Hugh Culver

HUGH CULVER

Author, speaker, coach, 10 easy ways to make any powerpoint presentation awesome.

Make your PowerPoint Presentation awesome

Updated to Speaking on May 3, 2023.

This post was updated in 2023.

It was 20 minutes before lunch, my client was frantically looking at the clock, and the audience was squirming. We had suffered through endless forgettable PowerPoint slides and were all hoping for a merciful end. That’s when the presenter announced, “I see I’m running out of time, so I’ll just hurry through my last 30 slides.”

We’ve all suffered through slide shows with long lists of unreadable bullets, unnecessary YouTube clips, and overuse of graphics. Instead of holding our attention and making their point even stronger, each slide distracts the audience with more content they don’t need. Bad slides are agnostic. You can use PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, Google Slides, or hold up a piece of paper – it’s all a distraction if you don’t do it well.

Done well, a thoughtfully prepared slide deck can be the perfect slide dish for your full meal presentation. Done poorly and your audience will feel like they made one too many trips to the buffet table. This post will help you do it well.

For the first years of my speaking career, I presented with 35mm slides. You know, the photographs framed by cardboard that got jammed in the projector? That was me – hauling out the projector, clicking in the carousel, and praying that tonight it would all work. I soon learned that the more slides I showed the less the audience listened to me. So I cut back on the slides. I also noticed that when I switched to a black screen (see #9) the audience turned all their attention to me. So I practiced fading to black whenever I told a story or had an important point to make.

How I started

When I switched to PowerPoint I suddenly had a candy shop full of treats to sweeten my presentations with. And I started making all the same mistakes again: too many slides, too much content on each slide, and too distracting. After every presentation I always do a quick debrief – what worked, what needs to change? And slowly I developed a checklist for slide presentations.

I have shared with checklist with hundreds of speakers to help put the spotlight on them. Some were designing a new speech, some were preparing for a webinar and others needed slides to back up a video presentation. In every case, this checklist made their presentation better. They sold more products, got more referrals, and, in most cases, spent a lot less time working on their slide deck.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

If you’ve ever struggled to create interesting slides or worry your slides are too wordy or you have too many of them, this will help.

Here are my 10 easy ways to make any PowerPoint presentation awesome.

1. Build your slides last

This might be the most important rule on the list. Don’t build your slide deck until you build your presentation.

You could be tempted to start monkeying with slides early in your speech writing process – after all, it’s a fun way to procrastinate from all that hard thinking – don’t. Building your slide deck before you build your presentation is like building a road before you know where it’s going.

Your slides are there to ADD to a well-designed speech, not to replace it.

2. Don’t try to replace you

People come to hear you. If you are launching your service on a webinar, they want to know how this solution has helped you and whether is it right for them. If you are delivering a keynote speech or workshop, they want a glimpse into your solutions that can help move them forward in their work or in life.

Fancy transitions, superfluous video clips, and endless bullet points will get your audience’s attention, but take their attention off of you. Every time you hit the clicker the audience leaves you and goes to the screen.

Your goal for every presentation is to deliver the goods, not the slides.

3. Use a consistent theme

We are easily distracted and confused. That’s why brands always anchor advertising on their unique colors, fonts, slogan, or a jingle. They know that consistency in their brand theme builds recognition and puts more attention on the message. You should do that with your slides.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Start with a simple, white background and san serif fonts.

A consistent, simple theme helps your audience focus on the content of each slide. Watch TED talks that have gone viral to see how simple a slide theme can be, like the ones by Dan Pink The puzzle of motivation (30M views), and Shawn Achor The happy secret to better work (25M views).

4. More images, less text

Want to quickly reenergize a tired slide deck? Make your images larger ( in this post I share where to get free images ) and reduce the text size. Remember, the theme in this post is that you are the presentation, not your slides.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text. When you use images (and less text) you allow your audience to process the image without distracting them away from your powerful story, or making a critical point. Like subtle mood music in the background of a dramatic movie scene, images can augment and enhance what you are saying without stealing the show.

5. One story per slide

When I started using PowerPoint I would have 60 to 80 slides for a 60-minute speech. It was a lot of work to prepare each deck and when I was deep into the speech I would sometimes forget where I was and have to jump forward a couple of slides.

Then it became 30-35 slides and I could breathe easier, knowing that fewer clicks meant less to worry about. As my confidence grew it became 10-12 slides and each slide became a key part of storytelling or point-making—they had to earn their place.

I might use a slide as a backdrop to a story or for a short list that supports a lesson I’m delivering. Either way, it’s always on ‘story’ per slide. If I don’t need a slide, I fade to black (#9).

But, I always stick to one story per slide.

6. Reveal one bullet at a time

This is an easy one – reveal one bullet at a time. The function of bullets is to reinforce (not replace) what you are delivering. That’s why they need to be short (see the 2/4/8 rule, below). A good bullet point is complete on it’s own, but much better when combined with a live presentation of it. Here’s an example from a list of (very wordy) time management strategies:

  • Infrequent visits to your Inbox give you more time for deep work
  • time blocking allows you to protect time for important work
  • the Pomodoro technique can help you focus with fewer distractions

A better list – like one you might use on a PowerPoint slide – would be:

  • visit your Inbox less often
  • block time for important work
  • the Pomodoro technique helps you focus

To reveal one bullet at a time in PowerPoint, right-click on your text box, select Custom Animation > Add Entrance Effect and then choose the effect you want. In Keynote, click Animate > Build in and choose the effect you want.

7. Leave the fireworks to Disney

It’s great that you know how to turn text into flames and make images spin with the click of your mouse – but leave those fireworks to Disney. Your job is to make your content the star of the show. Every time you haul the audience’s attention away to some animation you lose a truckload of opportunity to help them.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Your slides can still be amazing and helpful, but that should always be secondary to your primary purpose of helping people. Simple transitions, clean, san serif fonts, and large, attractive graphics trump PowerPoint tricks, every time.

8. The 2/4/8 rule

When I am advising other speakers I often don’t know their topic—certainly not as well as they do. So I rely on certain rules I have developed over many years. For slide decks, I use my 2/4/8 rule. Here’s how it goes…

  • about every 2 minutes I have a new slide (that’s 30 slides for a 60-minute speech),
  • no more than 4 bullets per slide, and
  • no more than 8 words per bullet.

Just like any recipe, you can mess with the ingredient a bit. If your content is more technical, you might need more slides. Sometimes I need 5 or 6 bullets. I use the 2/4/8 rule to remind me that slides are there to support what I have to say, not replace me.

9. Fade to black

The last time I was shopping for a car, I noticed the salesperson had a clever technique. While he asked how I liked the car and if I had any questions, he kept his sales offer face-down on the table. Because there were no other distractions, he had my full attention. And when it was time to reveal his offer, it was much more dramatic (so was the price!) Use the same technique with your slides.

When you fade to black you regain your audience’s attention. For example, after I present a solution, I’ll fade to black while I expound on how to apply that solution in my audience’s work/life. When I’m finished, I turn black off and go to the next point. Or if I’m halfway through a story I’ll fade to back before the punchline so I know I have everyone’s attention.

It’s no different than a close-up scene in a movie—the director wants you to focus only on the speaker. Note that if you are shopping for a slide remote, be sure that yours has the black screen feature.

10. When in doubt, delete

This might be the most advice I can leave you with. When in doubt, delete it.

There is a weird attraction to more. Authors add more pages thinking it makes the book more valuable. Sales people who talk too much miss the opportunity to ask for the sale. And presenters add more slides thinking it will make them look better. Wrong.

When you are doing the final edits on your slide deck, the ultimate question you should be asking about each slide is, “Will it make my speech better?” If not, dump it.

Remember, nobody will miss what isn’t there. Also fewer slides allows you more time for side stories, spontaneous thoughts or even time for Q&A.

Remember this…

I’ve said it numerous times in this post, but it’s worth repeating. You are the show, not your slides. More slides means more time your audience is not paying attention to you. Fewer (and better) slides means you have more time to build rapport, share memorable stories, explain your solutions and motivate your audience to action. You are there for a reason. Now go and deliver.

