Everyone knows PowerPoint presentations are a great, almost necessary, way to communicate information.
Whether it’s a quarterly update or a national TED Talk, we all need to create presentations at some point.
So how can you make the most of the presentations you create? How can you avoid making boring PowerPoint presentations?
Can you captivate your audience with PowerPoint slides, even with a boring topic?
Of course! Regardless of your topic, a well-designed, visual presentation is the secret to make your presentation interesting.
You don’t have to fill slides with endless information and text boxes. You don’t want to leave your audience feeling bored or falling asleep.
In fact, your message will become more powerful with less clutter on your slides — and more visuals. Researchers have found that poorly constructed PowerPoint decks can lead to “distraction, boredom, and impeded learning.” While a well-crafted one enhances audience engagement and information retention.
And a visual presentation doesn’t just help your audience stay focused, it will help you too!
91% of people feel that a well-designed slide deck would make them feel more confident when giving a presentation.
How to make a boring presentation interesting
In this post, we’ll give you our top tips to upgrade your PowerPoint slides in order to reach your audience and give a presentation they’ll actually remember.
Give your presentation some life with videos
Videos can have a big impact on your PowerPoint presentation. Not only are they useful in capturing the attention of the audience, but videos can help you pace your presentation.
Strategically, videos can help you emphasize points or provide a needed break. If you have a lot of text-heavy slides, it might be a good idea to add a short video. That will refocus your audience and lets you recover a bit of momentum.
You can use a variety of types of videos:
- Before-and-after footage to demonstrate project progress.
- Screencasts showing data results.
- Quick, informal tutorials on how to perform a task.
Adding a video is easy and there are several ways to include one. You can either upload it from your hard drive or embed a link to an online site.
To upload a video from your computer:
- Stop on the slide where you want the clip
- Click on the Insert tab at the top of the screen,
- Go down to Video and then click on Movie from File…
Harness the power of animated GIFs
Animated GIFs are not just for social media anymore. The business world is starting to get smart about how GIFs can be used to improve company communication.
If you need to demonstrate a process, show cause and effect, or depict a before-and-after comparison, GIFs can get the job done. There’s no need to press play with a GIF, so using one won’t slow your presentation down.
Another good use for animated GIFs in PowerPoint is for humor. Try to include an animated GIF as a bit of comic relief after a string of text-heavy slides. Everybody loves funny dogs, reactions, and movie clips.
Adding an animated GIF into your PowerPoint is as simple as:
- Save the GIF you want to use to your desktop and navigate to your desired slide.
- Choose pictures in the Insert tab of PowerPoint and select your file.
- Click Insert or Open and then run the Slideshow to get a preview of your GIF.
With Snagit, all you have to do is create the GIF in the program and share it directly to PowerPoint.
Use screenshots to emphasize your point
Screenshots are valuable tools that can be used to illustrate your point as you talk about it. This allows the audience to follow along with you and connect what they hear to what they see.
A screenshot is a picture of your computer screen. This captures whatever you have up on your screen and saves it as an image file. You can then edit and insert your screenshot into your presentation.
Start by opening the screenshot tool, then drag the box to your parameters and lock it in.
You may want to include a screenshot if you’re referring to data, like results of a survey or analytics. You can further enhance those screenshot by adding in arrows and customized callouts. Adding in elements that highlight interesting insights adds more weight to an important point.
Improve your presentation with screencasts
A cousin of the screenshot, the screencast is an even more powerful visual tool you can use to enhance your presentation.
Screencasts are best used if you need a video demonstration to show your audience or to serve as a reference to what you’re speaking about. They’re like screenshots in that you can capture what’s happening on your screen (including audio), but as a video recording, not just a static image.
An ideal use of screencasts is for reporting on project results. That way, you can walk audience members through a real-time display of data.
Start by using your screen recording feature, set to video recording capture. Then edit the footage as needed (like cutting for time) and insert into PowerPoint.
Use customized screenshots instead of stock images
As a general rule, the more unique you can make your visual elements, the better your presentation will be. Even though stock imagery may be appealing because of convenience, it may limit your presentations potential impact.
A recent study showed that imagery can affect a person’s mood without the person even being aware. This means that inserting more vivid pictures in a presentation will have a greater impact on the viewer.
Take matters into your own hands with Snagit, which allows you to customize screen captures and images to enhance your presentation.
For instance, you can use the blur tool to indirectly focus the audience’s attention on what you want them to see. Remove distraction from the equation by blurring personally identifiable information. You can also remove image backgrounds that might clash with your presentation.
Turn your slides into a memorable presentation with interesting visuals
While your presentation itself may be a one-time thing, you can record your presentation and use it as a reference for anyone who wants to view it. That’s why active visuals like animated GIFs, screencasts and other graphic elements enhance the lifetime value of your content.
One way to make it even better is to record an introduction for your presentation in which you can give context. That, combined visual elements, helps turn a boring slide deck into a memorable, interesting PowerPoint presentation.
Boost PowerPoint’s capabilities
PowerPoint presentations often get dinged for being boring, regardless of whether the substance is good or not. Avoid the pitfalls by creating custom slides that feature bold themes, unique imagery, and helpful video references.
Engaging the audience and creating an enjoyable experience for them is critical for any PowerPoint presentation. These tips can go a long way in reaching your goals.
You can also amplify the “power” of your PowerPoint with the right tools at your disposal.
Snagit is a helpful tool for crafting a high-quality PowerPoint presentation. With its screen capture and editing features, Snagit lets you easily take your PowerPoint decks to the next level.
Start making screenshots and screencasts for your presentations today with a free trial of Snagit by visiting www.techsmith.com/snagit