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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

creating presentations tips

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

creating presentations tips

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

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Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

define a goal

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

avoid walls of text

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

use better fonts

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

use fewer bullets

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

avoid transitions

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

use visuals

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

find a color palette

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

change views

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

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How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

This page draws on published advice from expert presenters around the world, which will help to take your presentations from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

By bringing together advice from a wide range of people, the aim is to cover a whole range of areas.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

1. Show your Passion and Connect with your Audience

It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous.

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through.

Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your Audience’s Needs

Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation.

As you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them.

While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that.

You need to make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your Core Message

When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question:

What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away?

You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly.

Some experts recommend a 30-second ‘elevator summary’, others that you can write it on the back of a business card, or say it in no more than 15 words.

Whichever rule you choose, the important thing is to keep your core message focused and brief.

And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and Make Eye Contact with your Audience

This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it.

If you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport , which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people.

To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start Strongly

The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it.

They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that on explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them.

Try a story (see tip 7 below), or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows

This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no less than 30 point.

This last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a bespoke handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell Stories

Human beings are programmed to respond to stories.

Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

Finding The Story Behind Your Presentation

To effectively tell a story, focus on using at least one of the two most basic storytelling mechanics in your presentation:

Focusing On Characters – People have stories; things, data, and objects do not. So ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story.

For example, instead of talking about cars (your company’s products), you could focus on specific characters like:

  • The drivers the car is intended for – people looking for speed and adventure
  • The engineers who went out of their way to design the most cost-effective car imaginable

A Changing Dynamic – A story needs something to change along the way. So ask yourself “What is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it).

For example…

  • Did hazardous road conditions inspire you to build a rugged, all-terrain jeep that any family could afford?
  • Did a complicated and confusing food labelling system lead you to establish a colour-coded nutritional index so that anybody could easily understand it?

To see 15 more actionable storytelling tips, see Nuts & Bolts Speed Training’s post on Storytelling Tips .

8. Use your Voice Effectively

The spoken word is actually a pretty inefficient means of communication, because it uses only one of your audience’s five senses. That’s why presenters tend to use visual aids, too. But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively.

Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention.

For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking .

9. Use your Body Too

It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal.

That means that as well as your tone of voice, your body language is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage.

Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

If you find presenting difficult, it can be hard to be calm and relaxed about doing it.

One option is to start by concentrating on your breathing. Slow it down, and make sure that you’re breathing fully. Make sure that you continue to pause for breath occasionally during your presentation too.

For more ideas, see our page on Coping with Presentation Nerves .

If you can bring yourself to relax, you will almost certainly present better. If you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. Your presentations will improve exponentially, and so will your confidence. It’s well worth a try.

Improve your Presentation Skills

Follow our guide to boost your presentation skills learning about preparation, delivery, questions and all other aspects of giving effective presentations.

Start with: What is a Presentation?

Continue to: How to Give a Speech Self Presentation

See also: Five Ways You Can Do Visual Marketing on a Budget Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Typography – It’s All About the Message in Your Slides

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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?

How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.

If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.

Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.

If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years . 

Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view. 

It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous. 

Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.

businesswoman-speaking-from-a-podium-to-an-audience-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:

Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.

It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.

Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.

Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.

Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.

Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.

If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included. 

Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling. 

Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.

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Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:

1. Keep it simple

Simple means something different to everyone.

Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.

Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience. 

Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.

2. Create a compelling structure

Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.

If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you. 

By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest. 

3. Use visual aids

Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.

Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been. 

If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.

4. Be aware of design techniques and trends

Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.

  Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides: 

  • Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
  • Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
  • Ensure text stands out against the background color
  • Only use high-resolution photos
  • Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
  • Don’t overuse transitions and effects

5. Try the 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.

Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk: 

Tip #1: Tell stories

Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.

Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.

Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience

Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.

Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.

If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored. 

Group-of-a-business-people-having-meeting-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

Tip #3: Work on your stage presence

Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:

  • Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
  • Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
  • Use hand gestures to highlight important information

Tip #4: Start strong

Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:

  • Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person 
  • Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
  • Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk 
  • Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle

Tip #5: Show your passion

Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise. 

In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest. 

Tip #6: Plan your delivery

How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?

The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.

If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.

Woman-presenting-charts-and-data-to-work-team-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

Tip #7: Practice

Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.

Tip #8: Read the room

Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.

Tip #9: Breathe

Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.

The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.

Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action

When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.

If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.

Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

6 presentation skills and how to improve them

3 stand-out professional bio examples to inspire your own, how to write a speech that your audience remembers, tell a story they can't ignore these 10 tips will teach you how, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller, 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, similar articles, the importance of good speech: 5 tips to be more articulate, the 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills, 30 presentation feedback examples, how to not be nervous for a presentation — 13 tips that work (really), how the minto pyramid principle can enhance your communication skills, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

creating presentations tips

The secret structure of great talks

creating presentations tips

The beauty of data visualization

creating presentations tips

TED's secret to great public speaking

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How to speak so that people want to listen

creating presentations tips

How great leaders inspire action

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Blog Beginner Guides

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

creating presentations tips

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

creating presentations tips

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

creating presentations tips

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

creating presentations tips

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

creating presentations tips

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

creating presentations tips

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

creating presentations tips

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

creating presentations tips

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

powerpoint tricks

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

creating presentations tips

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

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No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

creating presentations tips

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will review several presentation tips and tricks on how to become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

  • Display one bullet at a time

Avoid unnecessary animations

  • Only add content that supports your main points

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

  • Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

  • He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
  • He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
  • He found made the complex sound simple.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to build powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations and create effective presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to complement your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides below.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty-point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However, by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distraction from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Each slide should try to represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over-explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience to each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid Giving Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side to your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, and arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely take in the information one way. So ask many of them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allow them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answers to the audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engagement.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font sizes, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practice of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

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Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas

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creating presentations tips

creating presentations tips

Basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint presentations work like slide shows. To convey a message or a story, you break it down into slides. Think of each slide as a blank canvas for the pictures and words that help you tell your story.

Choose a theme

When you open PowerPoint, you’ll see some built-in themes and templates . A theme is a slide design that contains matching colors, fonts, and special effects like shadows, reflections, and more.

On the File tab of the Ribbon, select New , and then choose a theme.

PowerPoint shows you a preview of the theme, with four color variations to choose from on the right side.

Click Create , or pick a color variation and then click Create .

Shows the Create New presentation from Theme dialog in PowerPoint

Read more: Use or create themes in PowerPoint

Insert a new slide

On the Home tab, click the bottom half of  New Slide , and pick a slide layout.

Shows New Slide button on Home tab of the ribbon in PowerPoint

Read more: Add, rearrange, and delete slides .

Save your presentation

On the File tab, choose Save .

Pick or browse to a folder.

In the File name box, type a name for your presentation, and then choose Save .

Note:  If you frequently save files to a certain folder, you can ‘pin’ the path so that it is always available (as shown below).

Save your PowerPoint presentation

Tip:  Save your work as you go. Press Ctrl+S often or save the file to OneDrive and let AutoSave take care of it for you. 

Read more: Save your presentation file

Select a text placeholder, and begin typing.