One last thing. Spend the $80 and pack a remote (with spare batteries.) Nothing’s worse than watching a speaker repeatedly lean over, hunt for the right key, and then peck away to advance the slides.

If you enjoyed this article, here is more about presentation skills:

How the experts create world-class PowerPoint Slides (and you can too) PowerPoint Primer – the only 3 slides you’ll ever need How to add video to PowerPoint and Keynote like a pro

Slide by  Nathan Anderson  on  Unsplash

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

Quick Links

Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

For example, most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize.

You can also guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement also matters. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you. Use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered. Either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts. Just keep legibility top of mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

  • A change in color

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell. Think about the colors and composition in an image and the distinct mood they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in a boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it.

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later? You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos , colorful markets , and so on.

Aerial view of a cargo ship

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag-and-drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu.

Screenshot of how to compress a picture

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low-quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI), and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of compression options for your image

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections, Color, Effects, Animation, and a lot more. This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of picture format options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of how to crop an image

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of how to change the shape of an image

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips From Pro Presenters [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: April 26, 2024

PowerPoint presentations can be professional, attractive, and really help your audience remember your message.

powerpoint tricks

If you don’t have much experience, that’s okay — I’m going to arm you with PowerPoint design tips from pro presenters, the steps you need to build an engaging deck, and templates to help you nail great slide design.

→ Free Download: 10 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

Download Now

Buckle up for a variety of step-by-step explanations as well as tips and tricks to help you start mastering this program. There are additional resources woven in, and you’ll find expert perspectives from other HubSpotters along the way.

Table of Contents

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

Powerpoint presentation tips.

Microsoft PowerPoint is like a test of basic professional skills, and each PowerPoint is basically a presentation made of multiple slides.

Successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and being consistent with your style.

Keep those in mind as we jump into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

A page with templates will usually open automatically, but if not, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New . If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open and then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

  • Creative templates.
  • Data-driven templates.
  • Professional templates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Creating PowerPoint Slides

3. insert a slide..

Insert a new slide by clicking on the Home tab and then the New Slide button. Consider what content you want to put on the slide, including heading, text, and imagery.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  • Finally, PowerPoint Live is a new tool that enables you to do more seamless presentations during video calls and may be a better overall match for doing presentations remotely. Check out this video:

11. Try Using GIFs.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

12 Free Customizable Resume Templates

Fill out this form to access your free professionally-designed templates, available on:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Google Slides

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

If you use PowerPoint for Mac it gets a bit complicated, but it can be done:

  • Always bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder.
  • If the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format.
  • Consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. The easiest fix? Just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

The next easiest fix is to upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option — just make sure there is a good internet connection and a browser available where you plan to present.

Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account (preferably your own).
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload.
  • Click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation.

PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of.

Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the “A” key will bring it back if you need it.

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

Now that you have these style, design, and presentation tips under your belt, you should feel confident to create your PowerPoint presentation.

But if you can explore other resources to make sure your content hits the mark. After all, you need a strong presentation to land your point and make an impression.

With several templates to choose from — both in PowerPoint and available for free download — you can swiftly be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audiences.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Blog > Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

08.14.21   •  #powerpoint #tips.

If you know how to do it, it's actually not that difficult to create and give a good presentation.

That's why we have some examples of good PowerPoint presentations for you and tips that are going to make your next presentation a complete success.

1. Speak freely

One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes. The goal is to connect with your audience and get them excited about your topic. If you speak freely, this is much easier than if you just read your text out. You want your audience to feel engaged in your talk. Involve them and tell your text in a vivid way.

2. Familiarize yourself with the technology

In order to be able to speak freely, it is important to prepare the text well and to engage with the topic in detail.

However, it is at least as important to familiarize yourself with the location’s technology before your presentation and to start your PowerPoint there as well. It is annoying if technical problems suddenly occur during your presentation, as this interrupts your flow of speech and distracts the audience from the topic. Avoid this by checking everything before you start your talk and eliminate any technical problems so that you can give your presentation undisturbed.

  • Don't forget the charging cable for your laptop
  • Find out beforehand how you can connect your laptop to the beamer. Find out which connection the beamer has and which connection your laptop has. To be on the safe side, take an adapter with you.
  • Always have backups of your presentation. Save them on a USB stick and preferably also online in a cloud.
  • Take a second laptop and maybe even your own small projector for emergencies. Even if it's not the latest model and the quality is not that good: better bad quality than no presentation at all.

3. Get the attention of your audience

Especially in long presentations it is often difficult to keep the attention of your audience. It is important to make your presentation interesting and to actively involve the audience. Try to make your topic as exciting as possible and captivate your audience.

Our tip: Include interactive polls or quizzes in your presentation to involve your audience and increase their attention. With the help of SlideLizard, you can ask questions in PowerPoint and your audience can easily vote on their own smartphone. Plus, you can even get anonymous feedback at the end, so you know right away what you can improve next time.

Here we have also summarized further tips for you on how to increase audience engagement.

Polling tool from SlideLizard to hold your audience's attention

4. Hold eye contact

You want your audience to feel engaged in your presentation, so it is very important to hold eye contact. Avoid staring only at a part of the wall or at your paper. Speak to your audience, involve them in your presentation and make it more exciting.

But also make sure you don't always look at the same two or three people, but address everyone. If the audience is large, it is often difficult to include everyone, but still try to let your eyes wander a little between your listeners and look into every corner of the room.

5. Speaking coherently

In a good presentation it is important to avoid jumping from one topic to the next and back again shortly afterwards. Otherwise your audience will not be able to follow you after a while and their thoughts will wander. To prevent this, it is important that your presentation has a good structure and that you work through one topic after the other.

Nervousness can cause even the best to mumble or talk too fast in order to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid this by taking short pauses to collect yourself, to breathe and to remind yourself to speak slowly.

6. Matching colors

An attractive design of your PowerPoint is also an important point for giving good presentations. Make sure that your slides are not too colorful. A PowerPoint in which all kinds of colors are combined with each other does not look professional, but rather suitable for a children's birthday party.

Think about a rough color palette in advance, which you can then use in your presentation. Colors such as orange or neon green do not look so good in your PowerPoint. Use colors specifically to emphasize important information.

To create good PowerPoint slides it is also essential to choose colors that help the text to read well. You should have as much contrast as possible between the font and the background. Black writing on a white background is always easy to read, while yellow writing on a white background is probably hard to read.

Using colours correctly in PowerPoint to create good presentations

7. Slide design should not be too minimalistic

Even though it is often said that "less is more", you should not be too minimalistic in the design of your presentation. A presentation where your slides are blank and only black text on a white background is likely to go down just as badly as if you use too many colors.

Empty presentations are boring and don't really help to capture the attention of your audience. It also looks like you are too lazy to care about the design of your presentation and that you have not put any effort into the preparation. Your PowerPoint doesn't have to be overflowing with colors, animations and images to make it look interesting. Make it simple, but also professional.

avoid too minimalistic design for good presentation slides

8. Write only key points on the slides

If you want to create a good presentation, it is important to remember that your slides should never be overcrowded. Write only the most important key points on your slides and never entire sentences. Your audience should not be able to read the exact text you are speaking in your PowerPoint. This is rather annoying and leads to being bored quickly. Summarize the most important things that your audience should remember and write them down in short bullet points on your presentation. Then go into the key points in more detail in your speech and explain more about them.

Avoid too much text on your presentation slides

9. Do not overdo it with animations

Do never use too many animations. It looks messy, confusing and definitely not professional if every text and image is displayed with a different animation. Just leave out animations at all or if you really want to use them then use them only very rarely when you want to draw attention to something specific. Make sure that if you use animations, they are consistent. If you use transitions between the individual slides, these should also always be kept consistent and simple.

