create a professional PPT

Powerpoint presentation for an Economics class: how to create a professional PPT

When presenting an economics research paper or report using Powerpoint, captivating your audience and conveying a clear message or solution is more than just bullet points and crafty graphing. A great deal of planning and preparation (outside of the research involved in compiling your notes) is involved in effectively presenting a professional Powerpoint presentation. In addition to attention to style and design, presenters also need to consider proper distribution of information amongst slides, keeping their audience engaged, and formulating structured and clear outlines to follow.

Deliver logical, well-planned and formulated content

One of the most important steps to follow in creating a PPT presentation is to properly plan your content. Writing your presentation in Powerpoint initially, without planning ahead, can lead to confused or jumbled thoughts and overlapping of information or the missing important points and details. The best way to prepare is to write or type out all slides before creating them in the PPT program. This allows the presenter to properly review the information, easily make changes and adjustments, rearrange the order of things if necessary and have a 'full picture' of what he or she will cover in the presentation.

Create an outline

Another component of proper content planning involves creating a clear outline to follow. When creating your presentation you should make it a point to show your audience an outline of all the points you intend to cover in the very beginning of your presentation. Likewise, you can also provide the audience with printouts of this information or keep a 'running outline' available in the corner of the slides to always remind listeners of which topic you are currently discussing and how it relates to the other points in the outline.

Provide examples

Almost nothing says I understand better than examples. Examples are great for the presenter in demonstrating their comprehension of ideas and for the listener they provide a real-world view of the point being discussed. People generally respond better to stories and examples rather than definitions and explanations. So in any event, if you feel that you are bombarding your audience with fine details, mathematical formulas and explanations, try to switch things up by providing concrete examples that they can all relate to.

Visual appeal

The visual appearance of each slide is just as about important as the message you are trying to deliver. Disorganized, unclear, and poorly designed text can be disastrous to your presentation. Aside from appearing unprofessional it can also make it difficult for your audience to follow along and possibly result in excessive questioning and confusion. To avoid any of these pitfalls play close and careful attention to the appearance of each slide by implementing the following advice.

Fonts, size, and color

All of these elements should be consistent throughout your presentation.Choose maybe 2-3 different font sizes (one for titles one for content), one font type, and a few colors that are neutral and provide a good contrast against the background. Also avoid using multiple colors on one slide especially if you have a background other than white.

Design and templates

There is a bit of a debate regarding Powerpoint's previously designed templates. Some are of the opinion that they are overused and can negatively impact your presentation if used. But generally any template or design should be suitable if it fits your topic tastefully. Since economics is not early childhood education you may choose to keep things simple with either a white background or a design that has simple blue or black strips, boxes, etc. in the corner of the slide or something of this nature.

Graphics and animation

Again, as with the templates, use these with discretion. Graphics may play over well with your economics class especially if they are bored of numbers, so it shouldn't hurt to add a few, but at the same time they need to be professional and suitable to satisfy your professor as well. Relevancy matters and is what you should generally base your decisions off of. Lastly, animations in general should not be included.

Graphs, charts and diagrams

Your economics presentation undoubtedly will have a good amount of data to cover. When using graphs or similar visual representations try to use the landscape mode (actually you should use this for all your slides) and be mindful of shading and colors. Also avoid minor grid lines and small fonts where it may be hard to make out the variable or element thats being represented.

Less is more

Its best to restrict one idea per slide to give your audience just the right amount of information that they can digest in the short time period between slides. Also cluttered slides with few breaks are difficult to understand and retain. Bullets or small, concise paragraphs are some of the best means of presenting information in Powerpoint.

Economics presentations

In general economist and likewise economics students will enjoy a good presentation in lieu of reading raw data or reports. So your presentation should be received well by classmates, but there are a few things to keep in mind when reading economics material.

Literature review

When preparing an economics paper or report a great of amount of review of previous works is conducted, and though your review may have took you quite a while and involve some interesting observations, too much literature can easily bore a crowd. Keep acknowledgments to a minimum and only sight the most relevant or striking findings from your review. Additionally any symbols or formulas should be explained either in a separate slide or verbally. Even though you are presenting in front of an economics class there still may be many formulas and data interpretation methods unknown to other classmates, so plan accordingly.

Final thoughts

To really maximize your success in presenting for your class, spend some time practicing your presentation beforehand. This will hopefully help you to become comfortable with speaking and partially memorize the information you are going to share. Rehearsals will also help you to mind your time and give each slide and topic the attention it deserves. Another good point to note is that your slides should only be one segment of your presentation and other elements such as samples, crowd interaction, handouts and display boards as well as speaking should play a role in your class presentation. And most importantly be sure to relay to your audience why your topic is important and why they should care about it-from the very beginning of your speech. An unmotivated crowd versus a driven crowd can be the difference between a great presentation and an awful one.

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