Often, an oral presentation is a required component for the submission of an academic paper. It is not uncommon for well-written thesis papers to receive lackluster acceptance due solely to the PowerPoint thesis presentation.
Here are the key points to make a PowerPoint thesis presentation effective:
1. The Goal of a PowerPoint Thesis Presentation
The PowerPoint thesis presentation’s goal is to augment and reinforce your presentation. It is important that you remember that you are the star of the show, not the presentation.
Design the PowerPoint presentation with five specific goals:
- To hold the audience’s attention;
- To focus their attention;
- To guide your discussion and overview;
- To help tell a story;
- To support your message.
2. Use Text Effectively
Keep the text on each slide to a minimum. The text should highlight the points being made, not have the full content of what is being said. Use bullets for key points or lists.
3. Keep Transitions and Animations Consistent
PowerPoint has a number of very nice effects. Using flashy effects can distract the audience from your presentation by focusing their attention on the effect instead of the content. Many PowerPoint users feel the need to show off their expertise and mastery of the program; don’t fall into that category.
4. Use Effective Fonts and Colors
Once again – simplicity is best. You want your presentation to be easy to read from any vantage point.
- For titles uses Verdana 40 point;
- For bullets and subtitles use Verdana 36 point;
- For content use Verdana 24 point.
The best combinations of fonts and background colors are easy to read and provide sharp contrast such as black on white, white on black, or black on blue.
5. Use Graphics Correctly
You want graphics, such as charts and tables, to guide the audience to the key points of your presentation. Here, many of the PowerPoint effects are very useful.
- Consider animating certain table or graph elements;
- Use the drawing tools to highlight key portions;
- Use the callout box to emphasize conclusions or especially significant facts;
- Avoid using Excel spreadsheet type slides even if they are color-
6. Avoid the Common PowerPoint Pitfalls
PowerPoint presentations offer a number of potential pitfalls that can drastically impact the effectiveness and acceptance of the presentation.
Here are the three most common:
- Reading the slides word for word – The slides should only provide an outline of your presentation. If you are reading your slide word for word, your audience will simply read the slide and not pay attention to you.
- Text too small – Slides that are not easily readable frustrate audiences and again lessen the impact of the presentation.
- Too many full sentences – Look at each slide as a chapter title or subhead.
7. Make the Presentation Interactive
Interactive presentations are highly effective and extremely valuable if there is a question and answer period. You should be able to jump easily to any slide, blank the screen, and draw on the screen.
Follow these tips to make up the hooking presentation that will make everyone listen to you with open mouth.