10. Use images

Pictures and graphics in presentations are always a good idea to illustrate something and to add some variety. They help keep your audience's attention and make it easier to remember important information. But don't overdo it with them. Too many pictures can distract from your presentation and look messy. Make sure the graphics also fit the content and, if you have used several images on one slide, ask yourself if you really need all of them.

example of good PowerPoint slide with image

11. Choose a suitable font

Never combine too many fonts so that your presentation does not look messy. Use at most two: one for headings and one for text. When choosing fonts, you should also make sure that they are still legible at long distances. Script, italic and decorative fonts are very slow to read, which is why they should be avoided in presentations.

It is not so easy to choose the right font. Therefore, we have summarized for you how to find the best font for your PowerPoint presentation.

How you should not use fonts in PowerPoint

12. Do not use images as background

In a good presentation it is important to be able to read the text on the slides easily and quickly. Therefore, do not use images as slide backgrounds if there is also text on them. The picture only distracts from the text and it is difficult to read it because there is not much contrast with the background. It is also harder to see the image because the text in the foreground is distracting. The whole thing looks messy and distracting rather than informative and clear.

Do not use images as a background in good PowerPoint slides

13. Never read out the text from your slides

Never just read the exact text from your slides. Your audience can read for themselves, so they will only get bored and in the worst case it will lead to "Death by PowerPoint". You may also give them the feeling that you think they are not able to read for themselves. In addition, you should avoid whole sentences on your slides anyway. List key points that your audience can read along. Then go into more detail and explain more about them.

14. Don't turn your back

Never turn around during your presentation to look at your projected PowerPoint. Not to read from your slides, but also not to make sure the next slide is already displayed. It looks unprofessional and only distracts your audience.

In PowerPoint's Speaker View, you can always see which slide is currently being displayed and which one is coming next. Use this to make sure the order fits. You can even take notes in PowerPoint, which are then displayed during your presentation. You can read all about notes in PowerPoint here.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

15. Do not forget about the time

In a good presentation, it is important to always be aware of the given time and to stick to it. It is annoying when your presentation takes much longer than actually planned and your audience is just waiting for you to stop talking or you are not able to finish your presentation at all. It is just as awkward if your presentation is too short. You have already told everything about your topic, but you should actually talk for at least another ten minutes.

Practice your presentation often enough at home. Talk through your text and time yourself as you go. Then adjust the length so that you can keep to the time given on the day of your presentation.

timer yourself to know how long your presentation takes

16. Avoid a complicated structure

The structure of a good presentation should not be complicated. Your audience should be able to follow you easily and remember the essential information by the end. When you have finished a part, briefly summarize and repeat the main points before moving on to the next topic. Mention important information more than once to make sure it really gets across to your audience.

However, if the whole thing gets too complicated, it can be easy for your audience to disengage after a while and not take away much new information from your presentation.

17. Choose appropriate clothes

On the day of your presentation, be sure to choose appropriate clothing. Your appearance should be formal, so avoid casual clothes and stick to professional dress codes. When choosing your clothes, also make sure that they are rather unobtrusive. Your audience should focus on your presentation, not on your appearance.

Choose appropriate clothing

18. Adapt your presentation to your audience

Think about who your audience is and adapt your presentation to them. Find out how much they already know about the topic, what they want to learn about it and why they are here in the first place. If you only talk about things your audience already knows, they will get bored pretty soon, but if you throw around a lot of technical terms when your audience has hardly dealt with the topic at all, they will also have a hard time following you. So to give a successful and good presentation, it is important to adapt it to your audience.

You can also ask a few questions at the beginning of your presentation to learn more about your audience and then adapt your presentation. With SlideLizard , you can integrate polls directly into your PowerPoint and participants can then easily answer anonymously from their smartphone.

19. Mention only the most important information

Keep it short and limit yourself to the essentials. The more facts and information you present to your audience, the less they will remember.

Also be sure to leave out information that does not fit the topic or is not relevant. You will only distract from the actual topic and lose the attention of your audience. The time your audience can concentrate and listen with attention is rather short anyway, so don't waste it by telling unimportant information.

20. Talk about your topic in an exciting way

Tell compelling and exciting stories to make your presentation really good. If you speak in a monotone voice all the time, you are likely to lose the attention of your audience. Make your narration lively and exciting. Also, be careful not to speak too quietly, but not too loudly either. People should be able to understand you well throughout the whole room. Even if it is not easy for many people, try to deliver your speech with confidence. If you are enthusiastic about the topic yourself, it is much easier to get your audience excited about it.

microphone for presentations

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About the author.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Helena Reitinger

Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

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10 Cool PowerPoint Tips and Tricks You (Probably) Didn’t Know About

PowerPoint is a versatile tool capable of many amazing tasks. It has lots of great features but unfortunately, most users aren’t even utilizing half of the software’s capabilities.

Today, we’re going to change that. In this guide, we share some of the best PowerPoint tips and tricks for doing cool things with the presentation maker.

You’ll learn cool tricks like inserting QR codes in PowerPoint slides, converting presentations to videos, removing the background of images, and much more.

These PowerPoint tips will not only allow you to design presentations more easily but they will also help impress your audience. Let’s dive in.

2 Million+ PowerPoint Templates, Themes, Graphics + More

Download thousands of PowerPoint templates, and many other design elements, with a monthly Envato Elements membership. It starts at $16 per month, and gives you unlimited access to a growing library of over 2,000,000 presentation templates, fonts, photos, graphics, and more.

BeMind Minimal Template

BeMind Minimal Template

Ciri Template

Ciri Template

Pitch Deck Templates

Pitch Deck Templates

Startup pitch deck.

Pitch PowerPoint

Pitch PowerPoint

Blendu

Maximus Template

Explore PowerPoint Templates

Third-Party PowerPoint Templates

powerpoint templates

We wanted to start the list with a bit of an obvious but important tip: Use third-party PowerPoint templates!

Microsoft PowerPoint comes with a set of default templates pre-packaged with the software. These free templates are pretty good but they have been used by everyone, over and over again, to the point that anyone could immediately recognize which template you’re using by looking at the slide design.

The worst part is that it will allow your audience to tell how little effort you’ve put into designing the presentation.

What most users don’t realize is that you can download templates from third-party marketplaces and use them to create unique presentations. These templates are made by professional designers and they will immediately make your slideshows look ten times better.

You can check out our best PowerPoint template collection for some inspiration.

Use ChatGPT to Write the Slides

ChatGPT is an AI tool that revolutionized the way we work and made our everyday tasks so much easier and simpler. Now, you can use it to write the slides of your presentations. Here’s how it works:

First, go to the ChatGPT website and start a new chat. Create an account if you don’t have one already. It’s free!

powerpoint chatgpt

Now ask ChatGPT to write the slides of your presentation. Give it as many details as you can. Specify the topic, how many slides your presentation has, ask it to include quotes and statistics, break down information into bullet points, etc.

Once it generates the copy, you can simply copy and paste the text directly into your slideshow. Make any adjustments as necessary.

powerpoint ai generate images

You can take this a step further and use AI art generators to create unique illustrations, icons, and infographics for your presentation. Midjourney and DALL-E are some of the top tools you can use for this task. Just be mindful of their copyright policies if you plan on using the images for commercial projects.

This tip is not exclusive to PowerPoint. But if designing presentations is part of your job, it will make your life so much easier. Don’t be afraid of the AI tools, learn to take advantage of them.

Experiment With Color Schemes

powerpoint colors duotone

Colors play a key role in every presentation. It helps set the mood and tone of your slideshow and has a huge impact on the success of your presentation.

As you know, there are psychological effects behind the colors you use. With the right colors, you can evoke emotions in your audience to make each slide in your presentation more impactful.

powerpoint color schemes

Experiment with different color schemes for your presentation designs. You can use a tool like Color Hunt to find beautiful color palettes for your slideshows. But always keep in mind to pick colors that are appropriate for your topic, audience, and your brand.

Contrast Is Key

contrast is key

Speaking of colors, you can also use them to create a strong contrast between the content and the background. For example, using a dark color for typography on a light background will highlight the text much more effectively. Or you can use colored shapes to bring attention to specific parts of a slide.

