A good presentation is an attractive story which will capture you from the beginning until the end.
Reading aloud is not a option and you don't need to. Normally you know what you want to say (otherwise you should study what you want to explain) and you make use of a presentation which supports your story. Key words and pictures will help you.
Tips when presenting
Although Microsoft Powerpoint has a lot of possibilities, like themes, fonts and more, there are a lot of people, even at universities, who use black and white slides. The goal of the presentation is to support your narrative, but a picture is worth a thousand words and with eye candy you can keep them focused on your presentation.
Besides PowerPoint you could also use Prezi, an online tool for creating slideshows. Prezi is especially useful for creating slideshow in which you want to have an overview of the whole topic. You can create it in such a way that all slides will be part of one big picture.
Tips when making a slideshow
Readability vs. creativity
A really boring presentation only contains black and white slides, but another mistake would be to use too much pictures and colours in a way that people cannot read your slides anymore.
Above you see four different slide designs. The first one is not readable. Here the picture is really important, but you can't read the words. Creativity is really important, but it should not interfere with your goal, which is explaining something. The other three slides are examples of how you could improve the readability and while still using the beautiful picture.
A good layout of your slides
Besides the layout, the amount of text on your slides is really important. You don’t want your listeners reading too much while you are telling your story, because then they don’t follow you. Full sentences are not useful, except if you want to give a definition.
Make sure that the title is functional, so more than just a name. Next to that, make use of words which the listeners have to remember. These key words will support the presenter and his/her story. You don’t need a piece of paper, your slides function as your guide.
Below you see two slides with a functional (explaining) title, an illustration and the key words.
The use of pictures
When you know what you want to tell and your presentation supports your story well, presenting isn’t that difficult. Choose useful pictures or photos and explain them. A picture which you don’t explain doesn’t make sense. Sometimes a picture is funny or creative (like a picture of Plankton from the Spongebob series when you are talking about plankton), but it doesn’t make your story more fun or more understandable (it does improve the ethos of your presentation). If you design a slideshow with good pictures, it will make it easier to present: you only have to explain the pictures. Think about that while you prepare your presentation and try to find a useful picture for every part.