5 Tips to Making a Professional Slideshow

A professional slideshow is great when making a presentation, lecture, seminar and a whole lot more. It is simple to make and can be done within minutes. There are a number of computer programs which allow users to add new slides, images, text, music, transitions, animations, videos and other special effects. The right combination of these elements can differentiate between a slideshow made for professional reasons and one for more casual occasions. Here are a few tips to making slideshows more professional.

1. Choose a Theme

Some programs built specifically for making slideshows allow the user to select an overall theme. A theme basically dictates a set of fonts, colors and even the background image for the entire presentation. This makes the look of the presentation more consistent and professional.

2. Use High Resolution Photos

A critical step in creating great slideshows for presentations or lectures is by choosing high resolution pictures. Most business presentations are made with at least a small group of people. A computer or laptop screen is insufficient. Instead, a projector is commonly used. With a larger screen, any image imperfections will also be enlarged. Use a photo editing program to remove any obvious imperfections as well as removing any black space. For DVD resolution, the image must have at least 1500x1000 pixels to allow for adequate space for editing.

3. Choose Appropriate Video and Audio

Video, animations or any moving graphic content can make the presentation more alive and exciting. Graphics and animations, such as charts or diagrams, can also help in conveying the message much better than just using text. Use only when needed as these may also distract the user from the real content of the presentation. Select audio, which is appropriate for the feel of the presentation. Always remember that each element used can help set the stage or mood of the slideshow or make it more confusing for the audience.

4. Limit Transitions

There are a number of programs used in making slideshows. Video editing and photo montage software can also be used for the same purpose. With more powerful tools, a large number of transitions and effects are often bundled with the program. Using a wide variety of these effects will place the focus on the transition or effect used and not in the content of the slides. When making professional presentations, choose only one or two effect for the entire presentation. Use those that are not as flashy such as a fade-in or dissolve.

5. Make Each Slide Last Long

When creating a professional presentation, it may be important to stress some parts. Programs that are specifically created for creating slideshows give users the option of choosing whether to let the slides run automatically after a predetermined time or after each click from the user. Always make sure that there is enough time for the viewer or audience to take in and understand what is indicated on each slide. Approximately 5-7 seconds is needed for the viewer to appreciate a single picture, even more depending on the type and amount of content included with each slide.