MS Office PowerPoint Presentations – Tools that Get You Noticed For many, standing and speaking in front of an audience is just a matter of confidence; for some, it’s just a matter of having the facility to speak. Some would say it’s just a matter of strategy. Public speaking and presentation skills are not just natural abilities that effortlessly come out every time you are faced with an audience; they are artistic abilities that you can learn, develop and perfect through time by means of proper training, constant practice, and use of techniques. Presentations can really be daunting especially if you are not used to it, but with proper tools, you can surely get your message across. A Powerful Presentation Tool PowerPoint is a presentation software that is part of the Microsoft Office system. It is a high-impact presentation tool that allows you to convey all sorts of messages to your audience. It serves as a digital replacement for pamphlets, flyers, posters, charts, and other visual aids. PowerPoint can be all these and more. PowerPoint slides can be incorporated with sounds, videos, movies and images that help you deliver your message more effectively. Through PowerPoint's graphics and formatting carnalities, it’s easy to design your slides and make them more corporate looking, casual, or fit for a particular theme. PowerPoint allows you to customize fonts so you can make your delivery more emphatic and clear. Tips to Maximize Use of PowerPoint Although PowerPoint can be very useful during presentations, they can be ineffective as well when its features are not fully used. Here are some tips on how to maximize use of PowerPoint to come up with a more successful presentation. • Choose an appropriate theme/ template– There are many pre-designed presentation themes or templates you can choose from. If you are not yet too familiar with MS PowerPoint, you can use these themes to create your presentations. Make sure to pick a theme that matches your corporate identity, the theme of the event or the occasion, and the message you intend to impart to your audience. You may also get ideas from existing themes on how to create your own. • Customize fonts – Using the default font--which is normally Times New Roman--all through out the slide presentation would be boring. As much as possible customize your fonts to make your presentation more dynamic and appealing to the audience; however, choose font types and sizes that are easy to read. Moreover, be consistent with the fonts you use for the headings and sub headings. Use larger fonts for more important points and smaller fonts for secondary points. Do not capitalize, unless it’s necessary, as this constitutes yelling at your audience. • Keep slide structure simple – One way to enhance readability of your slides is to keep it simple. You can achieve this by avoiding wordiness. As much as possible, write down only the key words and phrases and not the entire sentence. You can show one point per slide to help your audience focus on a particular message at a particular time. • Use color to reinforce your message – Colors can have different meanings. Blue suggests calmness and security while red suggests strong emotions. Green is usually associated with money. Use colors that match your message and are pleasing to the eyes. Make sure that they also match or complement the background. Light colors used on a light background would be very difficult to read. • Use graphs, charts, sounds, videos and images when necessary – Reinforce your presentation by using graphs, charts, sounds, videos and images. These would make it easier for your audience to understand and recall the information you are giving them.