Shows adding text to a text field in PowerPoint

Format your text

Select the text.

Under Drawing Tools , choose Format .

Shows the Drawing Tools tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint

Do one of the following:

To change the color of your text, choose Text Fill , and then choose a color.

To change the outline color of your text, choose Text Outline , and then choose a color.

To apply a shadow, reflection, glow, bevel, 3-D rotation, a transform, choose Text Effects , and then choose the effect you want.

Change the fonts

Change the color of text on a slide

Add bullets or numbers to text

Format text as superscript or subscript

Add pictures

On the Insert tab, select Pictures , then do one of the following:

To insert a picture that is saved on your local drive or an internal server, choose This Device , browse for the picture, and then choose Insert .

(For Microsoft 365 subscribers) To insert a picture from our library, choose Stock Images , browse for a picture, select it and choose Insert .

To insert a picture from the web, choose Online Pictures , and use the search box to find a picture. Choose a picture, and then click Insert .

Insert image location in the ribbon.

You can add shapes to illustrate your slide. 

On the Insert tab, select Shapes , and then select a shape from the menu that appears.

In the slide area, click and drag to draw the shape.

Select the Format or Shape Format tab on the ribbon. Open the Shape Styles gallery to quickly add a color and style (including shading) to the selected shape.

Shape Styles group

Add speaker notes

Slides are best when you don’t cram in too much information. You can put helpful facts and notes in the speaker notes, and refer to them as you present.

notes button in PowerPoint

Click inside the Notes pane below the slide, and begin typing your notes.

Shows the speaker Notes pane in PowerPoint

Add speaker notes to your slides

Print slides with or without speaker notes

Give your presentation

On the Slide Show tab, do one of the following:

To start the presentation at the first slide, in the Start Slide Show group, click From Beginning .

Shows the Slide Show tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint

If you’re not at the first slide and want to start from where you are, click From Current Slide .

If you need to present to people who are not where you are, click Present Online to set up a presentation on the web, and then choose one of the following options:

Broadcast your PowerPoint presentation online to a remote audience

View your speaker notes as you deliver your slide show.

Get out of Slide Show view

To get out of Slide Show view at any time, on the keyboard, press Esc .

You can quickly apply a theme when you're starting a new presentation:

On the File tab, click New .

Select a theme.

Apply a theme

Read more:  Apply a design theme to your presentation

In the slide thumbnail pane on the left, select the slide that you want your new slide to follow.

On the Home tab, select the lower half of  New Slide .

From the menu, select the layout that you want for your new slide.

Your new slide is inserted, and you can click inside a placeholder to begin adding content.

Learn more about slide layouts

Read more: Add, rearrange, and delete slides

PowerPoint for the web automatically saves your work to your OneDrive, in the cloud.

To change the name of the automatically saved file:

In the title bar, click the file name.

In the File Name box, enter the name you want to apply to the file.

If you want to change the cloud storage location, at the right end of the Location box, click the arrow symbol, then navigate to the folder you want, then select Move here .

On the Home tab, use the Font options:

Font color button in Visio for the web

Select from other formatting options such as Bold , Italic , Underline , Strikethrough , Subscript , and Superscript .

On the  Insert  tab, select  Pictures .

From the menu, select where you want to insert the picture from:

On the Insert tab of the ribbon, select Pictures, and then on the menu choose the type of picture you want.

Browse to the image you want, select it, then select Insert . 

After the image is inserted on the slide, you can select it and drag to reposition it, and you can select and drag a corner handle to resize the image. 

On the slide canvas, click and drag to draw the shape.

Select the Shape tab on the ribbon. Open the Shape Styles gallery to quickly add a color and style (including shading) to the selected shape.

The Shape tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint for the web includes quick styles you can apply to any shape.

A horizontal Notes pane appears at the bottom of the window, below the slide.

Click in the pane, then enter text. 

Vertical double arrow

On the  Slide Show  tab, select  Play From Beginning .

To start a slide show, on the View tab of the ribbon select Play From Beginning.

To navigate through the slides, simply click the mouse or press the spacebar.

Tip:  You can also use the forward and back arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the slide show.

Read more:  Present your slide show

Stop a slide show

To get out of Slide Show view at any time, on the keyboard, press Esc.

The full-screen slide show will close, and you will be returned to the editing view of the file.

Tips for creating an effective presentation

Consider the following tips to keep your audience interested.

Minimize the number of slides

To maintain a clear message and to keep your audience attentive and interested, keep the number of slides in your presentation to a minimum.

Choose an audience-friendly font size

The audience must be able to read your slides from a distance. Generally speaking, a font size smaller than 30 might be too difficult for the audience to see.

Keep your slide text simple

You want your audience to listen to you present your information, instead of reading the screen. Use bullets or short sentences, and try to keep each item to one line.

Some projectors crop slides at the edges, so that long sentences might be cropped.

Use visuals to help express your message

Pictures, charts, graphs, and SmartArt graphics provide visual cues for your audience to remember. Add meaningful art to complement the text and messaging on your slides.

As with text, however, avoid including too many visual aids on your slide.

Make labels for charts and graphs understandable

Use only enough text to make label elements in a chart or graph comprehensible.

Apply subtle, consistent slide backgrounds

Choose an appealing, consistent template or theme that is not too eye-catching. You don't want the background or design to detract from your message.

However, you also want to provide a contrast between the background color and text color. The built-in themes in PowerPoint set the contrast between a light background with dark colored text or dark background with light colored text.

For more information about how to use themes, see Apply a theme to add color and style to your presentation .

Check the spelling and grammar

To earn and maintain the respect of your audience, always check the spelling and grammar in your presentation .

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10 minute read

Top 12 PowerPoint Tips and Hacks for Flawless Presentations

Saikat Basu

Saikat Basu

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We’ve all seen our fair share of bad PowerPoint presentations . We can all agree that for a PowerPoint presentation to impress, it needs time and attention to detail.

So how can you ramp up your PowerPoint productivity in the shortest time possible?

That’s where we come in. For starters, follow our proven PowerPoint tips and tricks for business presentations , which are sure to make an impact.

Step up your PowerPoint game

Download our print-ready shortcut cheatsheet for PowerPoint.

1. Keep it simple

powerpoint tips

Keep your slides simple. It’s the visual backdrop to what you are going to say.

The most recommended PowerPoint tip for your productivity is called simplicity . You may be tempted by the graphical razzmatazz of beautiful images, background, and charts. At the end of the day, PowerPoint is a background visual aid for your talk. It is not the talk.

PowerPoint has lots of bells and whistles. But you don’t have to use them all. For instance, your content may not need the much-maligned bullet points - you can just use one key point per slide instead.

That’s why…

2. Reduce the text

powerpoint tips

Less is more when it is about the text on your slides.

The average reading speed on a screen is around 100 - 150 words per minute. Too much information on the slide is a distraction and an inattentive audience will lose the message you are trying to convey.

Don’t give them too much to read. Use high-quality pictures and eye-catching graphics instead.

To make information digestible, expert slide designers recommend you write one key idea per slide that is summarized by a clear headline.

Tip: Exploit white space. Create more space between your text, paragraphs, and graphics on your slide.

