to Prevent PowerPoint Panic By Amanda
A great PowerPoint
presentation is a combination of content, design and delivery. All three
are important and must work together to ensure your audience remembers
your message. But when it boils down to it, PowerPoint is a combination
of text, images and diagrams on a series of slides. How this is done can
make or break your presentation.
I can't 'see' it, I don't understand it." Einstein
Diagrams, graphs and images are an effective way of communicating information
in a memorable way. E.g. it is quicker and more effective to demonstrate
a rise in sales on a graph, than in a series of figures or blocks of text. 2. Visuals can be used to add interest and act as a support to
your speech. This is more effective and memorable than reading text, from
the slide. 3. They can simplify a complicated process or concept. Arrows or
colours can be used to draw attention to key information.
Use the right type of graph for the information:
- line or area graphs
- pie charts
and contrast - bar graphs
Flow, timetables, company structures - diagrams
Make sure the colours in the diagrams reflect those used throughout the
presentation. 3. Visuals should act as a support to your message. Keep it simple!
E.g. the fewer lines, the better. There is no need for an axis scale and
data points - remove extraneous details.
with the devil!
the 666 rule - no more than 6 word slides in a row, no more than 6
bullet points on a slide, no more than 6 words in a bullet point.
Use one or two fonts from the same family (preferably sans serif fonts
such as Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma as they are easier to read) 2. Ensure the text can be clearly seen. Font size should be no
less than 18 point if it is to be viewed comfortably on screen. 3. Use phrases rather than sentences. These act as a prompt to
the point you are making and will ensure you do not just repeat what is
on the slide. 4. Use the text placeholders set up in your slide master. Your
titles and text blocks will always be in exactly the same place on each
slide and your titles will not 'jump' from slide to slide.
Clarity and consistency. A well thought out template contains:
elements such as logos or images
and size and
font and background colours
If you get
the template right, it will not only save you time but make your presentation
look more professional ensuring consistency though out. There will be
no shifting titles, wrong fonts or clashing colours, however many people
work on the presentation.
Ensure the background design will not overwhelm your text and diagrams. 2. The template should reflect both your corporate image and the
key message of the presentation. E.g. a bright contemporary background
would be inappropriate for a presentation intended to convey unwelcome
news. 3. Be aware of your use of colour. Not only should they compliment
the company brand, they should also reflect the point you are making.
Remember - the colours you see on your PC will look different when projected
and different again when you print them out.
IV. REVIEWING THE PRESENTATION
Take an objective
and overall look at your presentation.
- one point?
easy to understand?
in use of fonts, colours and layout?
flow to the slides?
If a slide's
meaning is not apparent after 7 seconds the slide needs to be rethought.
very best leaders, almost without exception and at every level are master
users of stories and symbols." Tom Peters, Management Consultant
Westland is Director of sortoutmypres.com, an online presentation
design company. With her background as a designer on BBC News she has
a wealth of experience in taking complex ideas and presenting them in
a memorable way. Her corporate understanding of business issues was gained
as a presentation designer in a busy management consultancy.
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