powerpoint presentation ideasSo, you’ve been asked to put together a presentation or need a presentation to WOW your audience. Where do you get amazing PowerPoint presentation ideas that will amaze your listeners and make your presentation stand out from the crowd?

Right here, of course. 🙂

Since everyone’s topic is different, we can’t provide ideas for EVERY topic in this article, but instead we will provide you with an idea-generating system for continually finding and collecting unusual PowerPoint presentation ideas that will make people take notice.

Here are our 10 ways to create amazing PowerPoint presentation ideas.

1. Start a “Swipe” File

Ever seen something amazing online and then can’t find it later? Or had a great idea for something you can’t remember when it comes time to work on your presentation? If so, you need a swipe file.

A swipe file is simply a saved collection of great ideas and designs you’ve come across before. If you start saving these every time you find them, you will soon have a vast library of ideas you can use for inspiration.

Here are some ways to save great PowerPoint presentation ideas when you find them online:

  1. Bookmarking them in your browser
  2. Bookmarking them in an online bookmarking tool like StumbleUpon
  3. Saving them to a personal knowledge system like OneNote

If your system allows it, like OneNote or StumbleUpon, add comments or notes to the item you saved so that you can remember what you liked about the web site.

Your smart phone is a great device for capturing ideas. In addition to web clipping and text notes on OneNote, you can also take pictures to save to OneNote or record audio notes.

2. Get PowerPoint Presentation Ideas Delivered

As a professional speaker, people often ask me how I keep up with everything happening in my field . They assume I must spend hours of research to find the knowledge I need to keep current. The truth is that a lot of the information in my field is delivered to me every day with no work on my part!

How do I do this? Two methods:

  1. RSS Aggregater – I use a tool called Feedly to pull together articles every day from the best blogs on the web relating to my topics. This is like creating my own newspaper or magazine with ONLY articles I am interested in that I read on my smart phone, tablet or computer.
  2. Google Alerts – I also use Google Alerts to send me an email whenever new content shows up for saved searches I want to follow.

These articles and alerts give me new PowerPoint presentation ideas every week that I can use for my presentations. Sometimes I will disagree with an article I read and want to write a rebuttal. Sometimes I will read an article that I agree with but they lack facts or useful information on how to apply the idea. Once again, this gives me ideas to use.

3. View Other Presentations

Sometimes it can help to look at presentations others have done. A good source for this is SlideShare. SlideShare has over 18 million presentations in 40 different content areas you can look at. Viewing other presentations gives you a starting point and will often trigger your own ideas.

While viewing these presentations, ask yourself:

  1. How could I be more impactful than this presentation?
  2. What did they miss that I could include?

4. Look Outside Your Topic Area

The problem with looking only at presentations related to your topic is that your presentation may look just like everyone else. Instead, look at amazing presentations from other fields and be creative in how you apply these ideas to your own presentation. Once again you can look at SlideShare but another place to look for inspiration is Ted Talks.

Look for the best, most amazing PowerPoint presentation ideas in ANY field and then explore how you can apply that technique to your own presentation.

5. Take a Question Approach

With the question approach, ask yourself “What questions will my audience have?” This will ensure your presentation provides answers to the questions most people in your audience may have.

This makes sure you are teaching what they want to know. Not sure what questions others would have on your topic? Then move on to #6 below.

6. Ask Others for Ideas

Remember that you are not your target audience, Idea 5 above is a good start, but your audience may be much more creative than you think and have questions you would have never thought of as the presenter. So ask people in your target audience what questions would they have about your topic. Ask what problems they are having in that area. This will generate ideas for many more slides for your presentation.

No easy access to your target audience? Try online forums like Reddit or Facebook groups. There are discussion forums on almost every possible topic including business, health, food, hobbies, politics, etc. Sometimes forums get very specific. For example, I purchased a new camera and found several forums for that particular model of camera so I can ask specific questions about my camera instead of generic ones.

I regularly hang out in forums relating to the field I present on so I can see what questions people ask. These questions give me great ideas for articles, products, and workshops.

Make sure you read the forum rules before posting so you don’t get banned from the forum. Most forums welcome questions but discourage sales pitches.

7. Hire a Researcher

No time to do the research on questions and ideas yourself? Hire a freelancer to research ideas for you. You can hire people to do tasks like these through online sites such as Upwork and Fiverr.

8. Be a Rebel

People seem to be most drawn to presentations and articles when:

  1. They agree with the premise
  2. They disagree with the premise

So we are usually looking for something that supports what we already think (confirmation bias) or we are drawn to the contrary opinion – even if it is just to argue about it. So being a rebel and taking a different approach can make your presentation more powerful and compelling and attract people to it. Of course there are drawbacks to having a contrary opinion, but it is a faster way to be a leader in your field than just following the same approach as everyone else.

9. Make Your Graphics Pop

Here are a few tips for making the graphic aspect of your slides stand out:

  1. Don’t use boring templates
  2. Add more colour
  3. Don’t use the same boring stock photos as everyone else – try taking your own pictures or having unusual illustrations done
  4. Make your slides visual instead of paragraphs of bullet points

What if you aren’t a graphic artist? Then hire someone to do the graphics for you.

When I do my presentations, I do them in outline (text-only) form and put instructions for my graphic designer in the notes on my ideas for graphics for each slide. Then I pass it on to my graphic designer who comes up with amazing graphics for my presentation. My presentations are so much stronger when I do this because it lets me focus on my expertise (workshop development and speaking) and melds this with the graphic design creativity of my designer.

10. Make Your Presentation Dynamic

Connect your presentation with data streams to have them update in real time to make your presentation more timely with up to the minute information.

Here are a few ideas as to how you can use this.

  • Add live news based on your favorite RSS feed
  • Inject weather information of your location and weather forecasts
  • Imagine a live stream of Twitter tweets or social media about your event updating on the big screen
  • Automatically update to the latest sales and profit figures whenever you open your presentation
  • Get live feedback and voting from your audience and show the results on the big screen
  • Conduct real time auctions
  • Show up to the minute news, weather or sports scores (great if you are ever forced to do a presentation at the same time as the Super Bowl, World Cup or Stanley Cup Finals)
  • Add tickers, countdown timers, and other dynamic elements

We use DataPoint to connect PowerPoint presentation to data streams. Dynamic NEWS for live RSS feeds. Dynamic WEATHER for weather info and forecasts.

Moving Forward

Moving forward, cultivate a mindset that has you looking for PowerPoint presentation ideas every day. Clip them from the web, jot notes down when your ideas occur to you and set up the systems we showed you to deliver topic information.

Take a contrary stance, find an amazing graphics person and make your presentations dynamic to stand out from the herd.

Contact us for ways to add data, tickers, timers, etc. to your presentation.

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