8 Tips for Better Visual Presentations

Let’s be honest: We’ve all used  seen some pretty awful PowerPoint presentations. You know what I’m talking about. With all the resources available to preachers and teachers today, don’t fall victim to terrible presentations. If you’re going to invest the time to do a visual presentation with your lesson, take the time to do it right. Here are some tips for better visual presentations:

  1. Don’t Just Read Your Slides Verbatim. If you’re using your PowerPoint as just a giant version of your outline, you’re doing it wrong. Seriously. Science has proven that you can’t actually comprehend what someone is saying and read the slide at the same time. People don’t want to be read something they can read faster than you can talk. If you want to make sure everyone has your outline, print it out and hand it out after your lesson.
  2. Don’t Crowd Your Slides. Trying to fit too much on a slide is a big no-no. Try to keep it under 10 words per slide. Don’t try to jam every word in, rather use the visual image to reinforce what you’re saying.
  3. Keep It Simple. The best presentations I have ever witnessed were also the simplest. There’s no need to go for fancy to make your presentation be effective. Forgo fancy transitions, fonts, and colors for a nice, clean, simple presentation. Your listeners will thank you.
  4. Use high-quality images. If you acquire your images by Google search only and they have watermarks, are bad quality, or cheesy, you need to look into better sources. There are many, many sources for acquiring free or cheap stock images that will make your presentation pop. This is a great source for high-res images: https://unsplash.com/
  5. Use No More than Three Fonts. Ideally you should use no more than 2, but if you must, add a third. Too many fonts only makes for confusion for your listeners and distracts from your presentation.
  6. Use Easy to Read Fonts.  Stick to poster fonts, simple serif and sans serif fonts that are easy to read and are legible. Please, for the sake of us all, don’t use Curlz, Comic Sans, or Papyrus. Try getting your fonts from here: https://www.fontsquirrel.com/
  7. Be cohesive. Make your slides look like they belong together and weren’t thrown together haphazardly. Choose a color scheme of 1-2 colors and stick with it. Don’t feel pressured to have an image on every slide and don’t be scared of white space.
  8. Don’t Let It Be a Crutch. Remember, visual presentations are supposed to reinforce your sermon, not be your sermon. If your lesson would be destroyed because PowerPoint failed, you might want to reevaluate how you are presenting sermons.

Visual presentations can be an awesome source for teachers and preachers when utilized properly. These simple tips can drastically improve the overall quality of your presentation. If you’re looking for some additional help, I highly recommend the book Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.


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