3. Plan your content first

powerpoint tips

Think about the message you want to convey and use it to write an outline.

As PowerPoint is such a visual medium, it is easy to get sidetracked with the visuals. So it’s important to chalk out what you want to say and in what order even before you open PowerPoint.

Your slides will come together quickly with the help of PowerPoint design options and you can even choose the right templates if you know your stuff inside out. 

Tip: Use brainstorming tools like mind maps, flowcharts, and even storyboards to sketch your content flow.

4. Use PowerPoint Designer for ideas

PowerPoint makes an intelligent guess by looking at the words on your slide and suggests high-quality artwork to complement it. You can pick one of the creative layouts or go back to your own design.

Tip: PowerPoint Designer can also turn lists, processes, or timelines into beautiful graphics too.

5. Use PowerPoint templates

powerpoint tips

Start with a template to break through any creative blocks.

PowerPoint templates are meant to be the starter plugs when inspiration deserts you or you are design-challenged. PowerPoint ships with a set of readymade templates and there are more available online. Pick one to begin.

Tip: Manpreet Kaur, the head of Corporate Communications at Mercer also suggests you use templates for mining ideas for your own presentation.

Whenever you receive any PowerPoint presentation from any of your clients, business partners, or sellers, make it a point to add them to any folder as a stock for templates for future reference. You can leverage these templates to find inspiration for any icon idea, layout, idea presentation, and number representation on the slides.

6. Edit the Slide Master

powerpoint tips

To open the Slide Master view, go to the View tab on the Ribbon and select Slide Master .

The first slide on the top is the Slide Master. Any changes to the Slide Master will be applied to all the slides in the presentation.

The Slide Master view also shows all the slide layouts used in PowerPoint. You can also use these Layout Master slides to control the appearance of any group of slides that share a common layout.

Tip: Make changes to the Slide Master before you start filling a presentation with the content.

7. Use PowerPoint Shapes for visuals

powerpoint tips

PowerPoint Shapes is the most powerful graphical tool in your control.

The multifaceted Shapes feature on the Ribbon gives you infinite ways to use PowerPoint like an illustration program. Look beyond the commonplace rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Every shape is editable. You can customize any PowerPoint shape and create your own custom designs. They can be formatted with colors, 3-D effects and shadows too.

Tip: Most default shapes are overused. So, you can use your own custom shapes to add interest to a key point or a slide. For instance, you can turn a chevron into a more interesting arrow to illustrate the flow of a process.

8. Choose the right fonts

Choose the right fonts that are modern and pleasing.

It’s well established that fonts have a cognitive impact on how your audience will take in the information.

Sans-serif fonts are preferred for their smooth typefaces. But your typography choices will be influenced by the theme of the content. An artsy presentation can be more liberal with fonts that are decorative.

Also, to create contrast, you can use a technique called font-pairing where two complementary fonts are combined. For instance, use a serif font for titles and pair it with a sans-serif font in the body.

Tip: Want a free font library? Head over to Google Fonts and the collection of 916 free licensed fonts.

9. Use visual metaphors for your data

powerpoint tips

Visuals help everyone get the context behind data at a faster rate.

Business executives are used to spreadsheets . But that doesn’t mean they will like it in a presentation. Arresting illustrations are far better than bullet points and shoddy SmartArt.

We have talked about shapes and using high-quality photos before. But what if you have to analyze dry data?

Use visual metaphors or analogies to bring out the scale and relationships in the data. Executives can look up numbers, but the right use of an analogy can bring out the context behind it.

For instance, the evolution of man can be used to show the growth of a startup over time.

Tip: When stuck for ideas take inspiration from the best infographics on Slideshare and Pinterest. Infographics are designed to pack a lot of information in a small space.

10. Customize your slides for different audiences

powerpoint tips

Save yourself a lot of time by reusing your slides for different audiences.

This somewhat lesser-known PowerPoint tip uses a feature called Custom Slideshow to filter what you want your audience to see. Maybe, you want to hide some sensitive information for a lower level of executives while revealing it to those higher up. You do not have to create different slideshows for these two groups.

Create a custom show in five steps.

  • On the Ribbon, go to Slide Show > Custom Slide Show , and then select Custom Shows .
  • Click the New button in the Custom Shows dialog box. 
  • In the Define Custom Show box , choose the slides that you want to include in the custom show, and then hit Add .
  • You can change the order of the slides with the arrow keys.
  • Type a name in the slideshow name box, and then click OK .

  Tip: You can also create hyperlinked custom shows that you can jump to from your primary PowerPoint show.

11. Rehearse Your Presentation

powerpoint tips

Prepare your presentation according to the time allotted.

No PowerPoint tip is useful if you cannot fit the number of slides and the time you take to present them in the schedule. PowerPoint helps you rehearse your presentation before you do it. With the Rehearse Timing feature, you can tweak your delivery according to the time on hand.

A helpful Microsoft Support video walks you through the process.

Tip: Use the timer to check if you're spending too much or too little time on one particular slide. Maybe, explaining the data in a better way can shorten the time.

12. Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible

powerpoint tips

Go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility

Sharon Rosenblatt, Director of Communications at Accessibility Partners stresses the importance of making presentations more inclusive.

Always use the accessibility checker, and not just if your slideshow is being shared with someone you know has a disability, but you never know where files get sent to.

PowerPoint is all about visuals so it’s more important to finetune the little things that can help make the message easily understood by people who have accessibility challenges.

Tip: Microsoft details the best practices for making all PowerPoint presentations accessible .

The bottom line: Get to the point fast

When you are presenting to busy people, you have to cut the clutter but not lose the message. A successful presentation is about brevity and speed.

A business presentation is also a decision-making tool. So make sure you are presenting the information your audience wants to know. And nothing more.

Yes, they do take some work. But with the help of these PowerPoint tips and tricks, you can start and finish any presentation without losing your sleep.

Want more PowerPoint tips? Then check out these other PowerPoint features that will level up your presentations. Or try taking GoSkills top-rated PowerPoint certification course .

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Saikat Basu

Saikat is a writer who hunts for the latest tricks in Microsoft Office and web apps. He doesn't want to get off the learning curve, so a camera and a harmonica claim an equal share of his free time.

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10 PowerPoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation

Use these Microsoft PowerPoint tips to avoid common mistakes, keep your audience engaged, and create a professional presentation.

Professional presentations are all about making an impact. Your slides should look the part. Once you know what makes a presentation look professional, you can customize any half-decent PowerPoint template or create your own custom slides.

Our PowerPoint tips will help you avoid common mistakes, keep your audience engaged, and create a professional presentation, in form and content.

PowerPoint Slide Design

The design can leave a first and lasting impression. Give it a professional touch to win your audience's trust and attention.

1. Carefully Compose Your Slides

Don't copy and paste slides from different sources. You don't want your presentation to look like a rag rug. What you're aiming for is a consistent look. This will help your audience focus on the essential; your speech and the key facts you're highlighting on your slides.

To that end, use a basic template or make your own . PowerPoint comes with a wide selection of professional PowerPoint presentation templates , but you can also find free ones online.

