50 PowerPoint Ideas to Inspire your Next Presentation

By on Feb 10, 2020 in Inspiration
50 PowerPoint Ideas to Inspire your Next Presentation

Ah, Microsoft PowerPoint, the mother of all presentations. At some point in your creative entrepreneurial career, you’ve likely had to give a presentation to a room full of people. Maybe they were prospects, leads, people in your industry at a networking event, or current clients and their associates.

Whoever the audience was, one thing was probably dogging your entire presentation: you had a hard time coming up with fresh ideas to present the points you were trying to communicate. That resulted in a stale presentation that didn’t live up to its potential. What turned out to be a ho-hum presentation could’ve instead been a veritable homerun that could’ve garnered you more business and connections.

Next time you give a presentation, don’t fall victim to your PowerPoint rut.

Here are 50 useful PowerPoint ideas for your next presentation.

Idea #1: Use Only Images

This radical idea takes advantage of the reality that human beings are visual creatures by nature, so why not give them what they want?

The bonus is that you’ll have to develop your explanative skills instead of just reading off of the slides.

Idea #2: Follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule

Guy Kawasaki is a venture capitalist. You can bet that he’s given his fair share of presentations in his lifetime.

He recommends that presentations should include no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes, and use 30-point font size: the 10/20/30 rule for PowerPoint.

Idea #3: Use Inspiring Quotes

The superb thing about quotes is that they’re instantly memorable. The next time you want your slides in your presentation to be remembered, simply use powerful quotes by influential people more often.

Websites like BrainyQuote provide a plethora of thought-provoking material.

Idea #4: Personalize Your Slides

Relate to your audience as much as possible. If you’re talking to clients from the healthcare industry, reference a health issue you had.

If you’re presenting to leads working in the automotive sector, talk about the very first car you owned.

Idea #5: Talk Instead of Read

Never read off of your slides like you’re reading a speech. Your audience will get bored and just read your slides before you’re done reading them aloud.

Make a real presentation out of your slides by verbalizing the broader concept to your audience — slides should only have short lines of text.

Idea #6: Infuse Passion Into Your Presentation

Passion in any presentation is more persuasive to your audience. When they see how excited, moved and confident you are in your talk, they can’t help but also get caught up in that conviction.

Check out these passionate-speaking tips for powerful effect.

Idea #7: Use Hard Data and Stats

Human beings love data. We’re powerless when it comes to resisting hard numbers, and your audience is no exception.

Lumen Learning credits statistics with being a “powerful persuasive tool in public speaking.”

Your slides should be full of figures, numbers, and data in their proper context and communicated clearly.

Idea #8: Storytelling

Your PowerPoint presentation will be better received if you use it to tell a story in whatever idea or message you’re trying to communicate.

Psychology Today says that storytelling takes us to an authentic experience, and connecting with your audience sincerely should be your aim.

Idea #9: Use the Right Kinds of Fonts

PowerPoint presentations are affected greatly by the font/s you use. Although you’re not going to use a lot of text, the little text you use should be very legible and readable.

Larger serif fonts are often regarded as more legible, but feel free to experiment by asking coworkers to decide among a couple of variations.

Idea #10: Encourage Tweeting Engagement

Encourage your audience to live-tweet stats, information, and quotes from your presentation that they find helpful.

Asking them to take to social doesn’t just promote your brand, but it also prompts them to be more invested in your talk and, therefore, more attentive.

Idea #11: Choose Well-Designed Templates

Templates can be your answer to using a presentation design and format that’s not only easy on the eyes, but also communicates the info you’re presenting in a frictionless way.

Check out the Creative Market marketplace for thousands and thousands of well-designed presentation templates.

Idea #12: Insert a Question!!

Do this to throw your audience off-guard and to encourage engagement in your presentation. When your audience has been conditioned by slide after slide of info and you talking, it’s refreshing to throw them a curveball by asking them to participate in this way.

Idea #13: The First Slide Should Be the Catchiest

Dive right into your presentation by making it a point to grab your audience’s attention right from the get go. You can do this by making the first slide the catchiest — whether it’s controversial, humorous, or surprising.

Idea #14: Rely on Icons

People are visual creatures, so use another strategy to visually communicate with them: icons. Icons efficiently and instantly communicate a central idea with a sole, visual representation.

Form your talk and explanation around a slide’s iconography.

Idea #15: Bring Along Some Props

Your audience is likely expecting an all-talk and all-text presentation. Switch things up by using a prop to grab their attention and draw their interest.

