PowerPoint can be a tremendous visual aid or it can be a tremendous sleep aid.
Many audiences blame PowerPoint for being boring but that is like blaming a car for driving too fast ad swerving.PowerPoint is a tool and it is up to the user to determine how well it is used.
Here are some guidelines to help you be a skilled user.
- Each slide should contain only 1 message
- Replace words with images wherever possible
- Eliminate distracting items from photos
- Use a descriptive title
- Use a black “safety slide” at the beginning and end of your show
- Limit slides to six (or fewer) lines of six (or fewer) words
- Progressively disclose new information
- Use a sans serif font that is at least 30 points
- Display ideas – not sentences
- Check your spelling
Keep charts and tables simple
- tables to 5 rows/columns
- bar graphs to 5 bars
- line graphs to 3 lines
- Pie graphs to as few slices as needed
- Include only needed information (Eliminate redundant subtitles, grid lines and tick marks)
- Use labels instead of keys
- Place numbers directly on or by bars
- Emphasize key elements with features, not a laser pointer
- Select a background that matches or enhances your message
- Mix it up – use a variety of backgrounds
- Avoid using your logo on every slide
- Fill your screen with the photo
- Use one photo per screen
Many of us have developed a disdain for PowerPoint. The truth is PowerPoint is a great tool -it is just tends to be used improperly.
Use these simple guidelines to help you. If you have questions, contact iSpeakEASY or call to arrange for a PowerPoint skills workshop at your office.
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