The same can be said about fonts. Using unique fonts will go a long way to help create contrast in your presentation. Check out our guide on choosing fonts for PowerPoint to learn more.

Take Advantage of Add-Ins

powerpoint add-ins

PowerPoint has a built-in store full of add-ons (or add-ins as it’s called in the software). And it’s one of the most underused features of PowerPoint.

This store is filled with amazing third-party tools that can supercharge your work and slideshows. There are hundreds of tools in this store you can install and use for free.

Explore the PowerPoint Add-Ins store and see what you can find. One of our favorites is the tool for adding QR codes to slides directly from the slide editor. We’ll explain it more in the next tip.

Add QR Codes In Slides

Using QR codes in PowerPoint presentations has two great benefits. One, it will make things much easier for you to share links, apps, and resources with your entire audience. Two, it will encourage the audience to engage and interact with your presentation.

Normally, you have to use online tools or apps to generate QR codes. But you can use a PowerPoint add-in to create QR codes directly from the slide editor.

powerpoint qr code

Simply go to Insert > Get Add-ins and search for the Personalized QR Code Generator.

powerpoint qr code 2

After installing the QR code tool, you can instantly generate QR codes and embed them into your slides to share links. The free version of this plugin will leave a small watermark in the QR code but it’s barely visible. Using QR codes is much cooler and more effective than sharing links as plain text.

Design Cool Image & Text Masks

image masks

Image masking is a popular effect used in graphic design for making photos and images appear more creative. With image masks, you can give unique shapes to images rather than boring and old square shapes. You can use it to make your slides look more interesting.

text mask

We found a simple YouTube tutorial that shows you how to design liquid image masks in PowerPoint.

You can also use text masks to create cool typography effects in PowerPoint. And yes, there’s a YouTube tutorial for that too. Try using these effects in your next presentation.

Instantly Remove Image Backgrounds

Have you been using Photoshop to remove the backgrounds of images? Well, now you don’t have to. Because PowerPoint has a tool that lets you get rid of image backgrounds with just a few clicks. Here’s how it works.

powerpoint background remove

Select an image in your slideshow and go to the Picture Format tab then select the Remove Background option on the top-left side.

powerpoint background remove 2

This tool will automatically make a selection of the background. If it clips into areas of the main object, use the Mark Areas tool to fix the selection. Then click the Keep All Changes button to finish.

powerpoint background remove 3

Now you have a PNG-style JPG image without a background.

Design Posters & Flyers

powerpoint poster

PowerPoint can be used to create many cool things than just presentations. You can use it for simple graphic designs, such as posters and flyers.

You can use pre-made PowerPoint poster templates to easily make posters or flyers in vertical layout using the app. We also have a step-by-step guide on how to make posters in PowerPoint . Check them out to learn more.

This can be a huge money-saver when you have to design a quick poster for a project and don’t have access to software like Photoshop.

Export to Video & PDF

If you want to share your presentation with a wide audience, one of the best ways to do that is to convert your presentation into video format. That way, your audience will be able to watch your presentation even if they don’t have access to Microsoft PowerPoint software.

powerpoint export to video

PowerPoint has a built-in function to help you with that process. Go to the File menu and select Export. From there you can choose the Create a Video option to convert your entire presentation into a video.

It’s perfect for creating video content for YouTube, online courses, and schools too. You can also export your presentation in PDF format or even turn it into a Word document.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the cool PowerPoint tips and tricks we’ve found to be quite interesting. It’s surprising how much you can do with an app like PowerPoint. If you want to learn more cool PowerPoint tricks, be sure to check out our other guides.

Start with 7 tips for finding the perfect PowerPoint template . Also, read our 10 pro PPT tips guide. And our how to give a fun presentation guide has some useful tips too.

Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will review several presentation tips and tricks on how to become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

  • Display one bullet at a time

Avoid unnecessary animations

  • Only add content that supports your main points

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

  • Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

  • He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
  • He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
  • He found made the complex sound simple.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to build powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations and create effective presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to complement your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides below.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty-point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However, by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distraction from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Technology can also help us in creating a consistent presentation design just by picking a topic and selecting a sample template style. This is possible thanks to the SlideModel’s AI slideshow maker .

Each slide should try to represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over-explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience to each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid Giving Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side to your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, and arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely take in the information one way. So ask many of them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allow them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answers to the audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engagement.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font sizes, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practice of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

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Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas

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how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Try These 160 Insanely Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Your Next Presentation

Ausbert Generoso

Ausbert Generoso

Try These 160 Insanely Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Your Next Presentation

In the modern-day PowerPoint presenting, slide decks don’t just inform, but also entertain and spark joy. PowerPoint shouldn’t just be confined to the monotony of bullet points and charts, but rather offers a unique canvas where imagination can run wild!

We get it. The thought of sitting through another mundane PowerPoint presentation might make you want to run for the hills. But fear not, because we’re here to spark some fun PowerPoint ideas for your your next presentation. Whether you’re aiming to captivate colleagues during a virtual meeting, add a splash of excitement to your classroom, or simply stun your friends at your next PowerPoint game night , we’ve got you covered with ideas that blend education and entertainment seamlessly.

So, fasten your seatbelt (or loosen your tie 😉), as we embark on a complete list through categories that will transform your next PowerPoint presentation into a rollercoaster of excitement. Whatever theme you’re thinking of for your next presentation, these fun PowerPoint ideas are poised to leave your audience not just informed, but exhilarated.

Why Settle for the Ordinary? Elevate Your Presentations with Fun PowerPoint Ideas!

You might be wondering, why bother with all the extra effort to infuse fun into your PowerPoint presentations? After all, the usual routine of bullet points and graphs seems to get the job done, right? Well, allow us to unveil why taking the road less traveled and incorporating fun PowerPoint ideas can be the game-changer you never knew you needed.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

🤸🏻‍♀️  Unforgettable Engagement

Let’s face it – the human attention span isn’t exactly legendary. But when you introduce a touch of fun into your presentation, you’re not just holding attention, you’re capturing it in a delightful grip. Unconventional ideas, witty humor, and interactive elements transform passive listeners into active participants , making your message resonate and stick.

🧠  Enhanced Memorability

Ever noticed how the most memorable experiences are the ones that evoke emotion? The same principle applies to presentations. When you inject an element of fun, whether it’s a surprising twist, a clever visual, or an unexpected game , you create a mental anchor for your audience. Those who chuckle and engage are more likely to remember and recall the essence of your presentation long after it’s over.

🎨  Sparking Creativity

The world thrives on innovation, and that extends to the world of presentations too. Opting for fun PowerPoint ideas challenges you to think beyond the norm and come up with creative solutions . It encourages you to see your content from new angles, fostering a culture of innovation and resourcefulness that extends beyond the presentation room.

💬  Connection and Communication

Human beings connect through shared experiences and emotions. By introducing an element of fun, you’re forging a connection with your audience that goes beyond the screen. Laughter and engagement create a bond, facilitating better understanding and communication. In a professional setting, this can translate into improved team dynamics and a more open dialogue.

So, while the tried-and-true method might get you from point A to point B, why not embark on a journey that’s not only efficient but also exhilarating? Why settle for the ordinary when you can captivate, connect, and leave a mark with your fun PowerPoint ideas? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It’s time to break free from the mold and transform your presentations into extraordinary experiences that linger long after the last slide.