PowerPoint Tip: When you open PowerPoint, note the search field at the top. One of the suggested searches is "presentations". Click it to see all of PowerPoint's default presentation templates. Choose a category on the right to narrow down your search.

An overview of PowerPoint's default presentation templates.

Pick an easy to read font face . It's hard to get this right, but these professional-looking Google fonts are a safe bet. Unless you're a designer, stick to a single font face and limit yourself to playing with safe colors and font sizes.

If you're unsure about fonts, refer to "The 10 Commandments of Typography" shown below for orientation.

The 10 Commandments of Typography

Carefully select font sizes for headers and text. While you don't want to create a wall of text and lose your audience's attention, you do want them to be able to read what you've highlighted. So make your fonts large enough.

PowerPoint Tip: PowerPoint offers several different slide layouts. When you add a new slide, choose the right layout under Home > New Slide . To switch the layout of an existing slide, use Home > Layout . By using the default layouts, you can make coherent design changes across your presentation anytime you want.

PowerPoint slide layout selection

Leave room for highlights, such as images or take home messages. Some elements should stand out. So try not to bury them in background noise but give them the space they need. This could be a single quote or a single image per page with nothing but a simple header and a plain background.

Decorate scarcely but well. If you have good content, you won't need decoration. Your template will be decoratively enough.

Note: Restrict the room your design takes up, and don't ever let the design restrict your message.

2. Use Consistency

Consistently use font face and sizes on all slides. This one goes back to using a template. If you chose a professional presentation template, the designer would have taken care of this aspect. Stick to it!

Match colors. This is where so many presentations fail. You might have chosen a funky template and stuck to the designer's color profile, then you ruin it all with ugly Excel charts .

Take the time to match your visuals to your presentation design.

Text and Background Colors

A poor choice of colors can ruin your presentation.

3. Use Contrast

Black text on a white background will always be the best, but also the most boring choice . You're allowed to use colors! But use them responsibly.

Keep it easy on the eyes and always keep good contrast in mind. If you're color-challenged, use one of the many online tools to select a good looking color palette. Or just use a template and stick to its default colors.

PowerPoint Tip: Use PowerPoint's Design menu to quickly change the font and color palette of your entire presentation using preset design layouts.

PowerPoint slide layout selection

4. Apply Brilliance

Carefully use color to highlight your message! Colors are your friends. They can make numbers stand out or your Take Home Message pop.

Don't weaken the color effect by using too many colors in too many instances . The special effect only works if used scarcely. Try to limit pop colors to one per slide.

Make a brilliant choice: match colors for design and good contrast to highlight your message . Use a professional color palette, to find which color will work best with your theme. Use The 10 Commandments of Color Theory shown below to learn more about colors:

The 10 Commandments of Color Theory Infographic

Text on PowerPoint Slides

K eep I t S traight and S imple. That means...

  • Keywords only on your slides.
  • Absolutely no full sentences!
  • And never read your slides , talk freely.

Remember that your slides are only there to support, not to replace your talk! You want to tell a story, visualize your data, and demonstrate key points. If you read your slides, you risk losing your audience's respect and attention.

PowerPoint Tip: Afraid you'll lose your train of thoughts? Add notes to your slides. Go to View and under Show click Notes to make them show up under your slides while editing. When starting your presentation, use PowerPoint's presentation mode (go to Slide Show and under Monitors , check Use Presenter View ), so you can glance at your notes when needed.

PowerPoint presentation notes

6. Take Home Message

Always summarize your key point in a Take Home Message. Ask yourself, if your audience learned or remembered one single thing from your presentation, what would you like it to be? That's your Take Home Message.

The Take Home Message is your key message, a summary of your data or story. If you're giving an hour-long presentation, you might have several Take Home Messages. That's OK. Just make sure that what you think is key, really matters to your audience.

Make your Take Home Message memorable. It's your responsibility that your audience takes home something valuable. Help them "get it" by making your Take Home Message stand out, either visually or through how you frame it verbally.

Presentation Visuals

Images are key elements of every presentation. Your audience has ears and eyes, they want to see what you're talking about, and a good visual cue will help them understand your message much better.

7. Add Images

Have more images in your slides than text. Visuals are your friends. They can illustrate your points and support your message.

But do not use images to decorate! That's a poor use of visuals because it's just a distraction.

Images can reinforce or complement your message. So use images to visualize or explain your story.

Use a sufficient image resolution. Your visuals might look good on your desktop, but once blown up by a projector, low-resolution images will make your presentation look anything but professional. So choose a resolution that matches the projector's resolution. If in doubt, don't go below a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels (XGA) and aim for 1920 x 1080 pixels (FullHD).

Always maintain your image's aspect ratio. Nothing looks more awkward than a distorted image. Whatever you do, don't stretch images. If you have to resize them, do so with the aspect ratio intact, even if that means dropping slightly above or below your target resolution.

PowerPoint Tip: Need a visual, but don't have one at hand? PowerPoint is connected to Bing's library of online images you can use for your presentations. Go to Insert and under Images select Online Images . You can browse by category or search the library. Be sure to set a checkmark for Creative Commons only , so you don't accidentally violate copyrights.

Insert online pictures into PowerPoint

Note: Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In other words, if you don't have time for a thousand words, use a picture!

PowerPoint Animations and Media

In animations, there is a fine line between a comic and a professional impression. But animations can be powerful tools to visualize and explain complicated matters. A good animation can not only improve understanding, it can also make the message stick with your audience.

8. Don't Be Silly

Sparingly use animations and media. You should only use them in one of two cases:

  • To draw attention, for example, to your Take Home Message.
  • To clarify a model or emphasize an effect.

Embed the media in your presentation and make sure it works in presentation mode. Testing your presentation at home will save you time and avoid embarrassment.

Target Your Presentation Content

Your target, i.e. your audience, defines the content of your presentation. For example, you cannot teach school kids about the complicated matters of the economy, but you may be able to explain to them what the economy is in the first place and why it is important.

9. Keep Your Audience in Mind

When you compile your PowerPoint presentation, ask yourself these questions:

  • What does my audience know?
  • What do I need to tell them?
  • What do they expect?
  • What will be interesting to them?
  • What can I teach them?
  • What will keep them focused?

Answer these questions and boil your slides down to the very essentials. In your talk, describe the essentials colorfully and use your weapons, i.e. text, images, and animations wisely (see above).

Note: If you fail to hit the target, it won't matter how ingenious your design is or how brilliantly you picked colors and keywords. Nothing matters more than your audience's attention.

10. Practice Your Presentation Like a Professional

A well-practiced and enthusiastic talk will help you convince your audience and keep their attention. Here are some key points that define a good talk:

  • Know your slides inside out.
  • Speak freely.
  • Speak with confidence, loud and clear.
  • Speak at a steady pace, better too slow than too fast.
  • Keep eye contact with your audience.

Bonus: Implement the 10/20/30 Rule

The 10/20/30 rule is a concept brought forward by Guy Kawasaki:

It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

A similar concept is PechaKucha , a storytelling format limited to 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide, i.e. less than seven minutes to conclude the presentation.

Now there's a challenge! Telling your story succinctly, might help you get through to some of the busiest and most distracted people on the planet.

