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The availability of Powerpoint templates has grown exponentially over the years. Presentations themselves have become somewhat integrated in the routine of business and indeed creative projects, as meetings, conferences, interviews, roundups, and general events all involve the usage of presentations, and Powerpoint is often the choice of software that presenters use because of its concise flexibility, and clearly the large selection of templates.
It goes without saying that the quality of your presentation isn’t going to come down to the template that you’re using, rather — it’s all about the information you put inside of the slides, and the way that you express that information using your own words, that matters the most, but adding a creative and colorful touch to your slides won’t go unnoticed.
If you’re unsure about Powerpoint, or how to pick a template that’s going to work well for your needs, check out the following tips and advice on how to make the most of your time on stage.
Why so many people use PowerPoint for presentations?
Microsoft’s PowerPoint has been around for more than 25 years, making it the oldest still-standing product of its kind. Even today, the software is still being developed, and the community is bigger than it has been ever before, but those are not the only things that make Powerpoint a great choice.
Powerpoint users can amplify the appearance of their presentations through the use of visual media, such as audio and video. This means that you can go beyond static slides, and bring your presentation to life. Over the years, Powerpoint has evolved to include collaboration features, which means that you and your colleagues (or friends) can work on something together within the same interface. Presentation sharing features enable you to publish your presentations on the Web or video platforms like YouTube with a single click, making them accessible for those who missed your live event.
How to prepare for a presentation?
Two things make a great presentation: the contents of it, and your confidence. Sure, the design of your slides and things like that are going to come into play, but what people will remember the most is you as the presenter, and the message that you were conveying whilst on stage.
Even for mundane work meetings, it’s important to bring your best so that others can really adapt to and learn from what you are saying. Ask any presenter who has done stage talks a dozen times, and they will all tell you that preparation is what helps them keep the balance of not throwing themselves off during the actual presentation.
You can prepare by writing down your ideas, and general takeaways that you’d like for people to take home, on a piece of paper, or your computer, and really have a broader understanding of how your talk is going to unfold. If it’s a job meeting, no big deal — most people know you already, so there’s a level of emotional connection, but what if you’re presenting for a larger audience at a conference such as TED or TEDx? It takes guts to share your ideas and experience with a large crowd, whilst remaining calm and confident. Prepare, practice, and prepare again!
What is your ideal template going to be?
Slidemash might help you in this department! Having done presentations ourselves, and having seen the process of an idea turning into a slideshow, we know how important it is to pick a well designed Powerpoint template that’s right for you. Once you know what your talk is going to be about, start to look for templates in the same field and gradually start to notice the templates that you really like. There’s a golden rule here, never pick the first choice because you might regret it!
Create a roundup of templates that you feel are going to help you express your ideas, and thoughts most specifically, and from thereon go over their individual list of features and see if anything in particular stands out. It’s simple. Do see if the template that you are choosing has an easily accessible support line, since sometimes you may run into some problems, and getting an answer quickly can be crucial towards making your deadline!
Are presentation skills that essential?
Everyone has their own view on this, but surveys have shown that presentation skills are a crucial aspect of career success. The interesting thing here, is of course, confidence. Your boss coming over one day and telling you to prepare a presentation on a specific subject by the end of week, might give you the shakes and whatnot, especially if the last time you made a presentation of any kind was in high-school during history class.
It can also be seen as a valuable skill towards growing yourself as an independent person, even if you work for another company. When we take a look at some of the more populars events and conferences from Google, Apple, or Microsoft — it’s usually developers themselves who are giving presentations about their team efforts to better the company. If your company can trust you with sharing that level of information with masses of audience, you can rest assured that others will look up to you and your efforts will not go unnoticed.