Talking Points
October 2021

Tailor Your PowerPoint For The Web

Giving a PowerPoint presentation in person is almost always the best way to do it. But we don’t always have that luxury. That’s why it’s important to design your deck for the way in which you’ll be presenting. Today, we want offer you a few specific pointers for presenting your PowerPoint online. Let’s start with a few things to keep in mind.

Your audience isn’t captive.
Unlike live presentations, your viewers aren’t glued to their seats. They can be messaging coworkers, working on other projects, or they can simply get up and leave. So your delivery, and your deck, will need to be even more compelling.

Keep things moving.
Your audience can sense when you recognize their time is valuable. When you keep comments to the point, and diligently progress from slide to slide, your audience is more likely to give you their undivided attention.

With that in mind, here are some tips to help structure your online PowerPoint presentation:

  • Keep your content as concise as possible. (See above.)
  • Present all of your points in a logical fashion. Don’t skip around between points.
  • Don’t stick to the facts. Use stories to illustrate them. (But, like everything else, keep your stories brief.)
  • Use sections. Break information into shorter segments to help viewers stay focused.
  • Speak with words, but present with pictures. Images and diagrams are more appealing than text.

And these suggestions will make your slides more appealing on the computer screen:

  • Create title slides for each section. Doing that makes it feel like you’re covering ground quickly.
  • When your slides require text, let bullet points do the talking.
  • Obey the “five by five” rule. Use no more than 5 words in a line, and five lines on a slide.
  • Simplify your diagrams. Find ways to organize, align, and simplify the content.
  • Be colorful. Color brings your slides and ideas to life, and make them easier to read.

Knowing your content is only part of the battle. But understanding how your online audience will respond to your presentation can make a huge difference in your success.

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