Man giving a presentation to a room full of people

10 simple rules for creating an effective slide deck presentation


“Not another boring powerpoint presentation!” 


Death by powerpoint is to be avoided at all costs if you want to deliver an engaging and impactful presentation!


It’s one the biggest things I dread when I see a speaker walk onto the stage with a big screen behind them!


On the flip side, I’ve also seen some brilliant slide decks that don’t distract, but cleverly complement what the speaker is saying, so I decided to summarize my 10 simple rules for creating an effective slide deck presentation: 


  • Prepare your slides LAST 

Many people make the mistake of letting the slides dictate the structure of their presentation, when in fact, they should be the last thing you do.  


Decide on your ONE BIG MESSAGE®, create your story, your characters, your structure and then consider how to reinforce these messaging using your slide deck. 


  • Remember less is more 

Don’t make your slides a regurgitation of what you are saying. Your audience want to listen to YOU, not sit there reading a slide deck.


Your slides should complement your ONE BIG MESSAGE® using images and captions, not bullet points of what you are saying. 


  • Don’t overuse animation 

Don’t be too clever with slide transitions and animations. There are so many clever things you can do with powerpoint, but it’s best to keep it simple to allow your audience to focus on you and your message. Fast moving animations can quickly become a distraction. 


  • Reinforce your message with graphs and stats

Use the slide deck to reinforce your message using simple graphs and stats.  They are easy for your audience to read and can add gravitas to your message. 


  • Use images that they relate to 

Avoid using stock photography that look too staged. You want images that your audience can relate to.  Think about the characters in your story and bringing those to life in your slide deck.  


Images can add humor too, especially when used with clever captions.  


  • Present one idea per slide

Don’t make your slides too busy with content that you haven’t yet talked about.  It can be distracting for the audience if your slides are making your next point, before you’ve delivered them in your speech.  


The rule of thumb is that each slide should present just one idea. 


  • Have a hook 

The best slide decks hook the audience in with something surprising or intriguing. Create an image that will get your audience to sit up and take notice. It might be something that appeals to their emotions, then as you begin to speak you can make reference to it, so your audience have a visual cue to your message. 


  • Know your audience 

If your presentation contains jargon or technical images/information, make sure you pitch them at the right level according to the knowledge of your audience. 


You don’t want to patronise your audience with something they already know, and equally, if information is too technical it will cause them to switch off. 


  • Spell check it!

It may seem obvious, but make sure you spell check your slides. Spelling or grammar errors will make your presentation look like a quick last minute addition. 

Have someone else look through with a fresh pair of eyes so that they are spotted before your audience does!


  • Rehearse


Always rehearse your presentation with your slides. You’ll want to get used to changing the slides at the right moment, so it becomes second nature and forms part of your rhythm and speech. 


If you would like help preparing a winning slide deck to captivate your audience, book in a consultation with me here >>


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