in looking for another one. Therefore, if you choose one that has a wide variety of slides, you will achieve a cohesive image without having to use the same ones all the time.
- Customize text: it is time to start editing. To customize the text you can work with the built-in text placeholders. Click on the corresponding text box and start editing your own text, taking care of the tone and trying to use short sentences and without taking up the whole page. If you feel that the sizes are too big and do not fit everything you want to write, it is better to synthesize and not make the text smaller. That way you will be able to show the key ideas without overwhelming the reader.
- Insert images: A PowerPoint presentation is incomplete without images. To incorporate them you can select a slide that has a picture placeholder. Then just browse for the file and you are ready to go. PowerPoint will resize and scale it perfectly. On Unsplash and Freepik you will find totally free graphics and photos without watermarks if you prefer to avoid paying for images, although using paid image banks or professional photographers will always provide more unique images.
- Create infographics: thanks to the creation of infographics, ideas are much easier to illustrate and attract the attention of the audience because the content is shown in a clear and simple way. They work like any other slide in a professional presentation, you can edit and replace both the text and the different objects.
- Share it with the team: Asking for second opinions can help to resolve blockages or finish closing the presentation. If you are wondering how to make a shared PowerPoint to avoid sending the presentation over and over again, at the moment it is not possible to do it with Microsoft’s PowerPoint. However, there are online alternatives such as Google Slides, found within the Google Drive tools, that allow you to edit the same document among several people (and see the editing history to review changes).
How to make professional PowerPoint slides?
Once the template for the PPT presentation has been selected, it is essential to define the content and the way to present it, trying to keep the design and a structured narrative. Within the selected slides it is very important to include at least the following:
- Presentation of the team: if the presentation is part of a first contact business presentation to a potential customer, it is essential to put a face to the idea to be presented, investors often focus on the team and the background. Therefore, you should select a slide that fits this point, with visual placeholders that add the option to include photo and team descriptions. In this way we get much closer to our audience, we establish a much closer contact.
- The promise: it is very important to include in a presentation of a product or service the promise. It is not necessary to know where the product or service has been, but where it is going, the future has more promise than the present. In order to show this idea visually, it is advisable to use an infographic in the form of arrows, as this shows how the product can evolve based on points.
- Key statistics in data with graphs: for startups it is essential to illustrate the growth of the company with good data so that investors pay attention to this point. A graph is a good way to tell a story without the need for complex text. As a tip it is best to use the smaller circles to show the current revenue base and the larger circles to show the potential if you expand into a new market or develop new products.
- Graphical timelines: A timeline not only illustrates the history of the product or service, but also allows you to elaborate on the features you plan to add. Dots can be used to illustrate new features that have been added recently or are planned to be added in the future.
- An actionable ending: a successful presentation has to end with audience engagement, a call to action that leads to audience action. This last slide should answer the question, what are you asking your audience to do?
Tips for dynamic presentations
When making a PPT presentation for a company it is very important to keep in mind the following tips that will help you to be much closer to success.
- Know the audience: before creating the presentation it is essential to know who you are addressing in order to adapt the message to that specific audience. This way you will know what tone to use, the style, the context of the information that will be given…
- Plan the narrative: the next step is to select the appropriate narrative. This should be in tune with expectations and with what you are trying to communicate.
- Practice: everything is a matter of practice and multiple attempts, it is very rare to make a presentation of ten if it is the first time you face it. The best thing to do is to try different templates, shapes, adapt the text to the message, the color to the company…
- The “Big Idea”: The key is to have a clear idea and that the whole presentation revolves around it, this way the audience will not miss the most important details. Our recommendation is to avoid including too much data and images, since most of the time they only lead to confusion.
- The BLUF principle: sharing that “Big Idea” is very important, but selecting the place where it will appear is also important. Therefore, you get more attention if you put the “Big Idea” or conclusion at the beginning, also known as the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) principle. Professional PowerPoint presentations should give you the answer up front and explain that conclusion in the following slides.
- Don’t beat around the bush: getting to the point when sharing an idea in a professional PPT is critical. Lead the customer to the heart of the message before they get distracted or lose their full attention.
- Go visual: Graphs and infographics are the fastest way to convey a concept. Consider using bar and line graphs to show trends and key statistics that reinforce an idea.
- Use the Presenter View: by using the Presenter View, you will have a view of all the key tools and features on a single screen. That means you’ll have your speaker notes, a preview of the next slide, and a timer to help you stay on schedule..
- Export from PowerPoint to PDF: If you are going to send the presentation, it is convenient not to send the editable document but in PDF. To export it you can use the command “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “S” on PC and “Shift” + “⌘” + “S” on Mac. If you prefer, go to the top menu and click “File” and in the left side menu “Export” > “Create PDF/XPS document”.
PowerPoint is a must-have tool when creating any professional presentation. If you follow the tips we have mentioned and always adapting to the values of the company, success will be assured, Do you now have a better understanding of the benefits and opportunities offered by this program? If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you. 🙂