5 Things the No-Host Oscars Taught Us about PowerPoint Presentation Design

And the PowerPoint presentation design award goes to…

For the first time since 1989, the Academy Awards took place without a host. As we watched the show move seamlessly, albeit slowly, toward its conclusion it got us thinking about how to create PowerPoint presentation design that doesn’t depend on a presenter to make it effective.

This isn’t to say you won’t be hosting your next big business presentation, but how do you create a deck that doesn’t rely on your presence to make it successful?

The 2019 Oscars ceremony still worked, in fact the absence of a host gave us a better appreciation of all the component parts that make up a successful show, and how you can apply these lessons to your PowerPoint presentation design.

Here, we explore five things this year’s no-host Oscars ceremony taught us about creating PowerPoint presentation design that works – with or without a presenter.

1. The Run of Show

A successful live event broadcast like the Oscars is timed to the minute. A professional PowerPoint presentation should be too.

A presenter can help control the pace of a presentation, speeding things up, slowing them down, even leaving the stage to take selfies with Bradley Cooper. But how do you design a presentation that has good pace built in? Think about the time you have allotted to deliver your presentation and the time you want your audience to spend with each slide.

Including just the right amount of information in an aesthetically pleasing format is the best way to keep things pacey. Too much info in a package that’s hard to decipher will have them lingering too long – ahem, acceptance speeches.

No one has ever accused the Oscars ceremony of being too short. It is a go-to joke for hosts to make light of the unending, Lord-of-the-Rings-esque journey that is watching the show from beginning to end.

And it’s an important lesson to bear in mind for PowerPoint presentation design. The key is to keep your information short, simple and direct. If it doesn’t add to your central message, call CUT on it.

Just like in the movies, editing is a skill you must cultivate when it comes to designing effective PowerPoint presentation design. Keep only what’s essential and leave the rest on the cutting room floor.

2. Play the Clip

One of the most entertaining and affecting moments of the Academy Awards that relies little, if at all, on the host, is when they roll the clips of the nominated films.

Video is a powerful tool and it can be used to great effect in PowerPoint presentation design. Videos add something new to the usual presentation mix, delivering or reinforcing your key messages in a way that’s visually interesting and impactful. Videos also help keep things pacey, by getting your point across quickly and they can add some much-needed levity to a business presentation.

Quick tip: Make sure to embed your videos in your presentation, rather than linking out to a website. This way, you prevent your audience from getting distracted with other information and you can be sure that your video will play even if the internet isn’t.

3. Cue the Music

Music is used to great effective during the Oscars ceremony – just ask Lady GaGa. It can help create atmosphere, set a tone or alter the mood, whether it’s in a movie, part of an awards show or your PowerPoint presentation design. Music’s immediacy and emotional punch make it an effective way to get an audience’s attention.

Quick tip: Here’s how to add a song or playlist to your PowerPoint presentation design and choose playback options on Windows, Mac, and online platforms of Microsoft.

4. Best Visual Effects

Best Visual Effects is an undervalued Oscars category, yet everyone loves them when they’re done right. (Think: Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter.)

PowerPoint has its own visual effects capabilities, including some amazing tools that can make your presentation next-level. To design a deck that doesn’t depend on a presenter, you may be inclined to pull out all the stops and really show off every PowerPoint tool at your disposal.

While it’s tempting to do this, we always recommend the less-is-more-approach for a truly effective presentation. So, go ahead and use PowerPoint’s visual effects tools, but do so sparingly. Remember the ripple in the cup of water as the T-Rex approached in Jurassic Park? That’s what we’re talking about.

5. In Memoriam

Every year the Academy pays tribute to the actors and crew who died recently by looking back at their lifetime of contributions to the industry. We think this is a good practice for designing effective PowerPoint presentation design too.

Go back and review your PowerPoint oeuvre, and ask yourself: What visuals have I used that could win an award? Can they be reused/repurposed? Which were the slides that delivered my message most effectively and what can I learn from them? This process can be challenging yet incredibly beneficial in avoiding bad remakes.

The End

Hopefully, these tips will give you the confidence to create PowerPoint presentation design that doesn’t depend on a presenter to decipher it. It’s no easy task, but it’s by no means, Mission: Impossible.

In the end, if the Oscars ceremony and the films its honoring are a success with or without a host or lead actor, it’s because of the team. It’s not the work of one person that makes a successful presentation; it’s bringing together all the component parts in the right way that does it. Successful PowerPoint presentation design is no different. If everything comes together well, it creates a moment that is unforgettable. And that’s when you sweep the board!

If you need some help, eSlide is here to help you create award-winning PowerPoint presentation design every time. We have 20+ years of experience helping some of the biggest companies in the world, and we’re ready to help you too. Give us a call today.

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