PowerPoint is so easy to use that we often believe that with a little bit of experience, we are good at it. Studies show that more than 80% of presentations are poorly done. You do not need to be a researcher though, to know that most presentations using PowerPoint are sleepers. Too often, shows are full of badly designed slides that contain too much detail and provide the audience with too little of what they really want – what it all means.
Take a look at the two slides below created by Marianne Gates.
Right off the bat – which has more eye-appeal? What is your initial reaction to each of the slides?
The objective of the slide is to demonstrate that taking a particular supplement lowers the oxidative stress level regardless of your age.
Which slide is more effective at reaching that objective?
Which are you more likely to remember?
Marianne realized the first slide contained more information than was needed. It is complex and overwhelming: audience members would not even try to understand it. Her success rate with her presentation overall was lower than she desired.
Notice the changes she made on the after slide:
- The graphics are clear and crisp.
- The message is easily readable.
- It contains only the information essential to her point.
- Extraneous information has been eliminated.
- The trend is clearly apparent.
- She reinforces her point with color (red is bad and green is good).
- She uses her words to give the context limiting the amount of information needed on the slide.
- (What you can not see here is the animation she uses. The slide opens with just the axis. As she talks, the red and green lines appear).
She has not cheated her audience by removing information; she has enhanced their ability to understand what she is saying.
Your graphics should be designed to help you get your message across as simply and easily as possible.
Marianne did not just “re-create” her slides. She went through a process of determining her message, laid out measurable objectives, and then created her visual aids. This was not an easy 15-minute fix. She invested money in training and many hours of time into improving her presentation. Her investment will pay off, as she will more easily and quickly reach her goals. She will save time and earn more money. She already feels more confident in her presentation, which will make her a more credible speaker.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of “Tips For Effective PowerPoint Graphics”, send an email to ethan@iSpeakEASY.net with “PowerPoint Tips” in the subject line.
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