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How to make a PowerPoint presentation How to make a PowerPoint presentation
by Joseph Gatt
2019-11-03 11:16:58
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What I allow you and don't allow you to put in a PowerPoint presentation, in no particular order. These are suggestions and recommendations, if you want to ace your presentation.

-The general idea. Suppose you were at a meeting with friends. You might show them a few pictures to illustrate your point, you could perhaps show them a video. You will perhaps show them the exact wording of a tweet, a Facebook post or a letter.

But what I find annoying (and many people as well) is when people come up to me and use no words of their own. They show me a succession of YouTube videos (they call themselves music lovers when it's the same 20 songs they listen to on repeat) or when they show me a succession of newspaper articles that they read out loud for me (I like to choose my own articles) or when they start showing me a succession of pictures or Facebook posts (it gets annoying after a while).

So here are the rules for a PPT presentation.

power01_400-Know your stuff. If you've done the research, you will have no problem with the script.

-Rule number 1. Do the research. Read everything you can read related to your presentation. Watch every documentary and archive you can find on the topic. The more backup information you have, the easier your script will be.

-Rule number 2. Start with the script, and don't work on your PPT until you're done with the script. You want to prepare the general idea of what you will say. Take notes with bullet points, the details should be in your mind.

-Rule number 3. Timing. Make sure your talking points fit in perfectly with allotted time. If you have 20 minutes, prepare a 12 to 15 minute talk, and save 8 to 5 minutes just in case someone in the audience starts coughing too much, someone interrupts you with a question, or you just go overboard with your talking point.

-Rule number 4. Now that you've done 1, 2, 3 (and the golden rule) you can start preparing your Power Point. So below I'll give you the 5 commandments.

    1. Your Power Point is never married to your presentation. Your PowerPoint does not accompany your presentation, but supports it. This means your script should not be entirely connected to the PowerPoint. Don't prepare slides following your presentation, only prepare those slides that will support your talking points.

    2. If possible, limit yourself to 3 pictures. Too many pictures turns your talk into a slide show.

    3. Limit yourself to 3 graphs. Too many graphs and pie charts turns your talk into a slide show.

    4. Limit yourself to 2 Tweets or quotes. Too many quotes or tweets make it sound like you're not the one doing the talking.

    5. Finally, If you want to show videos or special effects, you want to limit that to 10-20 seconds. Anything above that and people will pull their smartphones out and start playing with them.

Now to Power Point use bloopers I've actually seen at talks.

-A guy spent his entire 20 minute TED-like talk (it wasn't TED but inspired by TED) showing a 17 minute documentary about wolves.

-Many guys write their scripts on their PPT slides and read the scripts. Bonus blooper: a lot of the scripts contain a ton of typos, and some are in very poor English (or name the language).

-Many guys and girls show a succession of pictures. Too bad I had to look at the pictures, because the presenters were often very handsome and pretty.

-Finally, some guys copy passages from a book and read them. And no that wasn't Andy Kaufman (of blessed memory).

So finally, I'll guide you with a rough sketch of how your talk and PPT go together.

You talk for 3 minutes. PPT is blank. Then you mention something, throw in a slide with a picture supporting your point, show the picture for 20 seconds, move back to a blank slide. You talk for 5 minutes, and mention something that needs an illustration. You show the picture for 20 seconds. Back to a blank slide, keep talking. You get the idea.

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