23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be the focus of it.

In this article, we will be going over several tips and tricks on how you can become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Fundamental Rules To Building Powerful & Engaging Presentation Slides
    1. Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides
    2. Use more images and less text
    3. Use high-quality images
    4. Keep the focus on YOU and your presentation, not the PowerPoint
    5. Your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room
  2. Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips
    1. Use A Consistent Presentation Design
    2. One Topic Per Slide
    3. Avoid information overwhelm by using the “Rule of Three”
    4. Display one bullet at a time
  3. Presentation Blunders To Avoid
    1. Avoid unnecessary animations
    2. Only add content that supports your main points
    3. Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter
    4. Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation
  4. Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging
    1. Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness
    2. Change the tone of your voice when presenting
    3. Host an expert discussion panel
  5. How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive
    1. Ask questions
    2. Embed videos
    3. Use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience
  6. Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs
    1. He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
    2. He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
    3. He found made the complex sound simple.
    4. He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.
  7. Summary – How To Make Your Presentation Engaging & Interactive

Fundamental Rules To Building Powerful & Engaging Presentation Slides

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to compliment your story.

Use more images and less text

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides bellow.

Flat Design PowerPoint Design Animation

Use high-quality images

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Cheezy Clipart versus High Quality Image

Keep the focus on YOU and your presentation, not the PowerPoint

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

Use A Consistent Presentation Design

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distracting from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.


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One Topic Per Slide

Each slide should try and represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Avoid information overwhelm by using the “Rule of Three”

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “Rule of Three,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience in each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

Avoid unnecessary animations

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message.  Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before delivering the presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech.


Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that will help you deliver an engaging and interactive presentation? 
Check out our most popular presentation templates at SlideModel >

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side into your presentation at the right moment.

Change the tone of your voice when presenting

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across.  Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable.

Host an expert discussion panel

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

Ask questions

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely taking in the information one way. So ask many them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018 https://youtu.be/_KN-5zmvjAo?t=6m53s

Embed videos

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a point or message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

Use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allowing them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answer to audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008 | https://youtu.be/1CgAKBf4bbU?t=1h4m26s

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engaging.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

Summary – How To Make Your Presentation Engaging & Interactive

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation, it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practicing of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.


Deliver your next Powerful PowerPoint Presentation with one of our templates at SlideModel >

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

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