It is almost expected today that you will use PowerPoint in business presentations. It can be used to add visuals to the message and is an easy way to create a leave-behind handout or e-mail the presentation to others later.

Begin with the structure of the business presentation.

Start the presentation by defining the goal of the presentation, your objectives and what you want the audience to do, feel, understand or act on. Next, describe where the audience is today in terms of their knowledge, trust of you, attitudes and roles in the organization. You have to decide where visuals will add to your message and what those visuals should be.

Use font size and font colors that are visible.

It is unnecessary to have a graphic design for the background. Decide on a simple standard look for your slides so that the audience has visual consistency throughout the presentation. Select background and text colors that have enough contrast so that the text will be easy to read. For any text, it is recommended that a sans-serif font, like Arial or Calibri, is easier to read when projected, so use one of these fonts. For font size, it depends on the size of the screen and the size of the room, but 24 to 32 point size should be the minimum.

Rehearse the slide.

You must also rehearse your presentation by standing and delivering it as if it was for real. This is the only way to check your words, your visuals and whether the message is clear.

The success of your presentation is mostly determined before you ever get up to speak. Take the time to prepare using these ideas and look forward to many successful PowerPoint business presentations.