Tips for Better Presentations with PowerPoint

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MBA Broker Consultants CalBRE Broker #00983670

"The Art, Science, and Story of PowerPoint Presentation Design" was a sold-out standing-room-only presentation by top writer and business consultant Adele Sommers at a recent STC meeting.  She demonstrated the "10 types of design and delivery dilemmas, related mistakes, and a set of corresponding remedies. They can easily apply to any presentations you create with slide software, such as Microsoft® PowerPoint®, Apple® Keynote, or the free Google® Presentations software."

Below are Adele's TOP TIPS:

  • Tip #1: Text - Display only one basic idea per slide. Place your talking points (your narration script) in your handouts and speaker notes.
  • Tip #2: Graphics - Let relevant and symbolic photos; drawings; screen captures; and simple maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams do most of the visual "heavy lifting."
  • Tip #3: Details - Put the intricate image details in the handouts instead of on the slides to avoid overloading your audience's visual processing abilities. Avoid "branding" your slides with your logo, which can be distracting.
  • Tip #4: Special effects - Use relevant sounds, videos, animations, transitions, and physical props -- in moderation -- to highlight or demonstrate key points.
  • Tip #5: Focus - Begin by framing your audience's role, perspective, and needs. Then introduce the challenge the audience faces and your solution, and explain the actions that the audience members can take.
  • Tip #6: Structure - Create a logical sequence and flow based on a scalable hierarchy of detail, starting with an audience orientation.
  • Tip #7: Scope - "Chunk" all of your material into just 3-4 main topics. Include reviews along the way to summarize your information. Practice extensively beforehand while timing yourself, so you can then "scope" your talk using the scalable 5-, 15- and 45-minute detail hierarchy from your outline.
  • Tip #8: Remember to face your audience. If you break eye contact with your attendees to read from projected slides, it interrupts the flow and further splits the audience's attention.
  • Tip #9: Remember to converse with your audience. Not engaging the audience enough during your presentation invites their attention to wander elsewhere.  

  • Tip #10: Remember to respect your audience's time. Running way overtime trying to cover too much information in the time available dilutes your impact and can even cause resentment.

For additional tips, downloads, and resources, please visit Adele's page at

Adele's newsletter, "Learn, Share, & Prosper" is brimming with helpful resources.  Sign up today!

Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is the 2002-09 president of the San Luis Obispo STC chapter, and has been an independent business and technical communication consultant for twelve years following a career in the aerospace industry.  Adele is president of Business Performance Inc. ( which specializes in business publications, tools, consulting, workshop facilitation, training, and e-learning. Adele has helped companies of all sizes enhance their results in project and process management, technical communication and information design, instructional design, quality assurance, performance support, and leadership. Contact Adele at

Regina P. Brown
Broker, Realtor®, e-Pro
Author of eBook "Stop Foreclosure Fast: Solutions to Save your House"
Author of forthcoming book, "Virtual Office Guide for Business Professionals:  Work & Profit from Home"
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Regina P. Brown
Broker, Realtor®, M.B.A., e-Pro, GREEN
California DRE # 00983670


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Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Regina, I found this very helpful and I thank you for sharing. I have just done one class at the office, but plan more in the near future.

Jun 28, 2009 02:13 PM #1
An Marshall
Berkshire Hathaway - St. Augustine - Saint Augustine, FL
Your St Augustine Real Estate Consultant

Thank you very much.  I have been wanting to do Power Point presentations as listing presentations rather than the group presentation referred to but I certianly get that the points are the same.  Well done.

Jun 28, 2009 02:16 PM #2
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Regina: You sure get to a lot of different meetings. Thanks for sharing. Helps those of us that cannot participate in all of the wonderful activites available.

Jun 28, 2009 02:18 PM #3
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Regina - this was great. I have several PP presentations I have use for teaching and I know I could do a better job at the presentation vs. the notes. This was bookmarked so I can re-read and put these into practice.


Jun 28, 2009 02:22 PM #4
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Thank you fellow AR members for reading & commenting so quickly after I posted!  Yes I love going to trainings and I'm learning how to give great presentations!

Jun 28, 2009 02:35 PM #5
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hello Regina,

Thank you for the informative post & tips!  I've bookmarked this for future reference!  Terrific post!  Thank you so much for sharing!  Have a great holiday weekend!





Jul 02, 2009 11:25 AM #6
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Personally, I think #8, #9, and #10 should be #1, #2, and #3. So many otherwise good presentations can end on a sour note very quickly.

Jul 11, 2009 11:44 PM #9
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