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As a Learning Consultant, I give presentations often. s So I have a lot of tips and tricks to share. Here are my 5 steps to create a great PowerPoint presentation.

Step 1: Research

The first thing to do, no matter what topic you’re presenting, is research. Research and then research some more. It’s vitally important to be completely up to speed with your topic.

Step 2: Structure

When you’re done researching and you know everything there is to know about your topic, it’s time for step 2. Determining the structure of your presentation. What’s important? What does your audience need to know? What do you want to tell them? In what order should you present your information?

Usually, the structure of a presentation looks like this:

  1. Introduce yourself.
  2. If your audience is small, you can ask them who they are and what their user level is within the context of your presentation.
  3. After this, you’ll need to figure out which elements your audience needs to know first before you move on to the next stage. For example: if you’re giving a presentation about Excel, you shouldn’t start with PivotTables if your audience doesn’t know how to use regular tables or lists yet.
  4. Once you’ve covered everything you wanted to talk about, it’s best to summarise the topic: what did your audience learn today?
  5. Conclude your presentation: “Thank you for your attention, do you have any questions?”

Tip: Watch a few tutorial videos to get an idea of how to structure your information. Good tutorial videos have a solid underlying structure, so don’t be afraid to combine relevant elements of different tutorials into your ideal structure.

Step 3: PowerPoint

Once you’ve determined your structure, you can start creating a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint is primarily a visualisation tool, so don’t cram too much text into your slides. Mix it up with illustrations, images, arrows… And keep the printscreen shortcut in mind: Windows+Shift+s. This shortcut helps you te easily and quickly create detailed presentations. You can document every step of the process and animate it in PowerPoint.

Tip: Try not to use ‘flashy’ animations. If you do want to incorporate one or two of them, put them in the middle of your PowerPoint presentation to add some humour. Or to clear something up, or to make something stand out more.

Step 4: Present

After you’ve determined the structure and content of your presentation, all that’s left to do is present it. Test and time it! Try giving your presentation before a test audience first. To make sure it’s not too short – or too long. While presenting, remember to stay calm. If you lose track at any moment, don’t panic and stutter; just breathe in and out deeply. Focus on what you’ve said so far and what you still need to say, then carry on. Don’t talk monotonously, but use intonation. It makes your presentation sound more fun and interesting.

Tip: While preparing your presentation, you can always write what you want to say in the notes under each slide. If you ever lose track, this will help you pick up where you left off.

Step 5: Update

If you need to reuse your presentation several times, it’s a good idea to update it regularly. Follow up on your subject and incorporate any new developments or changes into your presentation. You can also update the style of your presentation every once in a while.

These were my 5 steps to create a great PowerPoint presentation. I hope they’ll help you when you need them!


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