Here on this website, we have written many articles to help people make better PowerPoint presentations. While making a good presentation is very important, the audience comes to presentations to see a presenter perform. They are expecting you to make the topic accessible to them. Your slides are there to support you, but you are the presentation.

With so much information to process these days, people are not able to focus very well. As a presenter, its your job to organize information in the presentation to keep the audience's attention. You have to pay attention to small details from the perspective of the audience. This article explains how organizing information properly helps people understand and focus on your message. Please Read The Slide Some presenters like to tell their audience to kindly read the slide. This is done because the presenter wants the audience to know those things before they continue with the presentation. Presenters don't usually do this because they want to help the audience. Usually, they just want to make their job easier. If that is you, then consider dividing such a slide into two parts. Once containing concise but important information only, and the other containing the explanation. Repetition of Subject Matter Many presenters do this quite often in their presentations. They want to summarize what they're saying using bullet points, but they have to keep mentioning certain topics over and over again. You may be drawing comparisons by explaining the before and after; similarities, or differences. In that case, you should not use a bullet points list, and instead try organizing the points side by side on a comparison table. This makes it much easier to understand the relation. Continued.. Many presenters continue a topic in multiple slides. They do this due to the fact they ran out of space on the previous slide. Writing Continued.. as the title of the slide is not the best way to do this though. You're basically asking the audience to remember what you showed them in the previous slide. Depending on the audience, some people might not have been able to do that. They are left listening and waiting for the next slide to introduce the next topic. An alternative to doing this would be to make a title for each slide. Try explaining your point by summarizing it on the slide using a graph, a chart, or some other visual representation. You can try dividing the topic into short sub-topic slides. Image Courtesy:  In a presentation to students and parents... by Tomwsulcer [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons  

Make Your Presence Known

By making your presence known, we don’t mean that you should make a scene. Rather, make sure that the audience has their focus on you from the beginning of the presentation. You can train your audience to pay more attention to you by starting the presentation with just the title on a black screen (by using the B key). Humans are wired to look for change. Most people should focus their attention on you as soon as the screen goes blank and you start speaking. Once everyone is seated, start your presentation with a completely black screen and start talking. Show them the first slide a good minute after you start speaking to them.

Do Not Read Off Of Slides

Try not to get into the habit of reading slides as they are. This focuses everyone’s attention on the slides and away from you.

Slides Should Not Be Self Evident

Make slides that cannot be understood without a speaker to explain them. Use words and metaphors that sound interesting, but are not self evident. The audience will listen to your explanation to satisfy their curiosity.

Be a Better Public Speaker

Some people shy away from public speaking, but it is a skill that can be acquired. You can find many resources on this subject online. You need to be good at public speaking if you are to be the focal point of the presentation. One very useful resource to learn public speaking is Six Minutes Speaking and Presentation Skills. This website contains plenty of useful material on speech writing, speaker habits, and also contains book reviews on public speaking and presentation related topics.

Image: [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons