Professional presentations demand that your slides appear their best.

With these PowerPoint tips, your audience will be engaged and your presentation will be professional in both form and content.

1. Go for a cohesive aesthetic

Aim to produce a uniform look for your presentation so your audience can focus on the crucial points of your slides.  You may either use a simple template or create your own.  The software provides various templates but may also use those that can be found online.  Note the search option at the top of PowerPoint.  One suggestion is “presentations”.  Click it to see all PowerPoint’s default templates.

2. Adjust Layout

PowerPoint has a variety of slide layouts to choose from.  Under Home > New Slide, select the appropriate arrangement before adding a new slide.  In order to change the layout of an existing slide, click on Home > Layout in the navigation bar.  Layout adjustments may be made to your presentation at any moment using the preset layouts.

3. Always use a palette

Colors are allies as they can emphasize your point to highlight your Take Home Message.` Choose vibrant colors that contrast well to accentuate your message.  Use a professional color palette to choose the perfect color for your theme.

Keep in mind that using too many colors in too many places degrades the effect.  It’s best to keep it simple.

4. Keep it Concise

Never include full sentences on your slides.  Because your slides should not be the ones to dominate your delivery, you should not be reading them at all.  You are supposed to talk freely like you’ve prepared for years.  You risk losing respect and attention if you read your slides.

5. Add Notes

Notes can be added to the slides.  To see your notes while editing, go to View and choose Show Notes.  Use PowerPoint’s presentation mode (Slideshow > Monitors > Check Use Presenter View) before you begin your presentation so you can quickly refer to your notes.

6. Be mindful of your image resolution

While low-resolution graphics may seem okay on a computer screen, they will look unprofessional when projected.  So match the projector’s resolution.  If in doubt, go for 1920 x 1080 pixels (XGA) (FullHD).

7. Don’t go hard on animations

Animations, on the other hand, may help explain difficult ideas.  An excellent animation may help your message stick in the minds of your viewers.  Use animations and other forms of media sparingly to clarify a model or emphasize an effect.