Fast Company declares that using props can make your presentations easily stand out.

Idea #16: Hit Them With Humor

Make your presentation a bit humorous. There’s no need to go overboard so that it’s not serious, but do insert a joke or two in specific places to put the room at ease.

Nothing breaks the ice quite like a good dose of humor.

Idea #17: Use Bullet Points

Bullet points distil complex information and direct your audience’s attention to the most important tidbits. They’re the perfect antidote to an audience that has a hard time paying attention.

In addition, bullet points help you not to merely read your words, but expand on them in a more natural way.

Idea #18: Quality, not Quantity!

Your audience’s time is valuable and precious, so don’t waste it. Fight the temptation to add filler into your presentation and instead distil it down to only feature useful info and to-the-point messages.

Idea #19: Practice Before Presenting

Practice beforehand, so your presentation goes off without a hitch, and you sound confident as you move through your talk.

Do this by recording your presentation onto your smartphone and play it back. You’ll be surprised at what your voice actually sounds like, and you may even consider switching up the order of the slides.

Idea #20: Look at Other PowerPoint Presentations

Sometimes, you draw inspiration, what to do, and what not to do by looking at the work of others.

Nothing beats evaluating existing presentations — both good and bad — to understand what’s appealing and what doesn’t work.

LinkedIn’s SlideShare is the world’s biggest repository of presentations; start there.

Idea #21: Make It Colorful

Use vibrant colors when designing your presentation or choosing your presentation template. Colors give your presentation life and create unique psychological reactions in people.

For example, use more red in your slides to evoke intense and excited emotions in your audience.

Idea #22: End on an Actionable Slide

Here’s a beautiful way to end your presentation with a bang: use an actionable command in your last slide that encourages your audience to take action the moment they leave the room!

This’ll help them transition from theory into practice.

Idea #23: Incorporate Video

Video is easier to absorb than reading. Change things up by including short videos in some slides to get your point across easily and without any misunderstandings.

This will also increase engagement since videos are interactive.

Idea #24: Know Your Audience

Never go in blind to a PowerPoint presentation. Take some time before to research whom you’ll be presenting to. Are they entrepreneurs? What are their interests? Do you have any common bonds?

Understanding them empowers you to create a more relevant presentation.

Idea #25: Go Big With Every Slide

View each slide as a veritable advertisement for an idea, message, or point you’re trying to make. Wow your audience with big fonts, images, and communication!

This way, you’re able to draw their attention to the big picture immediately.

Idea #26: Try Some Infographics

The beauty of infographics is that they succeed at taking complex topics and converting them into viewer-friendly cartoons that still communicate information efficiently.

They turn otherwise boring stats into something engaging and attractive to look at.

Idea #27: Write an Outline

Before you even begin to assemble your presentation, start with a basic Word document or Google Doc, so you can write the outline and flow of your presentation.

This blueprint planning of your presentation will ensure a better order of ideas during the actual talk.

Idea #28: Think Clean and Minimalistic

Format your presentation to be clean and minimalistic. Go with clean lines, fewer elements on each slide, and a direct and simple idea per slide.

Formatting in this way greatly helps with readability and retention (not to mention, your audience won’t be frustrated with you).

Idea #29: Keep Exclamation Points to a Minimum!

Exclamation points detract from the speaker’s job to emphasize his points while talking during the presentation. That’s why they should be kept to a minimum!

If something needs emphasis, go into the idea in more detail while speaking.

Idea #30: Don’t Rush Your Speaking Cadence

Talk slowly during a presentation. Doing so will prevent you from communicating unclearly and creating obstacles in audience retention.

Speaking slowly means your words have more impact and lend themselves to more thought among those in the audience, according to Inc.

Idea #31: Pause More Frequently

Forbes highlights three benefits of pausing while giving a talk. The most successful speakers pause intentionally to achieve a certain dramatic effect, but also to establish rapport with the audience and ensure that the most important points sink in.

Idea #32: Use Various Focal Points

Where you look during your presentation makes all the difference in the world. It’ll look unnatural if you just stare at one spot the whole time. Instead, focus equally on the left, right and middle of the room, so it looks like you’re talking to everyone.

Idea #33: Look at Yourself in the Mirror

See how your audience will see you when you give your presentation. Look at yourself in the mirror while you’re doing your presentation.Doing this will take the edge off presenting, as you’ll know exactly how your audience will receive your presentation.

Idea #34: Do a Mock Presentation First

Practice your speech in front of a live audience before the real thing. You’ll get incredible benefits for your real presentation, such as feeling at ease in front of real people and receiving feedback to help you improve.

