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How to Avoid Death By PowerPoint (No More Boring Presentations)

The last thing that anyone wants is a boring presentation. There's a reason people use the phrase "death by PowerPoint." But you can avoid dull presentations.

This is a premium multipurpose PowerPoint template from Envato Elements.This is a premium multipurpose PowerPoint template from Envato Elements.This is a premium multipurpose PowerPoint template from Envato Elements.
This is a premium multipurpose PowerPoint template from Envato Elements.

Presentations are common whether they're for work or school. You want the audience to remember the information you’re presenting. There are tricks that you can do so that the audience does remember your presentation better. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you ten tips on how to make your presentation more interesting. I’ll also share some great deals on presentation templates that are professionally-designed and eye-catching. 

10 Tips on How to Make Your PowerPoint Presentation More Interesting

When giving a presentation, the last thing you want is to have a boring presentation. So, if you want to know how to make a boring presentation interesting, keep reading.

I’ll use the Deep Multipurpose template to show some points, but you can also download your own template and follow along.. 

Deep multipurpose template will be used in this article.Deep multipurpose template will be used in this article.Deep multipurpose template will be used in this article.
Deep Multipurpose Template is used in this article.

Now let's get to our tips on how to avoid death by PowerPoint:

1. Stick to One Message Per Slide

It is best to keep one message per slide. It is best to keep one message per slide. It is best to keep one message per slide.
It's best to keep to one message per slide.

When you’re presenting, it's best to have only one message on a slide. When your slide has more than one message, your audience loses focus on the presentation. When your audience loses focus, it’s because you've got a boring presentation.

The audience can only focus on one message at a time. Many people are tempted to use their slides as a teleprompter and read off their slides. Don’t do it.

So, if you’re wondering how to make a boring presentation interesting, write a simple one- or two-word main point that you want the audience to remember on each slide. You can also include one image that matches with your main point. 

2. Involve the Audience

One way to make a boring presentation interesting is to involve the audience. There are many ways to involve the audience:

  • ask questions
  • poll the audience by asking them to raise their hands
  • have a Q&A at the end of your presentation
  • and so on

If you’re giving your audience a quiz, you can give a prize at the end to make your presentation even more exciting for the audience. Involving the audience makes it more interesting and also more memorable for the audience. 

3. Beware of the Redundancy Effect

Narration of text on the slide is called the Redundancy Effect. Narration of text on the slide is called the Redundancy Effect. Narration of text on the slide is called the Redundancy Effect.
Narration of text on the slide is called the Redundancy Effect.

If you've got the same text on the slide as what you’re saying in your narration at the same time, your audience won’t learn. This is called the Redundancy Effect.

If your audience doesn’t remember what you said, your presentation was useless and will be remembered as a boring presentation.

To make your slide more interesting and memorable for your audience, put your important information in the PowerPoint slide notes. Just put a few words or an image on your actual slide. Then the audience will focus on your narration, which has the important information, and not on your slide. 

4. Don’t Print Your Presentation

When giving your presentation in a business meeting or lecture, it's tradition to print your presentation and pass your printed presentation out to the audience. If you need handouts, prepare a dedicated handout that's unique from your presentation.

Many people design their presentation as a handout. But with a dedicated handout design, you make the handout look different. This gives you the freedom to design your presentation how you need to.

Include important images, points, or data from your presentation on your dedicated handout.

5. Eyes Are Drawn to Big Objects and Moving Objects

Eyes are drawn to movement and big objects.Eyes are drawn to movement and big objects.Eyes are drawn to movement and big objects.
Eyes are drawn to movement and big objects.

Traditionally slide titles are the biggest text on the slide. This isn't good if you want to make a boring presentation interestingPeople’s eyes are drawn to the biggest sentence or image on a page.

People’s eyes are also drawn to moving objects. To draw attention to important subjects, make sure the important information is bigger than any other text on the slide, including the slide title.

If you need to present bullet points, add movement to your presentation. With each new bullet point, use animation to have the bullet point fly in or appear. Here are some steps to help you animate a bullet point in PowerPoint:

How to Animate a Bullet Point

How to animate a bullet point.How to animate a bullet point.How to animate a bullet point.
How to animate a bullet point.
  1. Highlight the text that you want to animate.
  2. Once your text is highlighted, click on the Animations tab. In the toolbar, you’ll see green stars. These green stars are the Entrance Effects menu.
  3. Choose the animation effect of your choice. You’ll know that you’ve added animation when a little number appears near the bullet point. 

6. Use Contrast in Your Slide Design

Use contrast to draw the audience eye to your point. Use contrast to draw the audience eye to your point. Use contrast to draw the audience eye to your point.
Use contrast to draw the audience eye to your point.

For a less boring presentation, use contrast. The contrast makes your presentation less boring, but it helps the audience to remember your main point.