One Final PowerPoint Presentation Tip

I've shown you how to think through your entire presentation, from choosing a design to speaking to your audience. Here's a mind trick: never try to interpret the looks on your listeners' faces. Chances are, you're wrong. Just assume they're focused and taking notes.

You've done your best to create a professional PowerPoint presentation that will help your audience focus on the content and learn new things. The looks on their faces aren't doubt or confusion. It's focus! Well, d'oh! Obviously, you're the expert, and they're the learners. If you can get into this mindset, you can relax and perform at your best.

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Create a Winning Client Presentation: Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

Sarah Burner

ClickUp Contributor

February 14, 2024

Pitching client presentations can be a daunting experience.

You have to convince clients that you’d be a good fit for their brand and have the best solution to their problem. That your product or service can help them achieve their goals.

With multiple elements in the mix, driving engaging and relevant presentations becomes challenging. 

Learn how to deliver a successful client presentation using the strategies in this guide.

The Importance of a Client Presentation

Step 1. research and plan the pitch, step 2. create a marketing funnel out of your presentation, step 3. use visually engaging content to communicate your story, step 4. encourage two-way conversations, step 5. establish clear next steps to close your presentation, 1. detailed client research, 2. client pain points, 3. proof points, 4. call to action, 5. expected investment and timeline, 1. not setting the stage properly, 2. getting defensive, 3. mentioning irrelevant information, 4. not guiding the feedback loop, pitch perfectly with clickup, common faqs.

A client presentation is meant to offer your prospective clients a good idea of your specialized expertise. It helps them see what working with you might be like and how you can add value to them. 

If planned and delivered well, an informative customer presentation can help you:

  • Talk about your work in the format of a compelling story
  • Articulate your value to potential clients
  • Communicate the progress you’ve made to an existing client
  • Wrap up projects and dissect what went well and what didn’t

Effective client communication is therefore one of the most critical skills for a sales or business professional today.

5 Essential Steps for a Successful Client Presentation

Whether you’re about to deliver a sales pitch or a creative slideshow, creating engaging client presentations is work.

Use this five-step checklist when creating presentations and add value to your client’s time:

You may understand your work inside out, but your potential client is yet to warm up to the idea of partnering with you. 

This is why the most essential part of an effective client presentation starts with research and planning.

  • Who your target audience is (for the presentation) and what their goals look like
  • Everything about your prospective client, including their problems, inspirations, interests, and more
  • How to answer your client’s biggest goals, roadblocks, and issues
  • Their business, team size, and industry (and how your product/services will support their vision)

Now the question is, where to find this data?

Make sure to look up the following:

  • The client’s LinkedIn page and website for information on their current offerings
  • Your past pitches for inspiration—especially if you’ve catered to clients in the same industry
  • The client’s ‘About Us’ page and videos online for a better understanding of your presentation’s ideal tone of voice and topics

Gather client information with ClickUp's Agency/Client Discovery Doc Template

Once you have all the information about what makes your clients tick, help them make sense of the data—structure and format the key points you plan to deliver using ClickUp AI.

Utilize this smart assistant to generate a presentation to help you reach your prospective client goals faster.

Next, you’ll want to use the client meeting to talk about why your brand is right for them:

  • Start by acknowledging their pain points, showing them that you understand them, and building trust in the process
  • Move on to asking questions and see if they have any pressing issues that need to be solved
  • Introduce your offering as the ultimate solution to your client’s problems and tie your product to their immediate needs

Your presentation needs a tangible end goal to ensure focus and direction. 

Do you want the client to sign the contract? Or maybe you want them to register for a demo. 

Either way, you must have a clear idea of what action you’d like to inspire them to take.

Here are a few tips on how to convert your presentation into a marketing funnel:

  • Build your narrative using a compelling story to hook the audience
  • Don’t overload the prospect with tons of information
  • Ensure your presentation is to the point, and avoid beating around the bush
  • Take charge of your meeting and get your clients to focus on the conversation at hand
  • Beginning: Introduce what is being presented, why you’re presenting, and what the client should expect when working together
  • Middle: Add visuals to your story and create aesthetic value 
  • End: Tell the customer about the next steps and add a relevant call to action

Use the premade ClickUp Presentation template and customize it according to your liking.

ClickUp's Presentation template is great for beginners

This template enables you to:

  • Organize sections of your presentation easily, with a clear structure from beginning to end
  • Gather feedback from key stakeholders before the final presentation
  • Keep track of all tasks related to the presentation in one place

Too much text on your slides makes them boring and overwhelming for the audience.

So, when presenting, consider visual aids like infographics, pie charts, bar graphs, images, hand-drawn illustrations, etc., as your trusted friend.

These visuals offer advantages such as:

  • Catching and keeping your client’s attention
  • Aligning the client’s needs to the brand’s product/service—visually
  • Breaking up text-heavy slides for better focus 
  • Converting complex information into easy-to-digest data

Use ClickUp Whiteboards as a canvas to create a visual presentation for your meeting and show your clients your value.

ClickUp 3.0 Whiteboards simplified

Whether it’s a sales pitch or an onboarding meeting, it is necessary to keep your audience engaged. In other words, your presentation cannot be a monologue.

So, when the presentation is done, it is vital to encourage two-way interaction.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Avoid small talk and instead iterate why the client’s account is important to you
  • Do you have any questions for us?
  • Do you see our product/service as a satisfactory solution for your needs?
  • How do we work together as partners and move this project forward?
  • Motivate your audience to ask questions and provide support for their queries—whether it’s related to scope, costs, timelines, and so on

Effective client management is about establishing clear next steps at the end of the meeting. 

If you leave the meeting open-ended, then you might not hear back from your audience.

Here’s how to set the right expectations for your client while closing the presentation:

  • Outline what you want them to do next 
  • Be upfront and direct about how and when you’ll be making follow-up calls
  • Give the client a defined deadline and keep them in the loop always

Key Elements to Include in a Client Presentation

Brush up your client presentation skills and set your presentation up for success with these must-have elements:

Use primary and secondary research methods to gather information about your client’s pain points.

Get answers to these questions during your research:

  • What are the client’s short-term and long-term goals?
  • What problems are they currently facing within their industry?
  • How does the client measure success?

Pro tip: Leverage sources like company websites, annual reports, industry publications, and social media platforms to get granular details. 

Invest in client onboarding software to efficiently organize and present your research.

Addressing your client’s current challenges demonstrates your understanding of their immediate needs and, by extension, establishes your relevance.

Do your homework about your client’s recent activities to identify challenges they might be grappling with currently. Also engage in discussions with your key stakeholders to get their opinions. In addition, you can use project kickoff templates to capture information about your clients from the get-go.

ClickUp Project Kickoff Template offers a structure for establishing expectations, clarifying roles, delegating tasks, and comprehending project timelines.

Your proof points validate your claims and build credibility by highlighting your track record and success stories. To showcase them:

  • Gather case studies, testimonials, and performance data that demonstrate the effectiveness of your solutions within the industry
  • Structure your presentation to strategically incorporate these proof points, highlighting them at key moments to reinforce credibility
  • Use visuals, such as charts or graphs, to represent your proof points and make them more impactful

A clear call to action directs your client to the next steps they should take after the presentation and guides them toward a decision.

