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4 Steps On How To Make A Winning PowerPoint Presentation

Creating a winning PowerPoint presentation is something that eludes even the brightest of professionals. Finding the perfect balance between content and design elements is a long and treacherous journey that most of us face, whether you are a CEO pitching your startup to an investor, a human resource guru trying to communicate corporate identity and policy to new recruits, or a passionate sales “guy/gal” striving to close that elusive big account, we have all been there and we have all asked the same question - “How can I make a successful PowerPoint presentation?!”

But.. with every question, there is always an answer.

Through blood, sweat, and rendered over time, we have uncovered 3 essential steps that can increase or better yet, ensure your chances of making winning PowerPoint presentations that can sell, educate, and capture the attention of your audiences. Here are KDCI’s  4 steps on how to make winning PowerPoint Presentations:

Develop A Storyboard

Our company sees presentations as an act of storytelling that can be compared to other forms of media such as movies, tv shows, and novels. You have to consider that by default your audience is tied up for the whole ride, they are there on their own free will, you have their undivided attention and the stage has been set for you - so don’t waste this golden opportunity by presenting a dull and boring presentation.

The biggest problem that faces presenters is that they become too focused on making each and every slide “individuals” - taking the whole slide creation process one slide at a time - this in part makes some slides great but because presenter lose sight of the bigger picture, the overall effectiveness of the presentation diminishes gradually overtime.

The most important aspect that contributed in making our slides effective was to realize that the presentation should have an overarching narrative. Like any other story, PACING plays a big role in a presentation’s success. Start with identifying the KEY POINTS of discussion - mainly the problem or opportunity that you want to set the stage with, then funnel it down to the specific details that would support your overarching message.

The best tip I can give when creating your presentation storyboard is to know what is the general message you want to tell - what’s the story. If you’re going to present to an investor, better make sure that your content fully glorifies the immense potential that your company has - that’s your overall narrative, telling them that your company will give them loads of money in the future. Leverage on those key points and don’t stray from them. Time and time again we see presentations that just go all over the place - disjointed, and confusing. Don’t include any information that might break away from your overall message. Don’t tell that your company offers free lunch and coffee to employees or include images of your company outing - these are valid points to include but it takes attention away from the message that you want to tell and thus decreasing the effect that your presentation has.

To help you get an idea of what I’m saying, our team made this presentation sample to show how a storyboarded presentation looks like:

Click the image below to view the slides

Be Organized - Divide Your Presentation Into 3 Acts

Now that you’ve created a storyboard that includes your overarching narrative, you should now plan out what content and design elements you’ll include in the presentation. After storyboarding, what we do is we then segment the presentation into 3 acts, “The Hi”, “The Meat” and “The Hook” - but before we go into discussing the 3 acts, we first must talk about content and design organization.

When writing and designing the content for the presentation, make sure that you don’t stuff too much information into one slide. Content stuffing defeats the purpose of presenting relevant information efficiently and effectively - Keep it short and simple, efficiency and quality always trump redundancy and quantity. Always remember that in every good story, the plot is presented in a gentle and unforced manner, and if you stuff your slides with too much information it will most probably derail your audience in actually digesting what you’re trying to say and be left wondering why they even agreed to listen to you in the first place.

Start the flow of information by planning out the “the hi or hello” of your presentation, this should include a quick overview of who you are and purpose of the presentation. Be gentle in this part of the presentation. Don’t include any pitches, graphs or conceited numbers of glory - this part is for you to introduce yourself and your story, not where you boast about your achievements or deliver convoluted information.

“The meat” is where you then serve your audience with the nit and grit of your presentation. Look at this part, as the main course of a meal. They came to see you or attend your meeting all because of this part of your presentation - serve them generously. One key advice I can give you in creating “The Meat” of your presentation is to base this section on the key talking points that you want to drill down to your audience. You held back in the “The Hi”, now is your chance to go all-in and pitch your heart out. Make sure that your message is always clear all throughout this section, don’t hold back in including your key talking points in every slide - but please do it tastefully. Be extra careful in over saturating your presentation. No one wants to see 5 slides that are filled with a “Buy Me!” or “Sign The Contract” message. Yes, you’ve got the green light to sell but never overdo it.

And lastly, “The Hook”. Some may say that the “The Meat” is the most important part of the presentation, we at KDCI beg to differ. Once the smoke has cleared and everyone, done and dusted, “The Hook” is really the part where decisions are made. Make sure that your presentation’s final slides are as impactful as the “The Meat” of your presentation. Time and time again we see presenters neglect the ending parts of their presentations - solely focusing their efforts on the middle part. Don’t do this! “The Hook is the part where you leave a lasting impression with your audience. Whatever your presentation may be, always make it certain that you always end it on a high note. Reiterate to them again the key talking points that you have discussed. Show them again selected figures and numbers. Let them go home with your name on their lips.

To help you get an idea of what I’m saying, our team made this presentation sample to show how a storyboarded presentation looks like:

Click the image below to view the slides

Visual Storytelling Always Wins Over Text-based Monologue

Establishing a story is important, but always remember that you’re presenting a story that is anchored towards corporate use - and you shouldn’t be robotically monologuing your way all throughout the presentation. Powerpoint, Keynote, and PDF presentations are visual aids, so leave your text heavy content for your personal presentation notes.

Place emphasis on key talking points and include visual assets - visual elements are louder than text, always remember that. We recommend on keeping all presentations to have a 6x6 standard text to line ratio - as seen here, but given the appropriate circumstances you can go higher, but never forget that your audience can only read a handful of texts before they become distracted. Make your presentation’s content conversational, enabling dialogue between you and your audience.

Use your slides to complement your verbal presentation. Keep it simple - sometimes an image, illustration, or infographic is all that’s needed. But don’t present in a dull designed presentation - just for the sake of simplicity. Pay attention to details and give your header and footers a splash of color and personality.

All of this is designed - in principle to help your presentation back you up, when your public speaking may not warrant a confident disposition. Sometimes visually excellent slides can capture audiences attention all by themselves. Create graphics that are personalized to your presentation, a visual story can tell a story without you even spouting a single word. We are visual creatures - make this knowledge your weapon. And if by any chance you don’t have the expertise or the team to help you create graphics, illustrations or infographics, you can always outsource graphic design services, so don’t worry about it.

Here’s a sample presentation that was made by our team:

Click the image below to view the slides

Keep It Original Every Time

Simply, there is no “One size fits all” in presentations. Create presentations that are targeted towards your audience. Amateur presenters only use a single template for different corporate functions - don’t emulate them. Identify the persona that your audience is included in and drill it down. Never generalize, it’ll be the end of you - you’ll be drastically handicapped because of this.

Interested in obtaining the samples presentations above? Well, luckily our company offers PowerPoint, Keynote, and PDF presentation design services for professional, such as yourself. Here’s another sample because we’re that kind:

Click the image below to view the slides

Thanks for reading! We at KDCI are thrilled to share our knowledge and design samples with you!

If by any chance you don't have the time or the team to personally create PowerPoint presentations, Keynote presentations, or PDF presentations, our team of expert presentation designers are always available to help.

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