Idea #35: Take Some Deep Breaths

Deep breathing has been proven to calm nerves and help people perform better.

Take a good number of deep breaths, even right up to the point of your presentation. You’ll be happy you did when you nail your presentation with the calm of a Zen master.

Idea #36: Eliminate the Sound Effects

Don’t use sound effects like chimes, swooshes, and dings to your PowerPoint presentation. While that’s an option, it’ll make your presentation sound amateurish and, ultimately, annoying. It’s best to avoid sound effects unless you really need them.

Idea #37: Go With High-Quality Images Only

Low-resolution images will make your presentation look juvenile, so don’t use them. To be taken as a serious speaker, you should choose only high-quality images that look like they were taken by a professional. Creative Market is a great place to find unique lifestyle images to convey your points.

Idea #38: Look at Your Audience, Not Your Screen

Never, ever look more at your presentation than your audience while speaking. Your audience will take that as a cue, tune you out, and just read the slides on their own.

You want them to engage with you, so keep looking at them while speaking.

Idea #39: Don’t Use Paragraphs

Never use paragraphs in any slide in your presentation. Having a longer block of text is going to mean a) that your slide is all text and b) that the audience will find it too arduous to read all that.

Idea #40: Wear Something to Capture Attention

Pick something unique to wear. This could be a vibrant piece of clothing or a snazzy necktie. Maybe it’s a pair of glasses (even though you don’t wear them, normally).

The more the audience focuses on you, the more it’ll pay attention to what you say.

Idea #41: Use Charts

Charts are an efficient and orderly way to organize the info you’re communicating to the audience. They’re also pretty commonplace in presentations, so the familiarity and sense of expectation your audience has with charts makes their inclusion a must.

Idea #42: Structure Your Presentation

Your presentation needs to have a logical start, middle and conclusion. This traditional, chronological order is wise to follow in your presentation.

This way, the audience understands when it begins, the messages you’re communicating, and how it wraps up.

Idea #43: Don’t Put Words All in Caps

You may think that putting words all in caps emphasizes your message, but all that really emphasizes is your lack of presentation etiquette.

Using all caps comes across as excessive and overkill, almost as if you’re shouting at the audience to pay attention.

Idea #44: Embrace Contrast

The idea behind contrast is to create slides that stand out at your audience and which they can easily read. For example, if you use white text on a black background, it’s super-easy to read because it stands out so very well.

Idea #45: Backwards and Forwards

You should be adept at using PowerPoint that you can seamlessly go back and forth within your presentation. It’s not uncommon for some audience members to request to see a prior slide, so be ready to quickly be able to give them what they want.

Idea #46: Test Your Screen Size

Ensure that your audience is able to easily see the content of your presentation by viewing it on the screen you intend to use during your talk.

The info should be easily viewable even from the back row.

Idea #47: Settle on a Single Theme

Your presentation can benefit from the use of just one, unifying theme throughout. This helps to tie it together neatly and sensibly. For instance, select pictures that are all of the same subject or style.

Idea #48: Illustrate Your Own Characters

PowerPoint has an interesting feature that lets you make your own illustrated characters. You can make them look like you, someone you know, or someone completely unique.

At the very least, this’ll show the audience that you’re exceptionally creative.

Idea #49: Be an Entertainer

Understand that your presentation shouldn’t be as dry as written text. Don’t be too shy to actually gesticulate, inject passion into your voice, and use animated body language.

When you get into your presentation…your audience will follow suit.

Idea #50: Voice Projection

Speak loudly and clearly at all times! Project your voice to the very back of the room, so that anyone in the back room can follow along without a problem.

There’s nothing worse than a presenter who mumbles his words.

Now Win Over That Audience

With these 50 killer ideas for PowerPoint presentations, you should have no shortage of inspiration for your next talk. It’s vital to bring something new, fresh and dynamic to your presentations, so your audience gets the unexpected.

With these ideas, you have winning strategies that you can implement right now to make your presentation the best an audience has ever seen.

So make that room yours and wow the audience.


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6 Comments

  1. zacomic

    Many thanks for feature our templates in your post, the design is very important in a presentation, our customers say that those is the main reason for congratulations after using our templates! The power of impress is a lot based in a great design!

  2. kristianolson

    This is a great list, but I have to disagree on Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule. I think it's only good for investor pitch decks that are projected onto a small screen in a large room. 30pt type is ridiculous for most situations.

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