150+ Fun PowerPoint Ideas for All Presentation Types

Fun powerpoint ideas for social gatherings and events.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Friends

  • Emoji Charades:  Use emojis as clues for a game of charades with friends.
  • Virtual Costume Party:  Have participants dress up and share their costumes on slides.
  • Name That Tune:  Play a few seconds of a song and challenge attendees to guess the title.
  • Create Your Meme:  Provide images and have guests come up with humorous captions.
  • Bucket List Share:  Have everyone share one item from their bucket list with images and explanations.
  • Interactive Map Quest:  Share travel stories and ask attendees to guess the locations on a map.
  • Party Playlist Collaboration:  Let participants add their favorite songs to a shared playlist slide.
  • Personal Trivia:  Create a slide about yourself with facts for others to guess.
  • Two Truths and a Lie:  Participants share statements; others guess which one is false.
  • Virtual Escape Room:  Turn your slides into a virtual escape room with puzzles and clues.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for the Workplace

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for the Workplace

  • Emoji Icebreaker:  Start meetings with a slide displaying emojis representing moods.
  • Reverse Role Presentation:  Present as if you’re the audience and vice versa.
  • Meme Monday Updates:  Share weekly updates in meme format to keep things light.
  • Interactive Polls:  Add clickable options for participants to vote on decisions.
  • Choose Your Adventure:  Present a scenario with choices, letting the audience decide the outcome.
  • Team Trivia Challenge:  Test knowledge with team-based trivia using PowerPoint animations.
  • Inspirational Quote Showcase:  Share powerful quotes with visual design to motivate the team.
  • Visualize Goals:  Use animations to show progress towards team goals over time.
  • Role Play Skits:  Act out scenarios using images and text in a comic book-style layout.
  • Name the Colleague:  Share humorous hints to have attendees guess the colleague.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for the Classroom

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for the Classroom

  • Science Experiment Journey:  Present the process and results of a science experiment.
  • Historical Time Travel:  Create immersive history lessons with visuals and sound effects.
  • Math Riddle Challenge:  Share math riddles and reveal solutions with animations.
  • Language Learning Adventure:  Teach vocabulary and phrases in a foreign language interactively.
  • Literary Parodies:  Analyze literature through humorous parodies of famous stories.
  • Math Olympics:  Turn math problems into interactive challenges with medals for winners.
  • Interactive Periodic Table:  Explore chemical elements with interactive info and animations.
  • Geography Quiz:  Engage students with interactive maps and questions.
  • Scientific Pictionary:  Play a Pictionary-style game with scientific terms and concepts.
  • Art Appreciation Gallery:  Analyze famous artworks through an interactive virtual gallery.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Personal Projects & Hobbies

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Personal Projects and Hobbies

  • Hobby Exhibition:  Display your hobbies, from painting to photography, using slides.
  • Fitness Journey Timeline:  Document your fitness progress with images and data charts.
  • Digital Portfolio:  Showcase your work and skills through an interactive digital portfolio.
  • Travelogue:  Share your travel experiences with photos, anecdotes, and travel tips.
  • DIY Tutorial:  Teach a craft or DIY project through a series of animated slides.
  • Music Playlist Presentation:  Curate themed playlists and explain your song choices.
  • Language Learning Journey:  Document your progress in learning a new language.
  • Culinary Adventure:  Showcase international cuisines you’ve explored and cooked.
  • Writing Journey:  Share your writing process and excerpts from your creative pieces.
  • Art Evolution:  Display your artistic journey from early works to current creations.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Storytelling

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Storytelling

  • Virtual World Tour:  Craft a global adventure through storytelling and images.
  • Mystery Detective Story:  Unravel a mystery using clues and interactive elements.
  • Personal Evolution:  Share your life journey through milestones and anecdotes.
  • Time-Traveling Adventure:  Create an interactive story that spans different eras.
  • Fairy Tale Remix:  Reimagine classic fairy tales with a modern twist.
  • Unsolved Mysteries:  Present historical or fictional mysteries and let the audience speculate.
  • Myth vs. Fact:  Compare myths and facts through interactive scenarios.
  • Character Development Showcase:  Create profiles of fictional characters with images and backstories.
  • Epic Quest Narrative:  Craft an epic journey with challenges, choices, and consequences.
  • Alternate Endings:  Rewrite the endings of famous stories with your creative twist.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Challenges and Quizzes

Fun PowerPoint Quiz Ideas

  • Trivia Extravaganza:  Host a fun-filled trivia night with interactive questions and answers.
  • Visual Riddles:  Present visual riddles and reveal the solutions with animations.
  • Guess the Sound:  Play audio clips for attendees to guess the corresponding sounds.
  • Brain Teaser Quiz:  Challenge participants with puzzles that test logical thinking.
  • Quote Identification:  Display famous quotes and ask participants to identify the source.
  • Word Association Challenge:  Present words and have participants quickly associate related words.
  • Pop Culture Trivia:  Test knowledge of movies, music, and current events through a quiz.
  • Speed Typing Challenge:  Display words, and participants type them as fast as they can.
  • Guess the Logo:  Share partial images of logos for attendees to guess the brands.
  • Memory Game:  Reveal a series of images, then ask attendees to recall the order.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Data and Infographics

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Data

  • Data Storytelling:  Transform statistics and data into compelling visual narratives.
  • Illustrated Concepts:  Use custom illustrations to explain complex ideas and concepts.
  • Interactive Infographics:  Create clickable infographics with hidden details and insights.
  • Process Flow Comics:  Present processes as comic strips with characters navigating each step.
  • Comparative Timelines:  Compare historical events, progress, or trends side by side.
  • Interactive Charts and Graphs:  Make charts interactive for deeper exploration of data.
  • Explorable Maps:  Present geographical data with interactive maps and annotations.
  • Evolution of Technology:  Visualize the evolution of technology and its impact.
  • Visual Decision Trees:  Present decision-making processes as interactive branching scenarios.
  • Illustrated Quotes:  Combine famous quotes with custom illustrations that capture their essence.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Motivational Talks

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Motivational Talks

  • Personal Growth Journey:  Share your personal growth journey with motivational lessons.
  • Success Stories:  Present inspiring stories of individuals who overcame challenges.
  • Motivational Quotes Compilation:  Curate a collection of powerful quotes for inspiration.
  • Life Lessons Through Stories:  Convey life lessons using engaging narrative examples.
  • Overcoming Adversity:  Share stories of resilience and strategies to overcome challenges.
  • The Power of Positivity:  Explore the impact of positive thinking on personal and professional life.
  • Leadership Insights:  Present leadership principles with examples from renowned leaders.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Futuristic and Imaginative Presentations

Futuristic PowerPoint Ideas

  • Time Capsule:  Present predictions and visions of the future with a time capsule theme.
  • Virtual Reality Showcase:  Use VR-inspired visuals to immerse the audience in your content.
  • Space Exploration:  Explore the cosmos with interactive space-themed slides.
  • Inventions of Tomorrow:  Present imaginative ideas for future inventions and innovations.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Scenarios:  Craft a presentation depicting post-apocalyptic worlds and possibilities.
  • AI and Robotics:  Discuss the future of AI and robotics through speculative presentations.
  • Dystopian vs. Utopian:  Compare and contrast dystopian and utopian visions of the future.
  • Future of Education:  Visualize how education might evolve with technology and trends.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Entertainment and Pop Culture

Fun Pop Culture PowerPoint Ideas

  • Guess the Movie Scene:  Display screenshots and challenge your audience to guess the movie.
  • Pop Culture Charades:  Act out pop culture references, from movies to memes.
  • Fan Theories Discussion:  Present and analyze intriguing fan theories about popular shows or movies.
  • Celebrity Look-Alike Game:  Share images of ordinary people who resemble celebrities.
  • Music Lyrics Challenge:  Display song lyrics with missing words for attendees to complete.
  • TV Show Mashup:  Combine characters and scenes from different TV shows for humorous outcomes.
  • Pop Culture Trivia Tournament:  Host a tournament-style trivia challenge with various rounds.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Self-Care and Wellness

Fun Wellness PowerPoint Ideas

  • Mindful Moments:  Guide attendees through a short mindfulness exercise during your presentation.
  • Self-Care Bingo:  Create bingo cards with self-care activities for a wellness-themed meeting.
  • Healthy Habits Showcase:  Present effective wellness tips and habits for a balanced lifestyle.
  • Stress Relief Techniques:  Share interactive slides with stress-relief exercises and techniques.
  • Gratitude Journal:  Encourage participants to share moments of gratitude during the presentation.
  • Daily Affirmations:  Present daily affirmations to boost positivity and confidence.
  • Wellness Goal Tracker:  Create interactive slides to track personal wellness goals.
  • Mental Health Awareness:  Present insights and resources for maintaining mental well-being.