To make this process easier for them:

  • Clearly outline the desired outcome, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or starting a trial
  • Provide multiple channels for the client to take the desired action and make it as convenient as possible for them to move forward
  • Connect with them promptly afterward to reinforce the call to action and provide additional support as needed

Present a detailed breakdown of the investment required for your solutions, including costs, payment terms, and potential ROI.

To get an accurate estimate of your client’s budgetary and timeline requirements, ask these questions:

  • What’s the maximum budget for the project?
  • Are there any specific budgetary constraints to be aware of?
  • How flexible is the client’s budget? Are they open to discussions about cost adjustments?
  • What timeline do they have to get the project up and running?
  • What will happen to the deadline and costs in case of a scope creep?

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Client Presentation

Find the sweet spot with your presentation skills by avoiding these common mistakes:

Failing to establish the proper context at the beginning of your presentation leads to misunderstandings and a lack of engagement from your client. Manage client expectations and clarify what the audience should expect.

If your clients feel confused about the purpose of the presentation, they’ll never be able to grasp the value of your offerings fully.

To set the stage properly , follow these few tips:

  • Understand your audience’s background and align your introduction to resonate with their needs
  • Clearly state the objectives of your presentation and let your clients know what they stand to gain from your pitch
  • Start with a compelling hook that captures their attention and sets the tone for the rest of the presentation

Displaying defensive body language, such as crossing arms, avoiding eye contact, or appearing tense, signals discomfort to your clients.

This can immediately undermine your credibility and rapport with them.

Plus, your defensiveness may seem more like a lack of confidence in your customer’s eyes, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust.

To sharpen your non-verbal communication skills , follow these tips:

  • Pay attention to your body language during practice sessions. Also, practice maintaining an open posture and making eye contact to convey confidence and openness
  • If a challenging question is asked, remain calm and open-minded
  • Demonstrate active listening by nodding, smiling, and using affirming gestures. This shows your clients that you value their input and are engaged in the conversation
  • If you’re unsure about something or need clarification, ask questions politely and respectfully. This demonstrates a willingness to understand and address your client’s concerns

Irrelevant details during a pitch are a waste of your client’s time. 

If there is no clear benefit of adding additional information about the company services, don’t.

For example, if your presentation is about account management, don’t talk about your company’s history unless it directly relates to the success of your account management strategies.

Instead, focus on showcasing account results as the main takeaway.

This will keep your presentation focused and ensure you’re providing valuable information that directly addresses your client’s interests and needs.

Here are some strategies to effectively incorporate relevant data within your presentation:

  • Add data that directly addresses your customer’s specific pain points and interests
  • Identify the most important metrics that align with your audience’s goals and tie these metrics to the impact of your solutions
  • Use charts, graphs, and visuals to present data in a clear and compelling manner
  • Provide context of the data you’re presenting—help your audience understand why these numbers matter and how they relate to the overall story you’re telling
  • Use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate how your solutions have delivered tangible results for similar clients

Finishing a solid presentation is not where your work should end. 

Keep tabs on your audience’s needs, starting with a follow-up call.

Use a free project management software like ClickUp and arm your company with real time client feedback into what’s working for them and what isn’t. A good client management platform can also automate many of these tasks. 

With ClickUp Forms you can capture your client’s responses and route work to the right team at the right time. Additionally, you can convert Clickup Form responses into trackable tasks, which can be plugged directly into your workflows

Read More: Strategies for Client Project Management

When it comes to a presentation, sticking to the basics makes sense. However, deliver the Big Idea in a way that wows your clients and wins them firmly over. 

So, incorporate research and storytelling and maintain a client-first approach to make your presentation stand out .

Use presentation software like ClickUp to deliver pitch-perfect pitches!

1. How can I improve an audience presentation?

Here are a few key takeaways on how to deliver a successful presentation:

  • Spend time and effort researching and planning your pitch
  • Convert your presentation into a well-defined marketing funnel
  • Leverage visuals and images to highlight the USPs of your product or services
  • Close the presentation with a two-way dialogue and clear next steps

2. What should I include in a client presentation?

You can include the following in a client presentation:

  • Detailed client research
  • The client’s pain points
  • Strategic proof points for your presentation content
  • A relevant call to action for your audience
  • Essential details such as the expected investment and timelines

3. How can ClickUp help in optimizing a client presentation?

ClickUp saves you time and effort in creating effective presentations through its various tools as:

  • ClickUp Presentation template, which helps you create effective and engaging presentations for your audience
  • ClickUp AI, which allows you to generate a presentation outline within seconds; for example, creating a sales presentation for your sales process
  • ClickUp’s Presentation Executive Summary Template, which helps you make a killer first impression with your presentation

Use these features and save the time that goes into creating presentations.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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11 tips for keeping your digital life safe in 2024

Posted: December 21, 2023 | Last updated: December 21, 2023

<h1><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/pump-and-dump-schemes-in-crypto-an-overview/ar-AARJB60">Pump and dump schemes in crypto: An overview</a></h1>

Top 11 Cyber Security Tips

Of course, there’s a risk in handing over sensitive data. Identity theft is on the rise — the Federal Trade Commission received more than 1.1 million reports of it in 2022 alone. And the total number of data breaches has more than tripled, according to a 2022 report from Verizon.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to help protect your personal information. Some of these you’ll only need to do once, others are a habit that you’ll get the hang of with time.

Let’s take a closer look.

<p>One of the most basic ways to protect yourself online is to use a unique password for each of your accounts — email, social media, <a href="https://www.sofi.com/learn/content/tips-for-safe-mobile-banking/">mobile banking</a>, you name it. Aim for passwords that are simple for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.</p><p>To create a strong password, keep the following tips in mind:</p><ul><li>Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers.</li><li>Longer is usually better — aim for a password that’s at least six characters long.</li><li>Never use personal information like your name, birthday, or email address.</li><li>Random passwords are usually difficult for hackers to crack. Use a password generator if you need help.</li></ul>

1. Use Strong Passwords

One of the most basic ways to protect yourself online is to use a unique password for each of your accounts — email, social media,  mobile banking , you name it. Aim for passwords that are simple for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.

To create a strong password, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers.
  • Longer is usually better — aim for a password that’s at least six characters long.
  • Never use personal information like your name, birthday, or email address.
  • Random passwords are usually difficult for hackers to crack. Use a password generator if you need help.

<p>Take advantage of two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible. 2FA involves using one authentication method plus your username and password. Examples of 2FA include sending a numerical code to your phone or email, using fingerprint ID, or identifying you via facial recognition.</p><p>Certain accounts add an extra layer of protection by using authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, or Microsoft Authenticator. Typically, these apps generate a verification passcode, which you’ll need to enter when you log in.</p>

2. Turn On Two-Factor Authentication

Take advantage of two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible. 2FA involves using one authentication method plus your username and password. Examples of 2FA include sending a numerical code to your phone or email, using fingerprint ID, or identifying you via facial recognition.

