How to Create Great PowerPoint Presentations (With Top Examples) | How To
If you’re in business, odds are great that
you’re going to have to create a presentation at some point during your career.
And when you do, odds are also good that you’ll use Microsoft PowerPoint to do
it. According to statistics from iDatalabs over 150,000
companies use PowerPoint.
There’s a real need for people who can create
relevant, engaging PowerPoint presentations. But creating a good presentation
is more than just throwing together a bunch of slides. Not everyone knows how
to make a good presentation.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn the steps to
making a good presentation. The steps can be used for any presentation, of
course, but they’re especially relevant to Microsoft PowerPoint. I’ll provide
some tips on how to use a PowerPoint template. I’ll also share some top
presentation examples from SlideShare.
For even more information about how to make a presentation, be sure to download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It’ll help you master the complete presentation process.
How to Make Great PowerPoint Presentations
Whether you’re going to give your PowerPoint presentation as
a speech or share it online, you’ll want to make sure you create a good
presentation that stands out. Here are seven steps you can follow to make sure
that your presentation is top-notch:
Note: While these
techniques specifically reference PowerPoint, most of them work well with other
presentation author tools as well such as Keynote and Google Slides.
1. Know Your Target Audience
The target audience for your presentation is the
group of people who you want to listen to or view your presentation. Not all
audiences are the same. Audiences vary depending on your company’s goals. A
presentation that works well with one audience may not work well with one
audience may not work at all with another.
Researching your target audience is a very
important first step for creating any kind of marketing or informational
includes PowerPoint presentations. If you really want your presentation to be
successful, learn all that you can about your audience.
For some guidance on how to define a target
audience, study the following tutorial:
How to Define a Target Audience (For Your Marketing Plans)
2. Target Your Presentation to Your Audience
Once you know who you’re creating your PowerPoint
presentation for, you can begin to customize it for them. Start by choosing a
topic that you know will be relevant to your audience. Ideally, your topic will
be something that interests your audience or solves a problem for them.
You also need to consider your audience’s
existing knowledge when writing your presentation. Obviously, it won’t be
helpful to create a presentation filled with industry-specific jargon if your
listeners don’t know what those words mean. At the same time, if you’re
targeting a group of experts for your presentation basic information may bore
3. Start With an Outline
Once you’ve researched your target audience and
chosen a topic that’s relevant to them it’s time to start writing your presentation.
The quickest, most efficient way to do that is to use an outline.
Plus an outline can easily be converted to individual slides when the time
Be sure to use language that’s geared to your
target audience. For most audiences, a conversational style works best. Also,
limit the amount of material you put on each PowerPoint presentation slide.
Cluttered slides are hard for audience members to follow.
To learn more about how to write a presentation,
study these tutorials on how to write a speech:
How to Write a Great Motivational Business Speech
How to Write a Great Speech for Public Speaking in 7 Steps
4. Use a Professional PowerPoint Template
One way to make sure that you’ve got a great,
visually appealing PowerPoint presentation is to use a premium PowerPoint
template such as those available through Envato
Elements or GraphicRiver.
In fact, there are hundreds of creative
PowerPoint presentations examples available on Envato Elements. All
you need to do is pay one low monthly price and you can download as many
templates as you want. You’ll have access to other creative assets as well such
as WordPress themes, stock photos, and even courses and eBooks.
You can find some great creative PowerPoint
presentation template examples in this article
15+ Creative Powerpoint Templates – For Presenting Your Innovative Ideas
5. Practice Your PowerPoint Presentation (for Live Presentations)
Great PowerPoint presentations don’t happen
without practice. So, if you’ll be presenting your PowerPoint personally, set
aside some time to practice it after you’ve created it. If you can, practice
with a friend or family member. But if no one’s available you may still be able
to practice giving it alone.
For a helpful checklist for practicing a speech,
study this tutorial:
How to Get Better At Public Speaking (Improve With Practice)
If your job requires you to give a lot of
PowerPoint presentations, you may benefit from improving your public speaking
skills. Consider joining Toastmasters International to
become a better speaker. Or you can attend a Public Speaking Meetup.
6. Stay Focused
While you’re giving your presentation, stay focused on your
topic. If you’re making the presentation in person, it’s easy to lose track of
what you’re talking about.
Focus is another reason why practice is so
important. If you’ve practiced your presentation, you’re less likely to get off
track. Also if people have questions, ask them to wait until the end. That way
you can stay focused on your topic.
