College x
photo of person giving a powerpoint presentation
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

This bit of software can be an incredibly powerful tool.

A must-unlock skill of every college student is creating PowerPoint presentations. Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore or senior, you’re sure to come across an assignment that requires you to create a PowerPoint presentation.

Not only does it help you impress lectures and get straight As on your transcript, but it is also key to thriving in the corporate world.

Top 10 Tips for Making Effective P...
Top 10 Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations.

Creating PowerPoint presentations enables you to hone creativity, build public speaking abilities, improve body language and boost confidence. Those interpersonal qualities are required, not only in classes but also in workplaces.

The study says that 77% agree that presentation skills are crucial for one’s career success. It becomes a plus when you join a company. But, developing presentation skills doesn’t happen overnight. College years are an ideal time to build and hone this skill.

To start off, you can train yourself to create eye-catching and attention-grabbing slides for tasks and exams. Below are practical steps for doing a good PowerPoint presentation for college students.

1. Identify the key points

Before anything else, a good comprehension of the topic you want to deliver is necessary. Understanding your materials helps you be more confident when presenting and providing better slides.

Those who aren’t knowledgeable about the topic they talk about most likely put a long string of words, leading to wordy slides. However, if you comprehend the discussion well, you can put short phrases in bullet points.

Choose the points you want to elaborate in short phrases. If possible, rewrite them interestingly to capture audiences. The points are like cue cards that will assist you throughout the presentation.

2. Choose an interesting template

Never present PowerPoint with plain slides because it’s the first step to a boring performance. Besides, finding PowerPoint templates online is a piece of cake.

Many online platforms provide downloadable and free PowerPoint templates. Some websites to dive into are Slide Carnival, Powerpointify, Slides and AllPPT. They have various categories, such as education, technology, business, medical, etc.

For college students, choosing a template depends on the topic they cover and personal taste. The best and safest way to decide on a template is to stay simple. Aim for a simple template with a good color combination.

Moreover, mind the background of your slides. You should use the same background for the entire slide. Ensure that your background and font color are in good contrast to present clear and readable slides.

3. Write impactfully

Now that you’ve decided on the points you want to deliver, put them into slides. Spread your points and use bullet points if possible. You can also mark some slides to add images, graphs or tables later.

There are rules of thumb that students must be aware of when creating PowerPoint presentations. The overall idea is to keep your slides concise. Here are some points worth taking notes on.

  • Include up to five points with a margin error (+/-2) on each slide.
  • If possible, discuss only one idea per slide.
  • Include up to 30 words per slide (6 – 8 lines).
  • Use a simple and clean font, such as Montserrat, Verdana, Calibri, Bentham and Roboto
  • Keep your font to a minimum 18-point size.
  • Use active and concise language.
  • A presentation with no more than 15 slides is preferable.

If you have segmented your points, continue your work by making your slides more captivating and engaging by adding visual aids.

4. Add visuals

It’s vital to have visual aids on your slides to emphasize points better and engage audiences effectively. Use related images, graphs or tables to support your points. You can also embed a video if needed.

Create a good balance of visual aids and text on your slide. Commonly, a slide with a visual representation only carries one idea written in short. Consider some points below when embedding visual aids on your slides:

  • Use photos instead of clipart.
  • Use high-quality photos.
  • Avoid using watermarked photos.
  • Don’t clutter images on a slide.

You can go to Unsplash and Freepik to search for free photos. Remember to add credit for your photos to inform audiences.

5. Edit and tidy up your slides

The next step is editing your slides and ensuring that all elements blend well. Pay attention to your slides, especially those with images, graphs or tables.

Check again in case you put too many words on them. Here are some guides on editing and tidying up your slides:

  • Use consistent font type, size and color.
  • Size text and images for a distance view.
  • Limit the colors use to one to three colors.
  • Ensure the background has good contrast with your font color.

6. Add transitions and do a final check

The final step to complete your PowerPoint is adding transitions such as entrance, emphasis, exit and motion paths. Adding transitions makes your slides more dynamic and helps emphasize points.

Some recommendations include Fade, Push, Cut, Cover and Uncover. Consider using one type of entrance transition to begin each slide. Add emphasis transition to highlight crucial points, images or other elements.

Using entrance and emphasis transitions is enough for a good educational presentation. Don’t overdo it because too much animation can be distracting for audiences. Lastly, run a final check before presenting it.

Final Thoughts

As college students are a step away from joining corporate life, having the skill to create a good PowerPoint presentation becomes vital.

Do rehearsals before presenting your PowerPoint slides to maximize your performance. Pen down some notes if necessary to support you during the zero hours. Lastly, train yourself to develop good speaking skills, body language and eye contact to captivate your audience.

Leave a Reply