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Cultural Exploration and Diversity

Fun PowerPoint Ideas for Cultural Exploration

  • Global Cuisine Showcase:  Present unique dishes from various cultures with images and descriptions.
  • Folklore and Legends:  Share fascinating folktales and legends from different countries.
  • Cultural Attire Exhibition:  Display traditional clothing and explain their significance.
  • Language Showcase:  Teach fun phrases and greetings from different languages.
  • World Festivals Journey:  Explore diverse festivals and celebrations from different cultures.
  • Cultural Traditions Quiz:  Create interactive slides to test knowledge of cultural customs.

Want More? Download This Exclusive PowerPoint Ideas Book with 160 Fun PowerPoint Ideas! 👇

Best practices to maximize your fun powerpoint ideas.

Congratulations, you’re now armed with a treasure trove of fun PowerPoint ideas that are bound to leave your audience both entertained and enlightened. But before you dive headfirst into crafting your next presentation masterpiece, consider these tips to ensure your creative efforts shine:

  • Tailor your chosen fun PowerPoint idea to your audience’s preferences and expectations. What might resonate with friends at a game night could differ from what engages colleagues in a meeting.
  • While fun is essential, remember the purpose of your presentation. Make sure the chosen idea aligns with your message and doesn’t overshadow the content.
  • Familiarize yourself with the technical aspects of executing your chosen idea. Smooth transitions, animations, and interactions contribute to a polished presentation.
  • While creativity is key, don’t sacrifice clarity for novelty. Ensure your audience can follow your narrative and main points throughout.
  • Manage your time effectively. Ensure your fun elements don’t consume too much of the presentation, leaving room for your core content.
  • Maintain a consistent visual theme to tie together the fun elements and the main content. Harmonious design enhances the overall experience.
  • Before the big day, gather feedback from colleagues or friends. Their insights can help you refine your presentation and identify areas for improvement.
  • Embrace the fun you’ve planned. Confidence in your delivery will make your audience more receptive to the engaging elements you’ve integrated.
  • Sometimes, unexpected technical glitches or participant reactions can arise. Be prepared to adapt on the spot to keep the fun flowing.
  • If your fun idea involves interactive elements, make sure they work flawlessly. Test the technology and ensure everyone can participate seamlessly.

Remember, these tips aren’t meant to limit your creativity, rather, they’re tools to ensure your creative ideas are presented in the best possible light. By blending innovation, enthusiasm, and strategic planning, you’re set to deliver a presentation that’s both fun and impactful.

And there you have it – a whole bunch of exciting, innovative fun PowerPoint ideas ready to turn your next presentation into a showstopper! From parties to classrooms, meetings to personal projects, we’ve covered it all. Now, it’s your turn to run with these creative gems and make your slides come alive with laughter, engagement, and sheer enjoyment.

With over 150 ideas to choose from, you’re set to rock any occasion. So, don’t just settle for the usual slides – inject your unique style, tell stories, and keep everyone on their toes. Remember, it’s all about sparking connections, sparking ideas, and having a blast while you’re at it. Here’s to unleashing your inner presentation superstar – one fun idea at a time!

More Fun PowerPoint Ideas

Free PowerPoint Trivia Template for Different Difficulty Levels
How to Make a Jeopardy Game on PowerPoint (Playable Template)
Level Up Your Game: Free Family Feud PowerPoint Template and Step-by-Step Tutorial
Free Interactive PowerPoint Puzzle Template and Tutorial in 5 Simple Steps

About Ausbert Generoso

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Download the Campaign Against Social Injustice presentation for PowerPoint or Google Slides. Improve your campaign management with this template that will definitely make a difference. It will empower you to organize, execute, and track the effectiveness of your campaign. Enriched with innovative resources, it facilitates seamless communication, meticulous planning, and...

Baseball Equipment: Bats, Gloves and Balls presentation template

Baseball Equipment: Bats, Gloves and Balls

Download the Baseball Equipment: Bats, Gloves and Balls presentation for PowerPoint or Google Slides and start impressing your audience with a creative and original design. Slidesgo templates like this one here offer the possibility to convey a concept, idea or topic in a clear, concise and visual way, by using...

Theatrical Rehearsal presentation template

Theatrical Rehearsal

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Cool Doodles presentation template

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Cool Cinema Company Profile presentation template

Cool Cinema Company Profile

There's a lot of people who dream of having their own movie theater. If you have one, you can tell how it's like with this template, which draws a line between cool and creative. The backgrounds alternate between orange and blue, and there are some abstract shapes here and there....

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Cool Homework

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Musicians Representation Agency

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Super Neon Notebook

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Impostors Among Crewmates

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Cool Computer Interface Style Student Book presentation template

Cool Computer Interface Style Student Book

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White Night presentation template

White Night

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Trendy Style Social Media Strategy presentation template

Trendy Style Social Media Strategy

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Fun Pre-K Activities for April Fools' Day

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Cool Cream Background Pitch Deck

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Telecom Towers Theme presentation template

Telecom Towers Theme

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College Candy Aesthetics presentation template

College Candy Aesthetics

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9 Cool PowerPoint Slides You Can Make From Scratch

Yousef "yoyo" abu ghaidah.

  • March 13, 2018
  • One Comment

The idea of having the coolest PowerPoint slides in the office is getting trendier by the year, which I think is great. People are  finally acknowledging that SmartArt and bullet points just won’t do it anymore. It makes sense too; as the years go by, we witness more and more stunning presentations at our meetings, conferences and other events, and we continuously look for ways to incorporate the beautiful stuff we see into our work.

There’s still a problem, though: nobody knows how to design slides that are made to impress. 

Slide Cow: Creating Cool PowerPoint Slides Since Inception

A while ago, I started a video series called Design a Good Slide. The premise was simple. I asked day-to-day presenters to email me their dull, boring slides (no offense, everyone) so that I can base a tutorial on beautifying them. It’s sort of like your local home makeover TV show, except with PowerPoint.

There was only one caveat: I never sent the redesigned slide back to the original sender. I’m a believer that knowledge is meant to be shared and practiced, and that the only way to get people to understand something is to make them do it.

Although the first season of the series has ended, it still would be worth your while to watch how every-day slides that you’re used to can be transformed into something truly epic. I even made sure that these tutorials are straightforward. This means that anybody, even those that are new to PowerPoint, can recreate the results that they see.

So, without further ado, here are nine cool PowerPoint slides that you can make from scratch right now. If all you’re after is sneak peaks, then you can see the original slides on the left and Slide Cow’s redesigned slides on the right.

The Wedding Planner’s Social Media Slide

Jen wanted a way to illustrate the different likes and followers that her wedding planning company attains on various social media platforms. She went for a bullet-point format because of course she would. Everyone does it anyway, right?

I wanted something different, so I tried to create something that doesn’t only express her message, but her company’s too. Her slide went from boring to awesome in no time.

Learn how to make this dazzling social media slide by clicking here.

The Quote Slide (ft. Steve Jobs)

Sandeep was tasked with presenting Steve Job’s biography to his classmates. He wanted a fancy way to illustrate one of the late tech mogul’s quotes. The slide he sent me is pretty much what you’d expect: images of Steve Jobs left, right and center with a quote plastered in the middle.

I opted for something more minimal while upholding layers of emotion . I wanted the slide to speak to the audience, and I think I achieved that. You can too.

Learn how to feature a sleek quote on your slide by clicking here.

The Emoji Bar Chart Slide

John had a slide featuring a bar chart. He claims that it was “boring.” He asked for help to make his slide look more “creative” and fun.”

Fun’s my middle name.

I added life to his bar chart by throwing in a few icons and playing with a few shapes, all while staying consistent with John’s original theme. Sure, the thought of your bar charts growing eyes and arms is terrifying, but I made sure to make this tutorial as adorable as possible. Cool PowerPoint slide overall, don’t you think?

