How to Make Better PowerPoint Decks

If they're done poorly, PowerPoint presentations can be real snoozers. If they're done well, however, they can make you shine as a speaker -- opening new doors that promise to take your career to new and exciting places.

The difference between a good PowerPoint presentation and a bad one is often the PowerPoint deck itself, according to contributor Mary Ellen Slayter.

"When it comes time for you to make a PowerPoint deck -- and there will very likely come a time -- you want to make sure that you use the program correctly so it reinforces your core messages and connects with your audience," Slayter says.

To create a PowerPoint deck that reinforces your core messages, Slayter says you should use text sparingly.

"If people are reading your slides, they aren't listening to you. Keep the volume of text on each slide to the bare minimum; this will also maximize the impact of each word," she explains. "Choose a font size of at least 24 points to ensure your audience can easily read your slides … [and use] only one headline or short sentence for each slide. If you must use bullet points … use only three to five bullets with only three to five words each. Everyone's eyes will thank you."

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