Monday, February 07, 2005

Don't overdo the PowerPoint!

It's so easy, isn't it? PowerPoint offers a treasure trove of gizmos to wow your audience. From background templates that zing with colour, to a cacophony of sound that announces the latest arrival on the screen. You can flash, drizzle, slide, drop, fade, zoom, dissolve or even spin your events to make your PowerPoint look as if the entire production team of an epic film have been employed to create just this one slideshow.


Well perhaps not so wonderful. It's true that PowerPoint presentations that just contain text can be very dull and boring. But sitting through the 1812 Overture whilst trying to absorb information is not the way to do it.

So here are some tips for a successful presentation.

The templates that come with PowerPoint tend to be a bit over the top. Design your own template that you can use for all your presentations. It could be at an organisational or individual level, but choose colours carefully and dicreetly. It may just consist of your logo and little else.

Don't put too many words on the slide. Bullet points are better than sentences. That way you will make more effort to expand the point as you talk and not just read the slide out to your audience!

Use Clip Art sparingly. Don't just stick a picture on a slide because you can! Do it because it emphasises or extends your the point you are making. If the point you are making is boring, then reconsider how you present it, but don't just add a picture that will simply act as a distraction from an already boring slide!

And animations go the same way! Neat, crisp transitions are better than falling stars and zooming texts.

Using a hyperlink is a good way of developing a topic during a presentation. But if you are always going to follow the hyperlink then consider ditching it in favour of incorporating the material in the slide show. This keeps the story flow going.

Finally, don't get carried away with the length! If everyone has fallen asleep by the time you finish then ........................zzz zzz zzz zzz


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