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10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Presentation First, PowerPoint Second

The biggest mistake people often make when creating a PowerPoint presentation is that they make the slides the focus. Many of you are probably still haunted by high school teachers and college professors who ponderously read almost exactly what was being shown on the screen -- whether by an old school projector or on a newer digital medium -- without any elaboration or additional scholarly flourishes. How dull and repetitive.

Attention should be on the presenter and on the compelling story that he or she has to tell. PowerPoint is effective at providing supplementary information, like simple, colorful graphs or other relevant imagery, but should never be the main source of information. The worst thing a presenter can do is to turn around and read from the PowerPoint. If all of the information is already on the screen, then there's no need for the person speaking to ramble on about it [source: Price].

With this fundamental factor in mind, let's start delving into the development of a successful PowerPoint presentation.