We don't always have class presentations but when we do we must make sure that the faculties are impressed, grades are secure, our teammates are proud and opponents are jealous. On top of that, it is mandatory to look 'presentable' in sarees or suits during a presentation. It is difficult to pull off a presentation, be it group or individual, and they often require all-nighters and stressful practice sessions but here we are, with a few tips and tricks to make your efforts count and your presentations stand out visually.Fonts
The choice of fonts might seem to be of little value but it dramatically changes what and how your audience perceives something. Use your own font instead of the default fonts on your computer. For instance, my team used Harry Potter fonts for an English class presentation on Harry Potter and yes, it was cool. Just make sure that you check the option for embedding the font or else it might not show up on a different computer.Images
High resolution images can make your presentation stand out. Look for professional quality images that are royalty-free using a free stock photo search engine such as Everystockphoto.com or Morguefile.com.Diagrams and shapes
Paragraphing and bullet lists can be monotonous. Use SmartArt function to create diagrams and flow charts in less time and deliver information better. Remember to choose the best type of chart for your data so you are presenting your information as clearly as possible.Templates
Microsoft provides a range of PowerPoint templates, many of which are professionally designed. Even better, Microsoft's picture and text effects templates include visually attractive slides that combine graphics with simple or animated text. Do take care of the colour combination for your templates and text. Often presentations can appear dull and hazy on a projector if colours are used without thought.Add-ins
To add value to PowerPoint's potential, use third party add-ins. For example, you can use LiveWeb to insert web pages into a PowerPoint slide and refresh the pages real-time during slide show, allowing you to make amazing PowerPoint presentations with real time information.Use Multimedia
Often a video clip explains better to your audience what you have been trying to build up in the past 30 slides. Either you download a few videos from YouTube and sew them together to create your own or make a video all by yourself; Windows Movie Maker can do wonders to your work. PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. Embedding will look much more professional than switching between windows. The steps to insert videos are very similar to those for inserting sound: Select Insert Menu > Movies and Sounds> Movie from File.Alternatives to PowerPoint
PowerPoint is still the most widely used presentation tool, but if you think it is too commonplace or find its linear format too limiting, many alternatives can fill in for your presentation creation needs. These include Prezi which is a great tool for non-linear presentations. It has a unique zooming interface that gives your work some motion. This presentation software is definitely a popular choice but it's the best tool for those who need to constantly jump from one part of their presentation to another. Another great presentation tool is Powtoon. If you want to stir your audience with a great pitch, story and emotional hooks, Powtoon allows you to present using animated characters and introduce 'story telling' rather than narration of facts. You can even create short animated video clips using Powtoon which are great at engaging your audience.