If you’re creating a presentation to be shared
online, focus is still important if you want your PowerPoint presentation to be
a great one. Review the copy you’ve written carefully to make sure that it fits
with your target audience and goals. Be careful not to include irrelevant
7. Study Great PowerPoint Presentation Examples
One great way to learn how to create great
PowerPoint presentations is by example. Studying examples of good
they were created in PowerPoint or not, can serve as inspiration for your own
In this section, I’m going to share five good
presentations examples from SlideShare to help inspire you to create your own
great PowerPoint Presentations. Each of these great presentation examples currently
has over a million views on SlideShare, so you know that they must have done
something right. For each example, I’ll explain what works.
Now let’s look at some great presentation
1. Work Rules
This presentation from Laszlo Bock, former
Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc., clearly explains
the importance of culture at tech giant Google. He does it with engaging
illustrations and a nicely coordinated yellow and blue color theme. Notice how
each slide contains enough information to make his point, but none are too
2. Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling
Consultant Gavin McMahon brings us this
engaging slideshow on the importance of storytelling. Drawing inspiration from filmmaker giant and
master storyteller, Pixar, was a great idea for this presentation. It gives the
audience something they can relate to. Notice the use of bold colors
Mission Statements From the World’s Most Valuable Brands
Does your business have a mission statement? If
it doesn’t, it needs one. Palo
Alto Software solves a problem for their target audience by using
the mission statements of some of the most successful corporations as examples
(good and bad). The presentation also links to a companion
article from company founder, Tim Berry, with more details on the
4. Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why
I Will Never Hire You
With the shocking opening statement, PR Managing
Director Mark O’Toole is sure
to capture the attention of his intended audience of young graduates. Add to that a bold red and black color scheme
and plenty of engaging graphics and you’ve got a slideshow that’s gotten
over two million views. Incidentally, viewers who read to the end will gain
some valuable job-hunting tips.
The one word in the center of the compelling
graphic on the cover of this slideshow from Jeff Brenman of Apollo Ideas draws the viewer in. As you
begin to scroll through the slides, arresting images combine with startling quick
facts to convey an urgent message: the world is facing a serious water shortage.
This compelling presentation is sure to stick in viewer’s minds for a long
For even more great examples of good presentations, look at
25+ Inspirational PowerPoint Presentation Design Examples (2018)
14+ Best PowerPoint SlideShare Presentation Examples
4 Tips for Working With PowerPoint Presentation Templates
We’ve already mentioned some of the advantages of
using a PowerPoint template to create your presentation. Here are four tips to
make sure you get the most from the PowerPoint templates you select:
1. Don’t Fall Into the Free Templates Trap
If you’ve decided to use a PowerPoint template,
you may be tempted to download a free template. However, downloading a
PowerPoint template for free is usually not the bargain you might think it is.
Here are some disadvantages to free PowerPoint templates:
- Little to no support. Often free templates don’t
have support or aren’t updated. If you run into problems, you’re on your own.
- Lack of uniqueness. Since free templates are
available to everyone, it’s more likely your audience will have seen the
- Limited slide designs. Free templates are often limited
to only a few simple slide designs that you may or may not be able to use.
2. Look for a Reputable Template
Your best bet for selecting PowerPoint templates
is to choose a reputable provider, such as Envato Elements
These services have thousands of creative assets available (including
PowerPoint presentation templates)—all
created by professional designers.
Each template offers the flexibility and
design options you need to make your presentation really unique.
3. Do Incorporate Creative Elements
If you’re creating a presentation, you might
hesitate before adding a truly creative element such as an infographic or
timeline to your presentation. After all, designing a creative element can add
a lot of extra time and work to your project.
This is exactly where pre-built templates can
help. Many templates include pre-designed creative elements that you can simply
adapt to your own needs. Here are a few PowerPoint presentation examples:
Even if you can’t find a template specifically tailored to your
field, it’s easy to customize these templates to suit your need.
Make Great PowerPoint Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)
Our free eBook makes a perfect complement to this tutorial. It’ll take you through the complete presentation process—from start to finish. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.
Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It’s available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.
Start Creating Your Own Great PowerPoint Presentations Today
You’ve just learned the steps for making a great
PowerPoint presentation. I’ve also shared some good presentation examples with
ideas that could apply to your PowerPoint presentation. You now have the
information you need to begin creating your own great presentation.
As we discussed earlier, one way to give your
PowerPoint presentations a head start is to use a premium template designed by professionals.
We’ve even shared some tips for working with PowerPoint presentation templates.
Why not download a template from Envato Elements
and begin creating your own great PowerPoint presentations today?