Why, oh why are people still creating terrible PowerPoint presentations? After this much time in the public domain, you would think people would have figured out how to use the program effectively as a communications medium. But I am repeatedly astonished at the slides I see in webinars.
People, I beg of you. Sit and think for a minute about the basics. If you put light text on a light background, you can’t read it. If you put dark text on a dark background, you can’t read it. If you put very small fonts in box captions, it doesn't show up well on a laptop screen, shrunk down to fit in a small window that is only one portion of the total webinar frame.
If you put up a chart filled with numbers or text that is too dense to take in, your audience will give up and look elsewhere for entertainment. If you fill a screen with what amounts to your entire speaking script, you will not only be redundant in your spoken content, but you will frustrate your audience, who didn't sign up to read a book online.
There are a few special considerations for PowerPoints used in webinars. Try to keep graphics from spilling out to the edges of your slide. You need a buffer of whitespace to separate your content from the surrounding panels. You should also minimize animations, as these often get transmitted poorly to the audience (if the conferencing software supports the animations at all).
But for the basics, please check out one or two of the many excellent free resources available online. Microsoft has free tips available on its PowerPoint page at this link. Here is a very detailed and text-rich guide to PowerPoint design. There are a million of these things you can find on a Google search of PowerPoint Design Tips. They tend to be fairly similar, as the basics have been long established and agreed upon. And yet the vast majority of presentation authors ignore the guidelines.
You have the power to make your presentation more effective. Think about what you are doing. Think about how the audience will be receiving the information. And if you still want some help, call on Webinar Success for a review and clean up of your slides.