For example, add contrast to your presentation by using a dark background. This means you'll need to use white text. Then the audience will focus on the person giving the presentation and not on the bright white PowerPoint presentation.

People’s eyes typically focus on the brightest object in the room.  So, if your presentation background is bright white, people will focus on the presentation background and not on you.

Also, if you’re talking through bullet points use contrast. And make the point that you're currently discussing brighter than the points you’re not discussing. Here are some steps to help you de-emphasize bullet points after you discuss them:

How to Grey Out Previous Bullet Points

How to grey out previous bullet points.How to grey out previous bullet points.How to grey out previous bullet points.
How to grey out previous bullet points.
  1. Highlight the text that you want to grey out.
  2. Next, click on the Animations tab.
  3. Click on the Fade option in the Entrance Effects menu.
  4. Next, click on the number next to your bullet point. This brings up a side panel.
  5. Click on the animation that you want to edit in the play animation menu.
  6. Next, select the color that you want the text to fade to in the After Animation field. It's best to use a slightly brighter color than the background of your slide so that your text looks faded. 

7. Declutter Your Slide Design

This idea is similar to limiting the objects on your slide. But this time we're talking about design elements.

Some people may think I don’t want to have a boring presentation, so I'll put a bunch of design elements on the slide. That's how not to create an effective PowerPoint.

You can have design elements on your slide, but it's best to keep it simple. You don’t want the design elements of your slide to overshadow your text.

When you've got too many design elements on your slide, people’s brains become overwhelmed and shut off. 

8. Know How Many Design Elements to Use

There should be no more than six objects on a slide.There should be no more than six objects on a slide.There should be no more than six objects on a slide.
There should be no more than six objects on a slide.

When creating your presentation and thinking about how to make a boring presentation interesting consider how many objects and words you've got on your slide. It's best to limit your objects to six.

When there are more objects and words, people stop paying attention. If you must present a bulleted list with more than six points, reveal one bullet point at a time and grey out the previous bullet point. By revealing the bullet points separately and greying out the previous points, the audience’s main focus is on the point you’re discussing. 

9. Use the Fade to Black Feature 

Fade the screen to black while you're speaking.Fade the screen to black while you're speaking.Fade the screen to black while you're speaking.
Fade the screen to black while you're speaking.

If you want to say something important you need the audience to focus on what you’re saying. To make your boring presentation interesting, fade your presentation screen to black while you discuss an important topic.

The fade forces the audience to pay attention to what you’re saying instead of reading the screen. Here's how to use the Fade to Black effect in PowerPoint:

How to Make Your Screen Fade to Black

How to fade your screen to black.How to fade your screen to black.How to fade your screen to black.
How to fade your screen to black.
  1. To make your slide fade to black, click on the Transitions tab.
  2. Next, in the Transition Styles menu, click on the Fade option.
  3. To have the slide fade to black and not just fade, click on the Effect Options button. When you click on this button, a menu drops down. 
  4. Click on the Through Black option on the menu.
  5. Next, click on the Duration field and create a custom duration. 

10. Make Sure Your Audience Can See Your Presentation

The best way to have a boring presentation is to present a presentation that an audience member can’t see. So, you want your presentation to be visible to everyone in the room. The farthest person in the room should be able to read your slide.

Make sure that every audience member in the room can see your presentation by testing with a friend. Have your friend stand where the farthest audience member would be and see if they can read the slides. 

To learn more about how to avoid death by PowerPoint, there's a TEDxTalk given by David JP Phillips on the subject. For even more information on how to avoid boring PowerPoints, study this helpful article on Tuts+:

Where to Find Interesting Presentation Templates

Envato Elements is a subscription service where you get unlimited downloads of digital assets for a low monthly price. The digital assets you get include:

Unlimited DownloadsUnlimited DownloadsUnlimited Downloads

 All the digital assets are high-quality. Professionals design the presentation templates to look stylish and high-quality. 

PowerPoint FilesPowerPoint FilesPowerPoint Files

Professionals design each Envato Elements template to look stylish and impressive. Premium templates save you time because you start with a professional presentation. Then, all you need to do is add information and make any customizations that you want. 

But if you only want to buy a single presentation template, we've got you covered. You can buy professionally-designed Envato Market presentation templates one at a time on GraphicRiver.

Avoid Death by PowerPoint in Your Next Presentation

It's easy to create a presentation and not think about what the audience wants. But when that happens, you’re creating a boring PowerPoint presentation.

Instead, you want your presentation to be memorable and interesting. You've just learned ten tips on how to avoid death by PowerPoint.

Another thing that helps you create a more memorable presentation is to start by downloading a premium PowerPoint template that's professionally designed. To find professionally designed and high-quality templates check out Envato Elements or GraphicRiver. They've got hundreds of premium PowerPoint presentation templates.

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