Thursday, 2 February 2017

Skill Coaching: 10 Points Checklist For Effective Power Point Presentation

One of the participants in my virtual team who is trying to establish online income using the Beginner’s guide wanted to have a dry run of creating a presentation – sort of dummy project for practice.

Background: Though Bachelor’s in business administration and she knew the fundamentals of power point, she was actually doing a real presentation for the very first time, aimed at clients

The project

Basic inputs shared:

A)   NGO seeking funds from Corporate
B)   Target Audience
C)  The rough presentation/ images received from the NGO
D)  10 slides

With basic inputs coming from a task master like me, she had very little scope for clarification as each time she asked me something, I asked her to think or go by assumptions. She was expected to deliver within an agreed time frame. She did. Then I shared the presentation I had made so that she could compare and understand the difference.

This exercise was good for both of us. She got a hang of

(A)        How to work for a real client
(B)        Follow instructions
(C)        Think and deliver.

It was good for me because I can articulate here what exactly I had in mind when I did the presentation

1.   Story Board

Much before you begin working on each slide, you need to have an outline of the presentation as a whole, the storyboard or in other words a skeleton draft of how the story should reach your audience. 

A) Key themes
B) What you want your target audience to remember
C) Use all the fodder you receive as inputs, mainly as supporting elements and never do cut, copy and paste in your presentation. Each time you do that, it just means one thing – You are not thinking beyond what you have received.

2.   Talking Points

Before you begin working on the slides, you should either know or you need to clarify how the presentation will reach its target audience. What is the medium?

A)   In person
B)   By mail
C)  Any other medium

This in turn will let you take a call on the following components: 

Amount of text you can use in each slide and what to reserve as talking points.
Talking points should just support the key themes.
 If you include too much text in slide, you claim to much attention of your target audience and you run the risk of disengaging them.

3.   Smart Art/ Images

I tell this to most of my clients who insist for graphs and pictures - Use them only if it adds value or transfers conviction to your audience. It makes no sense to add an image in each slide, because you are underestimating their intelligence by over doing this.

Many consider adding images just for visual appeal. It can be superfluous and look like a student’s project work.
Use an image to either communicate effectively or simplify complex concepts

4.   Key take away theme

Every slide should have a take away theme – Something you want your audience to remember, act upon or just ponder. Bold, Highlight and use it at the end of each slide

5.   Call to action

Every presentation has a purpose. Use simple steps that encourage your audience to identify that purpose and actually do something about it.
It can be a cause, a sale, a subscription – just anything.

6.   Content Development

Once you have the key elements in place

(A) A high level story board (Messages) that you want to communicate through the presentation
(B) How the themes will be presented (Medium)?
(C) You begin working on the content (Meat)

7.   Research

The more research you do the better story board you can create and identify key themes you will want to include that will optimize impact on target audience and serve the purpose

I will do another blog soon on how to research for creating a story board.

8.   Formatting

Using multiple bright color fonts or different font size are huge hints that there is a desperate attempt to transfer important messages through colors and font size. It looks unprofessional and juvenile.

9.   Animation

Keep this minimum – That is my preference at least. My logic is, a presentation should look like a presentation. How does animation help reaching target audience better? If the story board is right, content comprehensive, the key themes clear – what is animation’s role to further this?

10.             Branding

Upload logo and use client’s recommended color schemes for branding purpose. This is important so that there is consistency in all presentations of an organization.

I will soon publish both the presentations - the raw one I received and the one I created for the benefit of readers and learners - I am waiting for approvals. The final deck is a sample that shows all inputs above incorporated.

Write to if you want me to share feedback on what you created (maximum 10 slides).


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by. Glad you found it helpful. Do come back to check the difference between the raw deck from NGO and final submission.

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