Whether you are a professional or still a student, you likely have some experience with making a poster in PowerPoint if you have taken part in a science fair, business conference or even job recruitment event. But are you organizing it in a way that maximizes its effectiveness? A good poster presentation involves adding visually interesting graphics and pictures and presenting information in a clear, concise way. Most importantly, it should focus on the key points while skipping the minor details. While a lot of presenters put a lot of focus on templates and colors, there are additional elements that you need to take into consideration. If you lack experience with putting together PowerPoint poster presentations or just want to improve, the experts at Place-4-Papers.com offer tips for PowerPoint presentations that make an impact.
Tell an interesting, informative story
Whenever you are giving a presentation, you are essentially telling a story. As such, you want to focus the most important points in order to keep it interesting and focus on the purpose of the presentation. For example, if you are taking part in a science project, you would want to present information that is new to the audience. If you work for a volunteer organization and are recruiting members to join, your poster needs to contain highly persuasive information and images. You certain would not want to just toss a bunch of charts and random pictures. Also keep in mind that if your objective is to present data, it would probably make more sense to pass out data sheets rather than putting together a PowerPoint presentation poster. After all, the point of the presentation is to provide a perspective that balance sheets and data sets would not achieve on their own.
Do not load up the poster with way too much information
For instance, you would not want to list 8 major ideas. Instead, your best bet is to focus on the three most important ones and expand upon them in detail. Any more than that and the audience will forget since the brain is only about to handle so much information at once. Keep in mind that the goal is not to simply state everything you know about an issue, but to discuss the most essential, practical points.
Keep the information relevant to those main points
Think of your presentation poster as a movie. A good movie focuses on one major plot point and a couple of subplots, and does not digress or include scenes that are irrelevant to the story since it would only confuse the audience. In the same way, your presentation should only contain images, charts, and templates that are directly connected to your main points. Your audience will not be able to take in all of that extra information.
Keep the poster well structured
As you are organizing your poster, the information should be arranged from the top left to bottom right in the same manner as a page. Pick background/text color schemes that compliment each other. For example, if you opt for a background containing light colors, choose darker text. Furthermore, the title should take up the entire width of the poster. Your poster should include between 4 and 6 columns with subheadings for each.
Don't go wild with the colors or text
Your PowerPoint poster is definitely not an opportunity to experiment with unconventional fonts or colors. It should be pleasing but without any distractions. Anything that takes away from the message will not be a good thing.
Don't read the poster to the audience
As the attendees are coming up to your booth or table, allow them a chance to look over the poster and read it for themselves. It should contain just enough information that would allow them to learn something. If they are curious to know more details about a particular point, that is when you would chime in and answer questions.
The presenter still needs to play a role
The poster is intended to enhance the presentation, but do not forget that you still need to play a role beyond just standing there. Supplement the information in the poster by discussing the main points in more detail.
Don't just print the poster and hand out copies
Remember that while the poster is intended to be informative, it should not be thought of in the same way as a pamphlet. If that were the case, there would be no point in you being there, right? You want to provide some context, but remember that this is a poster not a full-length novel.
Keep the audience involved as possible
As eluded to in point 6, you want the audience to interact with you. Your goal is to inform or persuade the audience and by talking with them (as opposed to just talking to them), you will be more likely to achieve your objectives. As you are taking questions from the audience, also ask them about their opinions and even their own personal experiences as it relates to your presentation topic. Ultimately, your poster should serve as a visual guide, but your job is to make sure the audience is participating actively.
The audience should be able to read the poster from 10 feet away
Make sure to use appropriate font sizes. In particular, the attendees should not have to practically press their face against the poster in order to be able to read it. They should be at a comfortable distance and be able to soak in the entire poster and absorb the visuals and text. In addition, you would want them to be able to direct their attention to the poster and then to you, so that is another reason why you would want the text to be legible from a distance.
Ultimately, if you want your PowerPoint poster to be effective, you need to make sure you are able to express the purpose of your presentation. Ask yourself why the audience should regard it as important. If your intention were to persuade them, how would they benefit from agreeing with your perspective? Make sure to practice giving the presentation beforehand. Show your poster to friends and family and encourage them to ask questions so that you will be able to anticipate similar questions from the attendees. After all, there would be nothing more embarrassing than to not be prepared or have the answers they are looking for. No matter how beautiful the poster looks, if you do not project a sense of competence and knowledge about the topic, it will do you no good.
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