“POWERING YOUR PRESENTATION” – a short history of an empowered PowerPoint by Roma Mehta

On 29th January 2014, we accomplished GYAN on “Creating a Powerful PowerPoint Presentation” at VRC – Saltlake  and the session was piloted by Ms Roma Mehta

IMG_0098About Roma Mehta: She is from Living Design [] – a design house that believes that design and creativity elevates communication. She has created promotional material in print and digital media for nonprofits and foundations in Taiwan, Australia, DRC Congo and India. She manages a design and print business in Taiwan and is now based in Kolkata. Roma also loves art and works on creative art projects with children. Living Design helps nonprofits with design consultancy and marketing materials to enable them to create more impactful campaigns.

Here she shares recap about the session –

Creating an effective PowerPoint presentation is a lot like telling a story. The plot and the lead in is just as important as the content. Capturing the audience’s attention from the start by paying attention to some key elements can insure your success in getting your message across.

The session with iVolunteer on 29th January 2014 focused on creativity and content. After discussing the dos and dont’s of an effective PowerPoint, we took a look at some existing presentations that the participants had brought. The group then engaged in some constructive criticism and practiced on some examples.

Some of the topics covered were:

Its all about the viewer:

Most PowerPoint are about the company or individual presenting. That’s a huge mistake. The story is never about the presenter. It is about the audience. Knowing your audience means finding the hook to keep them engaged, targeting their needs and granting their wishes.
Their wish is to help you because you have just brought them into your story. You have just shown them a slice of the pie and they want more. As Steve Jobs once said, “…people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
Keep the audience in mind at all times. Connect the dots for them as you walk them through your story. End on a high note so your audience takes away a positive feeling.

Engage, Inform, Motivate:

In order to engage, inform and motivate your audience, your story has to do just that. Engage. Inform. Motivate. Not deliver facts and figures that you have collected and compiled on a few slides. Keep the text on the slides to a minimum, speak more and try to use one or two impactful visuals instead of using too many bad ones.

Less is more:

Your audience can only grab three key points in one session. Focus on the three most important aspects of your work that you wish to convey and elaborate on those. The rest is will follow once you have them interested.

Delivery matters:

As a presenter, your body language can speak for you. Be animated, show your enthusisasm with gestures, voice control and facial expression. Eyes, voice, body can all convey authority on the subject you are speaking about. Practice in front of a mirror or a colleague so you can feel comfortable. Keep the audience engaged by being engaged in what you are saying. Enthusiasm can be infectious.

Details matter:

Visual elements:

Selecting good visuals, paying attention to grammar, punctuation, spellings, and fonts are essential for making a good impression. It may sound like small stuff but they are all key elements of the big picture.
Visuals are the single most powerful element and should be chosen carefully with an eye to aesthetics and functionality both. Harmonise colours, create a feeling by understanding what emotions various colour ranges evoke. Create a colour palette that matches your choice of photos.


Check if cables, connectors, equipment are all in order. Do a practice run. There is nothing worse than having your audience wait due to some technical hitch.

Quick tips:

  • Know your audience
  • Is your target audience familiar with your organization?
  • Is there a preconception you need to overcome?
  • What new information are you giving them?
  • What do you want them to feel and do?
  • Check your equipment
  • Check sound and light
  • Set up your audience seating
  • Practice your introduction – less about you and more about your work
  • Keep the audience engaged by throwing out an occasional question
  • Use a powerful visual that encapsulates your message
  • Refrain from reading out slides; say the words, show the pictures
  • Create a visual story in words, color, images and content flow

Thanks for reading

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