How to Prepare a PowerPoint Presentation

Complementing your written assignment with visualizing means (in Microsoft PowerPoint) will certainly add more scores to the overall evaluation of your work. Most commonly, a presentation is created on the basis of a written assignment – research paper, an article, essay, or statement. The presentation will not only help the audience understand and perceive the material you are going to demonstrate, but attract particular attention to the special aspects you would like to highlight. Remember that it is you who is responsible for the selection of information to be “PowerPointed”, so approach the task bindingly and bear the following rules in mind.

When creating the PowerPoint presentation on your PC you need to stick to a certain number of slides; the presentation should be neither too short, nor too long. The number of slides depends on the type of paper and the peculiarity of the investigation that you have made. The optimal number of slides varies between 10 and 15, which is best if the audience is to stay involved and not get bored. Each slide needs to carry a definite thought, open a concept, or point of view. Be logical in connecting the slides and arranging them in the correct order; do not leap from one structural part of your paper to another. Be laconic and precise; the presentation is not the type of assignment in which to waffle. As far as you have the limited opportunity to present your paper, use it for the purpose intended to the maximum extent. The sentences should be short and simple, and wide use should be made of numbering and bullets in presenting the information. This helps the audience to catch the main idea quickly and focus on the most important facts.

Use background music in your PowerPoint presentation only if the content of the paper induces it. For example, if you talk about the traditions of the Japanese pictorial art, the matching music may just help the audience to tune in to the appropriate atmosphere. But if you are to consider using music for understanding the results of a scientific topic, almost no accompaniment can be found. So be careful and rehearse the presentation in front of your friends and relatives, before appearing in public. It is quite a common mistake to “overload” the PowerPoint presentation with pictures, animation and sound effects, colorful formatting styles and schemes. Be reasonable and do not detract attention from the top priority information. If a chart or diagram is used to support your words with numerical indicators, do not use several colorful fonts, nor decorate it in the “New Year’s tree” style. Stay formal and reserved. This will help you to avoid misunderstandings and improve the ratio of active listeners.

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