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10 easy ways to make any PowerPoint presentation awesome



Animation in PowerPoint



Animation in Keynote


The trick when presenting text, like a short list of bullets, is to make your point without losing the audience. One technique is to reveal one bullet at a time. In PowerPoint, right click on your text box, select Custom Animation > Add Entrance Effect and then choose the effect you want. In Keynote, click Animate > Build in and choose the effect you want.

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7. Leave the fireworks to Disney.

It’s great that you know how to turn text into flames and make images spin – but leave those fireworks to Disney. Your job is to make you the star. Simple transitions, clean fonts and large, attractive graphics trumps PowerPoint tricks, every time.

8. Use the 2/4/8 rule.

When I look back at my most successful slide decks there’s a pattern, I call it the 2/4/8 rule: about every 2 minutes I have a new slide (about 30 slides for a 60 minute speech), no more than 4 bullets per slide, and no more than 8 words per bullet.

Just like any recipe, use the 2/4/8 rule as a guide and then vary the ingredients as needed.

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9. Fade to black when speaking.

Your slides are not the point—you are. When you fade to black you regain your audience’s attention. For example, after I present one solution (that’s also shown on the screen), I’ll fade to black while I expound on how to apply the solution in your work.

It’s no different than a close-up in a movie – the director wants you to focus only on the speaker. Note that some remotes don’t have the black screen feature – if you’re shopping for a remote be sure it does.

Your slides are not the point—you are. Click To Tweet10. When in doubt, dump it.

If you’re Al Gore explaining trends in CO2 emissions, slides can be essential – they can also be a distraction. When I’m struggling, trying to decide if I need a slide, or not, I ask myself: “Will it make my speech better?” If not, I dump it.

Remember, nobody will miss what isn’t there.

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One last thing. If you’re flying solo, without an A/V crew, spend the $80 and pack a remote (with spare batteries.) Nothing’s worse than watching a speaker repeatedly lean over, hunt for the right key, and then peck away to advance the slides.

If you enjoyed this article, here are more about PowerPoint:

How the experts create world-class PowerPoint Slides (and you can too)PowerPoint Primer – the only 3 slides you’ll ever needHow to add video to PowerPoint and Keynote like a pro

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