Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

PowerPoint and Presentations

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on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 in Skills Centre Blog

PowerPoint and Presentations:

PowerPoint and presentations goes hand in hand with one another. If you are giving a presentation in front of a large group then PowerPoint will be needed. Presentation is a process of presenting a certain topic to an audience. It is a typical demonstration or lecture meant to inform, persuade or build good will. One of the visual tools used for a presentation is Microsoft PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is a slide show presentation program developed by Microsoft. PowerPoint presentation consists of a number of pages or slides. The slides may contain text, graphics, sounds, movies and other objects.

PowerPoint is used as a visual aid for presentations. PowerPoint makes it easier to present and explain the topic to your audience. Make use of colorful images and text but do not over use some feature since it will distract the audience from the real message. Focus on the topic and make that your theme for your PowerPoint.

PowerPoint provides three types of movements:

1. Entrance, emphasis, and exit of elements on a slide itself are controlled by what PowerPoint calls Custom Animations.

2. Transitions, on the other hand, are movements between slides. These can be animated in a variety of ways.

3. Custom animation can be used to create small story boards by animating pictures to enter, exit or move.

PowerPoint Basics:

This will be the first slide*(see below) you see when you open PowerPoint.

Here (Click to add title) you will enter the title, meaning what your topic will be about.

And in subtitle (Click to add subtitle) you can give a short description of the topic.

To the right there is a Slide layout bar, where you can choose the type of layout that will be needed for your presentation.

To the left of the of the center blocks (Add title) you will see a preview of all the slides that you have done.

By pressing enter a new blank slide will appear

Make sure that the themes corresponds with your topic

*First Slide








MicroSoft Office PowerPoint help:


Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint:


1. Advantage—easy to create colorful, attractive designs using the standard templates and themes; easy to modify compared to other visual aids, such as charts, and easy to drag and drop slides to re-order presentation.

2. Advantage—easy to present and maintain eye contact with a large audience by simply advancing the slides with a keystroke, eliminating the need for handouts to follow the message. (Source:




1. Quick and Easy: the basic features are easy to master and can make you appear to be organized, even if you are not.

2. Simple bullet points: it can reduce complicated messages to simple bullet points. Bullet points are a good basis for the presentation and remind the speaker of main points and the organization of the message.

3. Easy to create a colorful, attractive design: using the standard templates and themes, even if you do not have much knowledge of basic graphic design principles.

4. Easy to modify: when compared to other visual aids such as charts, posters, or objects, it is easy to modify.

5. Easily re-order presentation: with a simple drag and drop or using key strokes, you can move slides to re-order the presentation.


Finally, PowerPoint is integrated with other products that allow you to include parts of documents, spread sheets, and graphics. (Source:



1. Disadvantage—speakers create slides so they have something to present rather than outlining, organizing, and focusing on their message.

2. Disadvantage—the linear nature of PowerPoint slides forces the presenter to reduce complex subjects to a set of bullet items which are too weak to support decision-making or show the complexity of an issue.

3. Disadvantage—basic equipment required to present. You will need to have a computer and projection equipment in place to display the slides to the audience. (Source:


If you are a beginner with PowerPoint, start off with Office PowerPoint 2007. If you are a bit more advance then Office PowerPoint 2010 will be ideal and if you are an expert then Office PowerPoint 2013 will be perfect for you.


Having a good PowerPoint is only a small portion of what is needed for a successful presentation. The presentation itself plays an important role. The way you talk, walk and present yourself is important. Having confidence to speak in front of people is imperative.

Here are some tips on improving your presentation skills:

1. Ever heard of the 10-20-30 rule by Guy Kawasaki. This rule is quite simple. The 10 is for 10 slides but you can use more. 20 is the time limit, you do not want your audience to lose focus or get bored. And the 30 is for the 30 point font or less. If you are a beginner then this rule will come in handy.

2. Be entertaining and informative. You do not need to dance around and go crazy. Make use of humor and show you passion and emotions.

3. Slow down. Some people tend to talk fast when they are nervous and inexperienced. Slow down, talk slowly, and take a pause now and then.

4. Make eye contact. If it is still too hard for you to make eye contact look above the audience heads. Focus on a point at the back.

5. Try and keep your summary as short as possible.

6. Try and keep your slides on for 20 seconds or longer but not too long or else the audience will be bored after some time.

7. Don’t read from the slides. The slides are there for the audience. If you start reading it will seem as though you do not understand your own message.

8. Project your voice. It is important to speak loud and clear.

9. Arrive early at the venue for your presentation. Best to get there early to set up your equipment and to do a run through before the event starts.

10. Practice. Always practice it will give your more confidence if you feel ready and prepared.

To conclude always speak and walk with confidence. Show your audience you believe in the message that you are trying to convey. Talk to the audience not with them. Capture their attention with the first word or sentence. Make your PowerPoint captivating, so that the audience attention stays with you. Make use of humor but don’t over use it. Keep thing professional at all time. At the end of the presentation interact with the audience, usually a Q&A is advisable. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your presentation and keep practicing because practice makes perfect.


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