Learn how to bring life to your bar charts by clicking here.

The ‘Keys To Success’ Slide

Ben wanted to base his PowerPoint slide on the idea of success connecting to specific attributes. In layman’s terms, he needed his picture of a key to talk to the text, and vice versa.

I don’t like using generic images of things to highlight important messages, so I opted for making an infographic of a key instead. I didn’t do anything fancy, either. All I used were a few shapes and some built-in PowerPoint features. Result: a cool PowerPoint slide where everything talks to each other.

Learn how to design a key infographic (from scratch) by clicking here.

The Valuable Star Slide

Tiffany sought to express a list of points as being valuable. She went for the infamous bullet-point method because she had trouble finding the right way to design her slide.

I’ll admit, it took me a while to find the best way to express her message. I ended up going for a star infographic. I mean, stars are valuable … right?

Learn how to create a star infographic in PowerPoint by clicking here.

The Vertical Agenda Slide

Melanie designed an agenda slide that, at least in my eyes, was pretty damn good. She even themed it to Slide Cow’s brand colors! She was looking for a “wow-effect” to take her design skills to the next level, though.

This tutorial was one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever published. I didn’t want to drift too far away from the original concept. The only things I could think of was restructuing the content and adding a few icons. Sometimes simple approaches can lead to a cool PowerPoint slide, too!

Learn how to make an awesome agenda slide by clicking here.

The Happy and Creative Front Cover Slide

Stacy wanted a front cover that was simple and effective. She got the simple part right, but the effectiveness could have been worked on a little more.

I stayed true to Stacy’s message by adding a different picture and playing around with different fonts, shapes and colors until I hit the right note. The biggest challenge was making sure everything was working together, which I think I achieved.

Learn how to bring joy to your front cover slides by clicking here.

The Rotating Medical Heart Slide

This one was the toughest of them all.

Sanjay had a medically-themed PowerPoint slide that needed some serious rework. Since his topic is quite niche, it took me days to find something that would work for him. I almost gave up.

I finally opted to go for a heart being the centerpiece of the slide. To seal the deal, I designed a heartbeat in the heart itself, rotated it, and made his points come out from either side. The end result looks fantastic, and I think you can achieve something similar.

The Tinder PowerPoint Template

Oh boy, the story behind this tutorial is EPIC.

Niket Biswas was looking for a way to stand out from the hundreds of thousands of guys on Tinder. Yes, I’m referring to the dating app. Want to have a guess at what he did?

He turned his Tinder Profile into an epic PowerPoint pitch.

I reached out to Niket and asked if I could redesign his slides and feature him on a Slide Cow tutorial. He graciously agreed, and thus, the Tinder PowerPoint tinder template was born!

Learn how to use PowerPoint to get more matches on Tinder by clicking here.

Learned Enough? Now Get To Work

If you want to learn how to create cool PowerPoint slides, then you’re going to have to keep your head down and work your butt off. This sort of thing takes a lot of time because you have to find a way to balance your requirements with your sense of design, all while translating a message into something visually expressive. It took me years to get here, and I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be.

My advice would be to watch these tutorials, take note of the various principles, learn from them, and keep practicing. You’ll end up creating mouth-watering pieces in no time.

Yousef "Yoyo" Abu Ghaidah

A nice collection of before and after slides you have put up to illustrate how one can “really” improve a dead ppt set. Thanks a lot for the demo!!!

Got a project for us?

© Slide Cow. All rights reserved.

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How to make sensational slide transitions in PowerPoint

  • Written by: Kate McGrady
  • Categories: PowerPoint design

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Underwhelmed by the built-in slide transitions in PowerPoint? Or just completely baffled? PowerPoint has almost 50 transitions to choose from. A few of them are tasteful, like the classic Fade or a personal favorite— Push . But many of them are rather strange; the famous Origami folds your slide into a paper crane which turns out to be living and flies off screen, revealing the next slide and distracting your audience for the next few minutes as they ponder your poor transition choices instead of your stellar content.

Credit where it’s due, PowerPoint does subtle transitions well. But on the other end of the spectrum PowerPoint’s “exciting” transitions are downright cheesy and, for most use cases, distracting. PowerPoint lacks solid options in between. When you want to impress your audience, transitioning between an intro slide and a key slide, like a value proposition stating what you can offer a potential customer, adding a slick transition provides that extra polish and that illusive it-doesn’t-even-look-like-PowerPoint quality. We’re hoping slide transitions in PowerPoint get slicker in the future, but until that happens, we’re using this DIY method to add good-looking transitions in ourselves. Take a look at this smooth, colorful transition we built between an agenda slide and the first slide of the deck.

First, let’s set some ground rules. This DIY method to creating slide transitions in PowerPoint is easier to implement while you’re building out your slides. It’s still doable if you have a fully designed deck that you want to spruce up, but it’ll be easier if you add the transitions in while you’re building the slides first time round.

  • Once you’ve built your first slide, start by duplicating Right click the slide in the side panel > Duplicate
  • Click on the duplicated slide and group all objects together CTRL + A to select everything on the slide and CTRL + G to group it

This will be your bottom layer, and you’ll create the transition on top of it

  • On the second slide, draw several rectangles the width of the slide. Make them different heights for a distinct look.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  • Recolor the rectangles to colors from your template or brand guidelines and remove the default outline if there is one.
  • Next, let’s animate! The Fly in animation works well for this transition. Select each of the rectangles, apply the Fly in animation from the Animation tab, and under the Effect options , set to come in from the left.
  • If you haven’t opened your Animation pane yet, now’s a good time to! On the Animation tab, about halfway down the ribbon you’ll see a green icon labeled Animation pane . This will give you a more detailed timeline of when your animations are happening. In the Animation pane, hold down Shift and select all of the animations then Right Click > Effect Options.
  • In the pop-up box, slide the Smooth End slider all the way to the right and click OK . This will make the animations a little sleeker

edit animation window showing position of sliders.

  • Now you’re going to stagger the entrance of each rectangle. Above the Animation pane are a few options for timing animations. The box labelled Delay allows you to manually enter the time you want your animation to start. Select the first animation in your list and in the delay box type .1 Select the second animation in the list and type .2 , and so on and so forth with the rest of the animations. Click Play all to see your handiwork in action!

This process can be a bit time consuming, especially if you have lots of objects to animate. Our free PowerPoint add-in, BrightSlide , has a brilliant Waterfall Delay tool that allows you to add a cascading waterfall delay to all animations applied to selected objects. Simply select all your objects, add an animation, then select Waterfall Delay in the BrightSlide tab. Our handy add-in automatically staggers your animations for a smooth, professional look. Settings give you control over timings and which animations the effect applies to.

  • Select all of the rectangles and Copy then Paste them onto the same slide. Next, recolor all of the new rectangles to white (or if the color of your slide background if it is different). These rectangles will build on top of the colorful rectangles, creating a clean slate for the content on your next slide. Move the rectangles in line with the color rectangles below them.
  • Take a look at the Animation pane again. You’ll see that the animations were copied over as well. Now you just need to adjust the delay on them. Select the top white rectangle, and this time, start with a .5 second delay. Then a .6 second delay for the next rectangle, and so on. When you’re finished, your Animation pane should look like this:

Animation pane showing all animations for this transition

  • There’s your transition done! All that’s left is to build out the rest of your slide on top of the beautiful transition you just built.

If you change up the shapes, the same concept can be used to create many different slide transitions in PowerPoint.  What can you come up with?

There are some fantastic tutorials for creating slide transitions in PowerPoint on YouTube if you are eager for more. And if you want to learn more PowerPoint wizardry, check out our bank of PowerPoint design blog posts .

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Kate McGrady

Managing design consultant, related articles, how to make an infographic in powerpoint.

