When preparing a speech for your small business, you often feel pressure to make every last detail of the presentation perfect. PowerPoint helps you create accompanying slides for your speech. Used well, the slides enhance the speech's impact on your audience. Used poorly, a PowerPoint presentation overwhelms your speech, reducing its effectiveness and leaving your audience distracted and dissatisfied. Identify your speech's key points to carefully craft a supporting PowerPoint presentation.
Begin by preparing your speech and then basing your PowerPoint presentation on it, rather than the reverse. PowerPoint's features add value and interest to your speech, but don't the slides themselves become something without which your speech wouldn't exist.
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Keep your PowerPoint presentation simple. Maintain your audience's focus on the presentation, rather than simply reading the screen behind you and ignoring those to whom you are presenting.
Use as few slides as possible. Include only the bare bones of your speech, along with any supporting material that is better shown than described, such as product photos or charts.
Insert black slides into your presentation. These slides transition between the content you've covered on the last slide and the content on the following slide. Inserting a black slide shifts your audience's focus back to you, increasing the effectiveness of your speech.
Advance the presentation to the next slide or pause it automatically. If you walk back and forth from your speaking location in the room to your computer, you create unnatural or uncomfortable pauses in your speech. Use either a remote to control the computer, enlist help or simply position your computer so that you can reach the mouse without moving or bending over.
Practice your speech until you have the speech memorized and you no longer need the PowerPoint presentation to deliver it. If a technical issue occurs that stops your PowerPoint slides from working, you can still present the speech and leave copies of the slides or have them delivered at a later point.