Certain accounts add an extra layer of protection by using authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, or Microsoft Authenticator. Typically, these apps generate a verification passcode, which you’ll need to enter when you log in.

<p>There were concerns in the not-so-distant past about using a public wifi network to get online, as it could make your information vulnerable to hackers. But today, connecting through a public network is usually considered safe. That’s because most websites protect data through encryption, a process that involves scrambling information so it can only be deciphered using a unique encryption key.</p><p>To make sure your connection is encrypted, look for either a lock symbol or “https” to the left of the URL in a browser.</p>

3. Always Use a Secure Connection

There were concerns in the not-so-distant past about using a public wifi network to get online, as it could make your information vulnerable to hackers. But today, connecting through a public network is usually considered safe. That’s because most websites protect data through encryption, a process that involves scrambling information so it can only be deciphered using a unique encryption key.

To make sure your connection is encrypted, look for either a lock symbol or “https” to the left of the URL in a browser.

<p>Phishing is the oldest trick in the book. Unfortunately, it also happens to be fairly successful.</p><p>Phishing emails and text messages can take many different forms: a link to confirm financial information, an alert about suspicious activity or log-in attempts on one of your accounts, an invoice you don’t recognize, a coupon for a free prize.</p><p>One effective way to help prevent falling for these scams? Be cautious about emails that have an attachment or embedded link, and don’t click or download anything from a source you don’t recognize. Keep in mind that legitimate companies usually won’t send you a link to change or update your payment information. If you’re not sure whether a message is authentic, you can call the company directly to confirm.</p>

4. Know the Signs of a Phishing Scam

Phishing is the oldest trick in the book. Unfortunately, it also happens to be fairly successful.

Phishing emails and text messages can take many different forms: a link to confirm financial information, an alert about suspicious activity or log-in attempts on one of your accounts, an invoice you don’t recognize, a coupon for a free prize.

One effective way to help prevent falling for these scams? Be cautious about emails that have an attachment or embedded link, and don’t click or download anything from a source you don’t recognize. Keep in mind that legitimate companies usually won’t send you a link to change or update your payment information. If you’re not sure whether a message is authentic, you can call the company directly to confirm.

<p>At least annually, go to a site such as <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/">annualcreditreport.com</a> and check your status for free from all three credit bureaus. Mistakes can hurt your credit and cost you, so report activity that isn’t yours. “You don’t want that dinged by someone else’s mistake,” Schulz says.</p>

5. Check Your Credit Report

Checking your credit report  regularly is a simple way to help protect your identity and financial security. You can request a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, by visiting  AnnualCreditReport.com  . It will detail all the information about your financial history, including credit card debt, student loans, missed payments and more.

When you receive your credit report, make sure all of the information is accurate. If you notice anything that is incorrect, report it to the credit bureaus and  dispute any inaccurate information .

Cosigners and joint <a href="https://lanterncredit.com/credit-cards/history-of-credit-cards">credit card holders</a> will almost certainly be held responsible for credit card debt. If the deceased person had an individual account, then it would largely depend upon whether they lived in a community property state or not. <p>What happens to <a href="https://lanterncredit.com/credit-cards/what-happens-to-credit-card-debt-when-you-die">credit card debt when you die</a> is that in a community property state, credit card debt is considered to be jointly held. In common law property states, the debt shouldn’t typically pass on to someone else.</p>

6. Monitor Your Credit Card and Bank Accounts

Keeping tabs on your credit card and bank accounts doesn’t just help with tracking your spending. It’s also a good way to spot mysterious charges.

Sometimes, a scammer will start with a small, unassuming charge and then quickly escalate their spending when they feel that a person isn’t paying attention. Look for strange names and keep tabs on every purchase, no matter how small.

<p>At first glance, this might seem like an unnecessary step. After all, if someone has your social security and your address, what more do they need? But strengthening your privacy settings on your social media accounts can go a long way to protecting your data in the future. Hackers can use photos, comments, and more to learn about you, which could make it easier for them to break into your accounts.</p>

7. Make Social Media Profiles Private

At first glance, this might seem like an unnecessary step. After all, if someone has your social security and your address, what more do they need? But strengthening your privacy settings on your social media accounts can go a long way to protecting your data in the future. Hackers can use photos, comments, and more to learn about you, which could make it easier for them to break into your accounts.

<p>As data security becomes more important, the government is getting involved. If you think, or know, that your identity has been stolen, you can visit <a href="https://identitytheft.gov/">Identity Theft </a>, the Federal Trade Commission’s website dedicated to cyber security protection. There are resources to help you troubleshoot ongoing issues, create a plan to protect your identity, report identity theft, and more.</p>

8. Tap Into Online Tools for Help

As data security becomes more important, the government is getting involved. If you think, or know, that your identity has been stolen, you can visit  Identity Theft  , the Federal Trade Commission’s website dedicated to cyber security protection. There are resources to help you troubleshoot ongoing issues, create a plan to protect your identity, report identity theft, and more.

<p>Yes, updating apps, web browsers, and operating systems takes time and may temporarily disrupt your work. But the reward — protecting your data — is worth the few extra minutes. Many times, software updates include new features or improved security.</p><p>Set updates to happen automatically so you always have the latest and greatest version.</p><p><b><i>(Learn more: <a href="https://www.sofi.com/personal-loan-calculator/">Personal Loan Calculator</a>) </i></b></p>

9. Update Software

Yes, updating apps, web browsers, and operating systems takes time and may temporarily disrupt your work. But the reward — protecting your data — is worth the few extra minutes. Many times, software updates include new features or improved security.

Set updates to happen automatically so you always have the latest and greatest version.

(Learn more: Personal Loan Calculator ) 

<p>By placing a credit freeze or security freeze on your files, you can prevent a potential hacker from opening a new account in your name. The freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it difficult for a cyber criminal to open up any accounts.</p><p>Freezing your credit does not affect your <a href="https://www.sofi.com/learn/content/credit-score-ranges/">credit score</a>. However, as long as the freeze is in place, you won’t be able to open any new accounts in your name. If you’re planning to rent an apartment, apply for a job, or buy insurance, you’ll likely need to temporarily lift the freeze for a certain amount of time or for a specific party.</p><p>Check with the credit reporting company in advance to find out the costs and lead times. The process is daily involved, as you’ll have to request a credit freeze with all three agencies.</p><p>Also, it’s worth mentioning that a credit freeze doesn’t prevent a hacker from adding charges to your existing accounts</p>

10. If Your Identity Has Been Stolen, Consider Placing a Credit Freeze on Your Files

By placing a credit freeze or security freeze on your files, you can prevent a potential hacker from opening a new account in your name. The freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it difficult for a cyber criminal to open up any accounts.

Freezing your credit does not affect your  credit score . However, as long as the freeze is in place, you won’t be able to open any new accounts in your name. If you’re planning to rent an apartment, apply for a job, or buy insurance, you’ll likely need to temporarily lift the freeze for a certain amount of time or for a specific party.

