If you subscribe to news feeds or have friends who love to share information found online, you’ve likely seen some fresh, thought-provoking PowerPoint presentations. While some are traditional, and others are trend-setting, they share a common factor that makes them great – the ability to convey a message to make a powerful “point” quickly, concisely, and memorably. In a nutshell, a great presentation sells a concept, doing so in a way that grips and holds your attention.

The rise of slides as an extremely effective internet communication medium has not gone unrecognized by groups such as Microsoft and PowerPoint and hosting company SlideShare, who award honors each year to standouts. Listed below are a few favorite slideshows, as well as a tips on how to create your own.


1. ShiftHappens

Perspective on technology growth and change in China and India in comparison with the U.S.

Shift Happens from Jeff Brenman


2. Recycling

Bringing to life the impact of waste on our environment.

View the presentation.


3. PowerPoint in Education

Practical and funny look at educational slides.

View the presentation.


4. Death by Powerpoint

Of the million presentations occurring daily around the world, half of them are unbearable. How to avoid delivering a “killer.”


5. SMOKE The Convenient Truth

The real costs of cigarette smoking, broken down into basics.

SMOKE – The Convenient Truth [1st place Worlds Best Presentation Contest] by Empowered Presentations from Empowered Presentations


6. Thirst

Water, our life blood.


7. FootNotes

A tribute to that underappreciated and overworked part of our body.


8. Healthcare Napkins All

A 4-napkin explanation of issues with the American healthcare system.

Healthcare Napkins All from Dan Roam


A great presentation shines in three areas: Content, design, and delivery. How this works is explained very well in one of SlideShare’s top award choices, Meet Henry, the story of a smart young man with an MBA whose PowerPoint slides are plain and boring. So what can you do if you have a great concept you want to put into slides, but are like Henry and just don’t know how to turn your message from bland and boring into unforgettable?

Start at the beginning with a basic course in PowerPoint: Learn PowerPoint in Easy Steps

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can add to your skill set by learning how to embed pictures, video, and multimedia content into your slides.

Learn how to make a slideshow and more with Beginner to Pro in PowerPoint: Complete PowerPoint Training  

Knowing what you can do and where you can do it will help you visualize your end product. You need to know what your limitations are and what things are possible. Watch the great PowerPoint presentations. Do you see some effective use of video that you’d like to replicate?

Learn about video possibilities with PowerPoint: Become a Master Web Video Maker

Now that you have gained some confidence in using PowerPoint and you understand what types of multimedia you can use, you are ready to begin crafting the message you want to convey. First, you need to think about your content. If you are a great writer, you may be able to get your message across effectively, but if you struggle to pull a coherent sentence together, you may want to enlist help. Place your project up for bids on a freelance writing website or hire a contract writer, often at a very competitive rate. A writer can take your concept and create a script that will get your point across clearly and concisely.

Even if your writing skills are above average, some help in creative wordsmithing can make a big difference in whether your PowerPoint project will speak simply and clearly. A refresher on good creative writing can be a huge help.

Whip your writing skills into shape with Write Less, Say More: Produce Powerful Written Communication

Now you have your slide basics and you’ve got a script ready to go. Your concept is simple and clear, and you have the right words to convey it concisely. What next? You need eye-catching design and kick-ass delivery. Design can be colorful or stark. It can be playful or sombre. Whatever style you choose, it needs to fit with your message and it needs to be consistent. The colors you choose are very important, since your palette will send a message of its own.

Remember the old adage about pictures being worth more than words? Look for visuals that are evocative, able to express a complicated concept in a single graphic. Even with great pictures, however, you need the ability to blend those images with your text in a way that gets the point across.

Learn the tricks of making your slides stand out with this course: Powerful Presentations

Turning your drab, boring PowerPoint presentation into one that is compelling and dramatic does not have to be difficult. Remember: content, design, and delivery. Focus on a key concept and the message or story you want to tell. Remember, less is more. Create a compelling design. Use the power of the PowerPoint tool to maximize the impact of your delivery. Here’s a few more tips from the experts:

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