The Untold Story of Presentations: What College Doesn't Teach You

Unveiling the reality of presentations beyond college. Explore the power of PowerPoint in conveying information, fostering collaboration, and creating professional business presentations that shine.
The Untold Story of Presentations: What College Doesn't Teach You
Photo by Robert Bye / Unsplash
Table of Contents
In: Career, Presentation Design

Hey there, fellow presentation creators! You know, in college, we're often taught to create presentations as if they were speeches to be delivered at a conference. But let me tell you, in the business world, it's a whole different ball game. Most presentations are actually business documents created in PowerPoint. Surprised? Let's dive in.

The Reality of Presentations in the Business World


In the professional sphere, presentations are less about delivering a speech and more about conveying information, proposing ideas, or reporting findings. They're shared via email, discussed in small team meetings, or used as a reference document. They may never see a projector or a large audience, but they play a crucial role in communication and decision-making.

For example, consider a marketing team preparing a report on the latest campaign results. Instead of creating a formal speech, they would use PowerPoint to compile data, charts, and key findings into a presentation. This document can then be shared with the rest of the company, providing everyone with an easy-to-understand overview of the campaign's performance.

Why PowerPoint Reigns Supreme

PowerPoint is the go-to tool for business presentations, and here's why:


Whether it's text, images, charts, graphs, or even video, PowerPoint can handle it all. This versatility makes it a powerful tool for conveying complex information in an easy-to-understand format.

For instance, if you're presenting a new product idea, you can use PowerPoint to combine text descriptions, product sketches, market analysis charts, and even a demo video all in one place. This allows you to present a comprehensive overview of your idea in a format that's easy for your audience to digest.


PowerPoint's collaboration features, like co-authoring and comments, make it easy for teams to work together on presentations. This is crucial in a business setting, where input from multiple stakeholders is often needed.

Imagine you're working on a project proposal with your team. With PowerPoint, you can all work on the presentation simultaneously, adding your own sections, providing feedback, and making edits in real time. This collaborative approach ensures that everyone's ideas are heard and the final presentation is a product of the entire team's input.


A well-designed PowerPoint presentation can convey professionalism and credibility. It's like your business suit - it helps you make a strong impression.

Just as you would dress professionally for a business meeting, your PowerPoint presentation should also look the part. Use a clean, professional design, choose fonts and colors that are easy to read, and organize your content in a logical, easy-to-follow manner. This will help you present your ideas in the best possible light and make a strong impression on your audience.

Tips for Creating Business Presentations That Shine

Now that you know the reality of presentations in the business world, here are some tips to help you create PowerPoint presentations that really shine:

Content is King

In business presentations, it's all about the content. Make sure your information is clear, concise, and relevant. Avoid fluff and stick to the key points. Remember, your audience is busy professionals who appreciate straight-to-the-point, actionable information.

For example, if you're presenting a project update, don't just list out what tasks have been completed. Instead, focus on the impact of those tasks. How have they moved the project forward? What challenges were overcome? What are the next steps? This approach provides your audience with valuable insights, not just raw data.

Visuals are Your Friends

Visuals can enhance understanding, but remember, they're there to support your points, not to replace your text. Use visuals strategically to highlight key points, illustrate concepts, or display data. But always make sure your visuals are clear, relevant, and properly labeled.

For instance, if you're presenting sales data, a well-designed chart can make it much easier for your audience to grasp the trends and patterns. But don't forget to include a brief text explanation as well, to ensure your point is clear even without the visual.


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Use PowerPoint's collaboration features to gather input from your team. Remember, two heads are better than one! Encourage your team members to contribute their ideas, provide feedback, and help refine the presentation. This collaborative approach not only improves the quality of the presentation but also fosters a sense of ownership and teamwork.

Keep it Professional

A clean, professional design goes a long way. Avoid excessive animations or flashy effects - they can distract from your content. Instead, focus on creating a clean, easy-to-read layout with consistent fonts, colors, and styles. This will help your presentation look polished and professional and make it easier for your audience to focus on your content.

Be Ready for Discussion

Business presentations often spark discussions. Be ready to answer questions, provide additional information, and engage in a dialogue with your audience. This not only shows your expertise but also helps build relationships and foster a collaborative environment.

For example, you might end your presentation with a slide inviting questions or comments or suggesting next steps for discussion. This shows your audience that you value their input and are open to discussion.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it - the untold story of presentations. Remember, creating presentations for the business world is a different ball game, but with these tips, you'll be hitting home runs in no time. Whether you're pitching a new idea, reporting on a project, or sharing market insights, PowerPoint is your ally. So go ahead, start creating those business presentations, and watch your communication skills soar to new heights. Happy presenting!

Written by
Tom Tran
Business presentation designer, marketing manager, and goldendoodle dad.
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