Check with the credit reporting company in advance to find out the costs and lead times. The process is daily involved, as you’ll have to request a credit freeze with all three agencies.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that a credit freeze doesn’t prevent a hacker from adding charges to your existing accounts

<p>If you’re flush with cash from a raise, most Redditors suggested an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to saving. In practice, that means setting up your accounts to automatically send the extra dough (or a portion of it) to a separate savings or <a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/retirement-accounts/">retirement account</a>. Referencing James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits,” one Redditor points out that this method relies on building an automated system rather than self-discipline. </p><p><b>Related: </b><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/how-to-save-money-every-day-3862/">31 Simple Ways to Save Money Every Day of the Month</a></p>

11. Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on Your File If You Suspect Identity Theft

This is a much easier option than placing a full credit freeze, as it only requires creditors to confirm your identity instead of freezing all your credit in the future. It may be a good step to take if you are concerned that someone might have been able to access your personal data but lack proof

<p>Data breaches and identity theft happen, but by taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.</p><p><i>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.sofi.com/learn/content/how-long-should-you-hold-stocks/">SoFi.com </a>and was syndicated by<a href="https://mediafeed.org/"> MediaFeed.org</a>.</i></p><p><i>Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.<br>External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.<br>Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.</i></p>

The Takeaway

Data breaches and identity theft happen, but by taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org .

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners. External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Dating habits are changing — again. Here are 3 trends and tips for navigating them

Headshot of Alejandra Marquez Janse.

Alejandra Marquez Janse

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While the ways to connect are evolving, two dating coaches say the goal is still to get off the chats and actually go on dates. Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images hide caption

While the ways to connect are evolving, two dating coaches say the goal is still to get off the chats and actually go on dates.

Technology, burnout and generational differences are creating new habits in the dating scene and bringing back old ones.

We spoke to two dating coaches about what trends they are seeing and how to have a good time when exploring your love life — whether you are new to the dating scene, coming back in or simply wanting to step up your game.

1. Speed dating is coming back

The mechanics of speed dating haven't really changed: You spend four to five minutes with a stranger and then move on to the next. Typically, you write down whether you'd like to see them again, and you find out later if they felt the same way about you. If so, you can set up a date.

What's changing is the renewed interest.

Damona Hoffman, a dating coach and the author of F the Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story , has seen more interest in speed dating — both among her clients and through live-event offerings. The ticketing website Eventbrite, for example, reported a 63% increase in those events in the first few months of 2023, compared with those same months in 2022.

Less oversharing and more intimate AI relationships? Internet predictions for 2024

Less oversharing and more intimate AI relationships? Internet predictions for 2024

For newcomers, Hoffman recommends focusing on whether potential matches pique your curiosity.

"The curiosity can be based on something that they say, can be based on also how they look or something they're wearing. Something, you know, that happened even outside of your five minutes of speed dating," she says.

She adds that speed dating is similar to the dating apps in that both are simply a venue to meet new people. So, don't fret too much about it.

"You only have five minutes, so you can't make too much of it. I'm always telling my clients to give somebody the benefit of the doubt. If there's something interesting there, then explore that, and take a little more time with it down the road," she says.

2. AI has entered the chat

Chats and tools powered by artificial intelligence have entered many aspects of our lives, and dating is no different.

The 2023 "Singles in America" study by Match.com found that 6% of singles had turned to AI for help with their dating life. Of those, 43% used it to craft their profile, and 37% used it to write the first message to their match. Those who had used AI reported getting more and better matches and meeting in real life faster.

What makes a good partner — and how to cultivate connection

What makes a good partner — and how to cultivate connection

This is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a trend more common among Generation Z. Men also reported using AI slightly more than women, and only 22% of all respondents said they would consider it a deal-breaker if someone used AI to craft a dating profile.

"There is a way to use an AI to help people show their best selves," says Maria Avgitidis, the CEO of Agape Matchmaking and host of the Ask a Matchmaker podcast.

She says some AI tools can help you write answers to the prompts in dating apps or pick the best-looking photos for your profile. But they shouldn't be used to alter your images.

"There's a way to do this, and I know because we do it. We have online dating managers at Agape Matchmaking who literally do this, and it's not AI. It's human intelligence, but it's just as well," she says.

3 ways to turn around your dating luck, according to a behavioral scientist

3 ways to turn around your dating luck, according to a behavioral scientist

To those who might think that all of this is inauthentic, Hoffman says our online conversations aren't genuine most of the time, anyway.

"A lot of times, people will tell me that they were texting with someone and it was a great, witty, fun banter, and then they get to the date and it was boring or they didn't seem the same," she says.

3. "Living apart together" is getting attention

Beyond dating, the concept of living apart together — where couples break out of the typical path of moving in together and then marrying — is being talked about more.

Hoffman says the term started making rounds online after a 2021 New York Times article , although she had seen it in her own practice, mainly among people over 55 years old who started dating after building a life for themselves — they perhaps have a job, a home or children.

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While living apart together appeared to start with older daters, it's catching on with younger people too. Dan Mullan/Getty Images hide caption

While living apart together appeared to start with older daters, it's catching on with younger people too.

"Dating means compromising that life and bringing somebody else into it, and for some daters, it's just not that appealing," she says. "If everything else in your life is already working and you could have a relationship and not be living in the same space and having to compromise the things that are already working, you can have your cake and eat it too."

Now she sees this concept picking up among younger people who want to maintain their autonomy and individuality while in a relationship.

Hoffman says that when exploring this option, communication is key.

"I am all about empowering daters to know that they can design their own dating life, but it's all about communication ... first getting clarity on what you actually want and then being able to communicate that to your partner and knowing also that that could change," she says.

There might come a time when you change your mind and want to move in with that person, and that's OK too, she says.

Getting outside is the important step

Hoffman and Avgitidis agree that online dating can be a great way to meet new people, but the goal is to get off the chats and actually go on dates.

"I look at all elements of dating as a set of learned skills," Hoffman says. "So when you aren't practicing them, when you aren't flexing that muscle, it does atrophy a little bit."

There are signs that people are doing more of that lately and trying to meet people in more social environments. Avgitidis points to data from Eventbrite, which says it saw attendance at singles and dating events increase by 42% from 2022 to 2023.

Thinking about non-monogamous relationships? Here's a beginner's guide

Thinking about non-monogamous relationships? Here's a beginner's guide

For better success at these types of events, Avgitidis recommends two things. One is to put on your "you can approach me" uniform.

"I always tell people, wear green if you're a woman; wear light pink or light purple if you're a man. Color does matter when it comes to giving off a vibe like, 'Hey, you can come talk to me,'" she says. "These are colors that I have noticed as a matchmaker and a dating industry professional that really will attract people to come talk to you, regardless of sexual orientation."

The second one is to not get stuck on what the outcome may be.

"You have to come into the mindset [that] every single person is an opportunity. So with that said, if you are goal oriented, then I would tell you that whenever you go to an event, I want you to talk to two people that you have never talked to before. That's it. It doesn't matter what gender they are. It doesn't matter what orientation they are," Avgitidis says.

Try talking to those new people, and if after 15 minutes or so you feel uncomfortable, then you can leave.

So to bring it all together: Give people a chance to surprise you, focus on getting to the first date and find what works for your relationship.

  • living apart together
  • speed dating
  • artificial intelligence
  • relationships

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