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PowerPoint and Public Speaking: What you need to know. Marcy B. Waldinger, MHSA Aisha T. Langford, MPH Emerging Leaders Program. Presentation Outline. PowerPoint Tips Public Speaking Tips Discussion. PowerPoint Quote.

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PowerPoint and Public Speaking: What you need to know

Marcy B. Waldinger, MHSA

Aisha T. Langford, MPH

Emerging Leaders Program

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Presentation Outline

  • PowerPoint Tips

  • Public Speaking Tips

  • Discussion

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PowerPoint Quote

“The audience has come to hear you, not merely to stare at images tossed onto a screen. Build a strong PowerPoint program, but make sure that your spoken remarks are no less compelling. "PowerPoint doesn't give presentations — PowerPoint makes slides.”

Matt Thornhill, president of Audience First.

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PowerPoint Guidelines

  • Uncluttered slides

  • No more than 5 lines

  • Good text contrast

  • Large enough font

  • Be prepared to improvise in case of technical difficulties!!!!

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PowerPoint Tips

  • Have compelling material

  • Keep it simple

  • Minimize numbers in slides

  • Don't be a parrot

  • Time your remarks

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PowerPoint Tips

  • Give it a rest

  • Use vibrant colors

  • Use various images, videos, cartoons, graphics

  • Distribute handouts at the end

  • Edit ruthlessly, then let someone else review

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Adequate Color Contrast


  • Hard to read

  • Hard to read

  • Hard to read


  • Much better!

  • Much better!

  • Much better!

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  • Sizes 28 – 32 are easy to read

  • Use plain fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial)

  • Avoid fancy script fonts

    -Hard to read

    -Harder to read

    -I’m dizzy

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Avoid Using All CAPS




  • All caps are hard to read

  • All caps in e-mail = shouting

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  • Be thoughtful about CLIP ART graphics

  • Some can appear amateur and unprofessional

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  • Utilize JeanAnn Davidson, UMHS graphic designer

  • Websites for stock photos

    -Jupiter Unlimited (free images): www.jiunlimited.com

    -IStock Photo (low cost images): www.istockphoto.com

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More exciting images

“Normal colon vs. colon with polyp”

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  • Avoid photos as backdrops

  • Text is hard to read

  • Distracting

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More PowerPoint Tips

  • Animation can be useful, but may crash slide show

  • Don’t use the “auto-advance” slide feature

  • Film clips and music can enhance presentations

  • Make slides into PDF if sharing electronically

  • Cite references

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Most Common PowerPoint Complaints

  • Reading slides

  • Text too small

  • Full sentences instead of bullet points

  • Moving/flying text or graphics

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Most Common PowerPoint Complaints

  • Annoying sounds

  • Overly complex diagrams or charts

    -Give full-page hard copy of charts or

    -Break them up

  • Bad color choices

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Public Speaking Icebreaker

If you could be any public speaker (famous or not),

who would it be and why?

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Public Speaking Guidelines

  • Control fillers like “Uhhmns and Ahhs”

  • Error on the side of brevity vs. length

  • Respect time restraints

  • Pace yourself and speak slowly

  • Enunciate your words and project your voice!

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10 Public Speaking Tips

  • Know your audience

  • Know your material

  • Know the room

  • Practice

  • Relax

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10 Public Speaking Tips

  • Visualize yourself giving your speech

  • Realize that people want you to succeed

  • Don’t apologize

  • Concentrate on the message – not the medium

  • Gain experience

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Public Speaking Tips

  • Keep good eye contact

  • Smile

  • Express emotion

  • Avoid distracting mannerisms (fidgeting, lip biting, etc.)

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Public Speaking Tips

  • Create an “elevator speech” for impromptu introductions

    * 15 -30 seconds, 100 - 150 words to describe:

    1. What the product or service is

    2. What it does for the buyer/consumer (e.g. the benefits).

    3. Who you are

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Public Speaking Tips

  • Tell a story if appropriate

  • Stay true to your personality

  • Make gestures convincing

  • Vary your speaking position

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10 Biggest Public Speaking Mistakes

  • Starting with a whimper

  • Attempting to imitate other speakers

  • Failing to “work” the room

  • Failing to use relaxation techniques

  • Reading a speech word for word

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10 Biggest Public Speaking Mistakes

  • Using someone else’s stories

  • Speaking without passion

  • Ending a speech with questions and answers

  • Failing to prepare

  • Failing to realize that speaking is an acquired skill

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General Issues in Presenting

  • Minimize distractions

    -Turn off your cell phone and pager

    -Jingling keys

    -Change in pocket


  • Dress for credibility

  • Comfort using a podium and microphone

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General Issues in Presenting

  • Managing the audience

    -Setting expectations about scope of talk

    -Fielding questions

    -Looking out for side conversations

    *If you don’t have an answer, say so, then give an

    appropriate resource or promise to get back to them.

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General Issues in Presenting

Important Questions to Ask

  • What AV equipment will be provided?

  • How much time will I have?

  • How many people do you expect?

  • What is the desired theme for the talk?

  • Who else is presenting on the program?

  • Will there be a podium?

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  • Prepare

  • Practice

  • Present

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Public Speaking Resources

  • Toastmasters International


    Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet weekly or bi-weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role. There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.

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Public Speaking Resources

The Toastmasters website has information on:

-Giving a Eulogy

-Toasting Tips

-Presenting an Award

-Accepting an Award

-What You Should Have Said

-Business Presentations

-The 10 Commandments of Communication

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Public Speaking Resources


  • In The SpotLight, Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet E. Esposito

  • Public Speaking (8th Edition) by Michael Osborn, Suzanne Osborn and Randall Osborn

  • The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room by Timothy J. Koegel

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Public Speaking Resources


  • How to Leave Your Audiences Begging for More by Chris King

  • 101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, Caryl Rae Krannich Ph.D.

  • Great Session Openers, Closers, and Energizers: Quick Activities for Warming Up Your Audience and Ending on a High Note by Marlene Caroselli

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Public Speaking Resources

  • U-M workshops and classes

  • Center for the Education of Women

  • EMU and Washtenaw colleges

  • Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti District Libraries

  • The Human Face, a BBC documentary narrated by John Cleese

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Presentation Information Sources/References

  • “Presenting with PowerPoint: 10 dos and don'ts” Microsoft Small Business Center website

  • “10 Tips for Public Speaking” and “10 Biggest Public Speaking Mistakes” Toastmasters International website

  • “How to Deliver an Effective Presentation” handout by Louise August & Jean Waltman Center for the Education of Women, Ann Arbor