  • PowerPoint design / Visual communication
  • Comments: 2

The use of infographic is on the rise, however if you're not a graphic designer, or you don't have the budget for one, turning raw data into something visual can be a daunting task. This guide will show you that creating a beautifully visual infographic in PowerPoint is much easier than you think.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

A beginner’s guide to PowerPoint’s morph transition

  • PowerPoint design / PowerPoint animation / Presentation technology

For those of you with PowerPoint 2016 and an Office 365 subscription, you may have noticed that the latest update bestowed upon you a new transition—Morph. Though unassuming, this feature possesses great power. Let's take a look at what it can do.

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

Mastering high-impact conference presentations

Conference presentations are really hard to get right compared to day-to-day presentations. How do you tackle bigger stages, bigger rooms, bigger audiences and higher stakes?

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

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As we were novice and non-marketing professionals, everyone took the time to explain and teach while also doing, which came in handy to feel more comfortable with what we were creating. Marc Chaanine Jamaica Bearings

how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

IMAGES

  1. 60+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  2. 40+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  3. 30+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  4. 30+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  5. 30+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

  6. 40+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    how to make really cool powerpoint presentations

VIDEO

  1. Convenient PowerPoint that you can do in 20 seconds 😎#powerpoint #hack #design

  2. Cool and creative slides in PowerPoint!

  3. Creative SLIDES in PowerPoint in 28 seconds 😱 #powerpoint #tutorial

  4. How to Make a Beautiful Slide in PowerPoint

  5. How To Create Professional PowerPoint Presentation Slides Best PowerPoint Presentation EVER

  6. How to make cool PowerPoint presentation using push transition || full presentation 🤯💫🌐

COMMENTS

  1. 10 easy ways to make any PowerPoint presentation awesome

    To reveal one bullet at a time in PowerPoint, right-click on your text box, select Custom Animation > Add Entrance Effect and then choose the effect you want. In Keynote, click Animate > Build in and choose the effect you want. 7. Leave the fireworks to Disney.

  2. 25 PowerPoint Presentation Tips For Good PPT Slides in 2022

    Get your main point into the presentation as early as possible (this avoids any risk of audience fatigue or attention span waning), then substantiate your point with facts, figures etc and then reiterate your point at the end in a 'Summary'. 2. Practice Makes Perfect. Also, don't forget to practice your presentation.

  3. 7 PowerPoint Tips to Make Your Presentation Look Awesome!

    Microsoft PowerPoint doesn't have to be boring. In fact, with just a few changes, you can make your next PowerPoint presentation look like a work of art! In ...

  4. 8 Tips to Make the Best PowerPoint Presentations

    A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

  5. 9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

    Just keep legibility top of mind when you're making your pick. Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation. 6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger.

  6. Make Creative PowerPoint Presentations (With Unique Ideas + Video

    For this example case, we're going to imagine we're introducing a new app using a PowerPoint presentation. This is just one example of making a creative presentation to showcase a new product, but you can use your own content to get similar results. 1. Grab Your Audience's Attention.

  7. 17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips From Pro Presenters [+ Templates]

    1. Open PowerPoint and click 'New.'. A page with templates will usually open automatically, but if not, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you've already created a presentation, select Open and then double-click the icon to open the existing file. Image Source.

  8. 60 Effective PowerPoint Presentation Tips & Tricks (Giant List)

    Here's another one of our top PPT tips: tap into Envato Elements' unlimited stock photo library. People are more likely to take you seriously if your presentation is visually appealing. Users view attractive design as more usable. Similarly, they'll view a more attractive PowerPoint as more effective. 11.

  9. How to make good PowerPoint Presentation (2022)

    Mention only the most important information. Talk about your topic in an exciting way. 1. Speak freely. One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes.

  10. 60+ Best Cool PowerPoint Templates (With Awesome Design)

    Color FUN - Cool PowerPoint Template. This PowerPoint template comes with a colorful design filled with attractive designs, icons, vector shapes, infographics, and more. The template includes more than 50 unique slides. You can customize and resize everything in the template and change colors however you like.

  11. 13 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Create Engaging Presentations

    1. Start by writing out your talking points. The first thing you need to do, before even considering your presentation design, is to write out your talking points and outline your speech. Pay attention to popular and engaging presentation structures so you know the framework you want to follow throughout your talk.

  12. 30 Amazing Things You Can Do And Create In PowerPoint

    To do this, you'd need to use portrait orientation for your card. Go to Design > Slide Size > Custom Slide Size, then click on Orientation. The default option is Landscape, so you'll need to click on Portrait, like so: Make creative visual resumes. Here's another fun thing you can create in PowerPoint.

  13. 10 Cool PowerPoint Tips and Tricks You (Probably) Didn't Know About

    Give it as many details as you can. Specify the topic, how many slides your presentation has, ask it to include quotes and statistics, break down information into bullet points, etc. Once it generates the copy, you can simply copy and paste the text directly into your slideshow. Make any adjustments as necessary.

  14. 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging Presentations

    Avoid unnecessary animations. Only add content that supports your main points. Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter. Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation. Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging. Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness. Change the tone of your voice when presenting.

  15. 160 Insanely Fun PowerPoint Ideas For Your Next Presentation

    Fun PowerPoint Ideas for the Classroom. Science Experiment Journey: Present the process and results of a science experiment. Historical Time Travel: Create immersive history lessons with visuals and sound effects. Math Riddle Challenge: Share math riddles and reveal solutions with animations.

  16. 6 Tips for Creating Great PowerPoint Presentations Fast

    Saving as a PDF file ensures that the printed slides can be viewed as intended even on PCs and devices that may not have the fonts you used. 4. Keep Things Simple. "People don't need to go all out ...

  17. Free Cool Google Slide themes and PowerPoint templates

    Cool Presentation templates Make the most of these Cool slide designs for your presentations that will leave your audience amazed. Customize them directly in Google Slides or download them as PPT templates for use in Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote. ... Download the Trendy and Eye-Catching Newsletter presentation for PowerPoint or Google ...

  18. 9 Cool PowerPoint Slides You Can Make From Scratch

    The Quote Slide (ft. Steve Jobs) Sandeep was tasked with presenting Steve Job's biography to his classmates. He wanted a fancy way to illustrate one of the late tech mogul's quotes. The slide he sent me is pretty much what you'd expect: images of Steve Jobs left, right and center with a quote plastered in the middle.

  19. How to Create Great PowerPoint Presentations (With Top 2020 Examples)

    Now, right-click an image and choose Format Pictures. You'll see a new menu open. on the Fill settings, choose Picture or texture fill, then browse to your replacement profile image. Use File > Picture or texture fill with your image to update the slide with profile photos.

  20. How to Create Awesome PowerPoint Presentations With Cool PPT Designs

    2. The Device Mockup. Device mockup slides are perfect for awesome PowerPoint designs that bring the digital world to life. A device mockup brings the digital world to real life. All you need is a screenshot of your app in action. It's easy to drop into your slide design in an awesome PPT. Let's use slide 27.

  21. How To Create The Best PowerPoint Presentation Background

    How to add a background in PowerPoint - the right-click method. Method 2 - the Design tab option. To access this option, go to the Design tab on the ribbon. On the far right side, you will see the Format Background option. Clicking it will open the Format Background pane on the right side of your screen.

  22. How to make sensational slide transitions in PowerPoint

    Right click the slide in the side panel > Duplicate. Click on the duplicated slide and group all objects together. CTRL + A to select everything on the slide and CTRL + G to group it. This will be your bottom layer, and you'll create the transition on top of it. On the second slide, draw several rectangles the width of the slide.

  23. Cool Powerpoint Templates and Google Slides Themes

    These templates can also be used in Google Slides and Canva, giving you even more options to create stunning presentations. Whether you're presenting a project in school or giving a business pitch, these cool templates are sure to make a lasting impression. So don't settle for a dull presentation - add some style to your presentation with ...

  24. How to create amazing MS PowerPoint presentations

    Here are some other articles you may find of interest on the subject of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations: Use ChatGPT to create PowerPoint templates; Using Copilot AI to make amazing PowerPoint ...