A Quick Guide To Professional Powerpoint Presentations

Updated: February 9, 2015

Last weekend, I had the chance to talk to the Philippine Blogging community on how to get blog traffic without SEO.

After giving my presentation, I was greeted with a lot of congratulations from the audience.

That was a really good feeling for me – to know that I was able to successfully get my message across; and also an honor, to receive compliments from some of the most respected bloggers in the country.

Over the years, the opportunities to talk to an audience has enabled me to improve on my public speaking skills. But it has also served as a personal training ground on how to make good and professional-looking Microsoft Powerpoint presentations.

That’s why I decided to share with you today some of the lessons I’ve learned on how to make your Powerpoint presentations look professional and effective.

“But I’m not a public speaker, so why bother with this?”

Because the need to use a slide presentation comes up more often than you think, specially for entrepreneurs.

Just consider some of these situations where a professional Powerpoint presentation would definitely add more value to what you’re trying to do:

  • Pitching a business idea to a venture capitalist
  • Presenting a project proposal to a potential client
  • Convincing prospects to join your network marketing business

You get my point?

“Okay, I get it. So how do I make my Microsoft Powerpoint presentations look professional?”

Well, the very first thing you need to do is to watch this 4-minute video of Don McMillan as he shows How NOT to do PowerPoint – it’s a clip from his talk entitled, “Life After Death by Powerpoint”.

A Quick Guide To Professional Powerpoint Presentations

  • Make your own template. If you can’t, then simply use the built-in templates and customize.
  • Try to give a preview of what to expect, but be sure to have a summary in the end.
  • Use sharp and concise words in your slides.
  • Don’t use a wide variety of fonts, one or two is usually enough.
  • Double check your spelling and grammar. Recalculate your data and statistics to avoid mathematical errors.
  • Avoid graphs and charts that look complicated and confusing. Break them down into stages or levels to make it clearer.
  • Group similar topics together to make your message easier to follow.
  • Don’t be redundant with your content, but make sure everything compliments your central theme.
  • An image usually works better than a bullet-point list. It will force your audience to listen to you.
  • Avoid adding slides to your presentation at the last minute. Whatever it is, you can just say it in your speech.

As a final tip, here’s the 10-20-30 guideline that Guy Kawasaki mentioned in his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions:

Make 10-slide presentation in 20 minutes with no font smaller than 30 pts.

What about you? Any Powerpoint presentation tips you’d like to share?

By the way, if you’re a Mac user, then just replace all “Powerpoint” words in this article with “Keynote” and you should be fine. 😛

Need presentation inspiration? Then check out the various TED Talks here.

Develop more professional skills by subscribing to Ready To Be Rich.


  1. Helpful article. Thanks. I would like to add to your list of points. It is always useful to embed excel charts, or movie clips in the powerpoint so that its easy for navigation while presenting..

  2. Well, I guess this guide is for me. I spoke in the first day of iBlog and I felt that my presentation wasn’t as good as some of the others, lols. =p

    But yea, I would definitely look into that. Thanks for sharing

  3. I found this article is very helpful to me, We can also able to create some navigation presentations for e-book learning materials..

  4. @Mon: i love that lifehacker featured slideshow 😀 more inspirational ideas can be found at Slideshare under the “presentation-tips” and “powerpoint-tips” tags

    Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen @ http://www.presentationzen.com also gives useful tips on designing effective presentations. An example from a 2007 post: http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2007/08/i-spent-the-wee.html

    For easier browsing, he has indexed the powerpoint presentation tips he has posted on his personal website, :

    You might also want to check out some sites listed in this list by inspiredm.com:

    hope someone finds these links helpful 🙂

  5. Hello,am working with an NGO thats science based but i have to make a science-accounting related presentation on personal finance,would you help me guide me accordingly.
    Thank you

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