What’s your #1 Powerpoint tip?

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Henry Brown 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #151141

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    Whether we like it or not, a large part of white collar work is in Powerpoint these days. Whether it’s presenting a project overview to your boss or a speech in front of 30 people, most of the time it is done in Powerpoint (some do an occasional Prezi).

    Knowing this is true, how do we make great powerpoint presentations? What do you do to make your powerpoint presentations shine at work?

    What’s your #1 powerpoint tip?

  • #151199

    Henry Brown
    Participant

    Test/review before getting in front of the “audience”

  • #151197

    Paul Wolf
    Participant

    While you asked for my #1 tip, I will nonetheless provide a few that I picked up from Seth Godin & Guy Kawasaki, who are both well known for doing great presentations.

    Keep it short in terms of length (20 minutes), 10 slides, 30 point font

    Make slides that reinforce your words not repeat them

    communicate information through the emotion of photos and not stats

    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html#axzz1knZlDtiP

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/really_bad_powe.html

  • #151195

    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    1) Buy Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals by Ruth Colvin Clark and follow her guidelines on how to present visual information effectively.

  • #151193
  • #151191

    Kristy Dalton
    Participant

    You can’t say it better than comedian Don McMillan’s Life After Death by PowerPoint video:

  • #151189

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    From Twitter

    Less words = More impact

  • #151187

    Allison Primack
    Participant

    Here are a few of the suggestions from GovLoop’s Facebook page:

    Jill Huibregtse McCormick I have a few… 1. Use a black background, 2. Less words more images and 3. do not read the slides!

    Lauren Modeen Make image entire slide – with just a few words to tell story

    Hal Grieb use to accent your presentation, not be your presentation

    Jennifer Brand Make the background and text contrasting colors and avoid designs that cut through the text (or move the text so that it doesn’t).

    Gayla Pickett Schaefer Use old MySpace code to make YouTube videos autoplay.

  • #151185

    Allison Primack
    Participant

    Also, there were several suggestions saying to not use Powerpoint at all! Prezi and Keynote seemed to be the alternative programs of choice.

  • #151183

    Save early, save often!

  • #151181

    I use Prezi at school more than Powerpoint, but someone told me you have to pay for it if you don’t have a .edu email. Not sure if that’s true …

  • #151179

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    Some good ones from FB:

    • Jill Huibregtse McCormick I have a few… 1. Use a black background, 2. Less words more images and 3. do not read the slides!

      2 hours ago ·
    • Dustin Haisler Tip #1 Use Keynote 🙂

      about an hour ago ·
    • Sebastian Haselbeck Don’t use Powerpoint

      about an hour ago ·
    • Lauren Modeen Make image entire slide – with just a few words to tell story

      about an hour ago ·
    • Christopher Fink what´s powerpoint?

      about an hour ago ·
    • Hal Grieb use to to accent your presentation, not be your presentation

      about an hour ago ·
    • Jennifer Brand Make the background and text contrasting colors and avoid designs that cut through the text (or move the text so that it doesn’t).

      about an hour ago ·
    • Nick Charney Use prezi.

      52 minutes ago ·
    • Gayla Pickett Schaefer Use old MySpace code to make YouTube videos autoplay.
  • #151177

    Deb Green
    Participant

    My Top 10 Tips for giving Presentations –

    Lesson #1: Powerpoint is an aide to YOUR presentation. It doesn’t give your presentation for you. You’re the star, not Microsoft.

    Lesson #2: If you have more than 15 words on a slide, you’re wrong.

    Lesson #3: If you have more than one animation or transition on the slide, you’re wrong.

    Lesson #4: NEVER use the “typing” animation, and please make sure you NEVER include the sound feature for it. (ok, maybe this is just my pet peeve)

    Lesson #5: Use pictures to frame your message or story for the audience.

    Lesson #6: Be sure you can give a meaningful presentation even if your A/V goes kaput.

    Lesson #7: Be sure you use your agency’s branded presentation template if you’re representing your organization.

    Lesson #8: End your Powerpoint presentation with your name, phone number, email address so an audience member can contact you if they need more information

    Lesson #9: If you need a presentation that needs more data than pictures, use the notes section to enter your narrative or bullets. Send/give the audience soft copes (or hard, if they’re dinosaurs) including your notes so they can have context after your presentation.

    Lesson #10: Storyboard in Powerpoint – then transition your awesomeness to Prezi. 🙂

  • #151175

    Justin Kerr-Stevens
    Participant

    I always try and abide by the 10:20:30 rule. 10 Slides, 20 point font, talk for no longer than 30 Minutes.

  • #151173

    Corey McCarren
    Participant

    Not sure how much government workers would be using pecha kucha presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds each), but if you do so, PRACTICE! One of my classmates used a stopwatch to see when to change slides once, it was a catastrophe. Also, in a normal presentation, the Powerpoint should rarely be the focus of the presentation. Make a few key reference points and that’s it.

  • #151171

    Deb Green
    Participant

    Love the 10 slide rule!

  • #151169

    Justin Kerr-Stevens
    Participant

    I have to say… it doesn’t always work. There is an occasional ‘bunny in the head lights’ look when I finish… which is the point they realise I’m not there just to talk at them! 😉

  • #151167

    Deb Green
    Participant

    Putty in your hands… putty in your hands 🙂

  • #151165

    Denise Kennedy
    Participant

    Love the comments here. If the question is about building a PPT, I find that setting up consistent master slides helps the process. In terms of great Content – Slideology by Nancy Duarte does a great job of the prework that you have to do to develop great content. Brainstorm your themes and messages, understand your audience and their needs and expectations, and then boil that down to visuals and words with meaning.

  • #151163

    Candace Riddle
    Participant

    Prezi now allows you to drop your Powerpoint slides right into Prezi. It used to take me hours to translate those boring slides into something great…now it is done in minutes. Just visit http://www.prezi.com.

    My number one tip is DON’T use Powerpoint…unless you have to.

  • #151161

    Sarah L. Gregory
    Participant

    Perfect. I am going to stop trying to explain in trainings what is wrong with our scientific PowerPoints and just show this video. 🙂

  • #151159

    David Johnson
    Participant

    I concur, that sums it up very nicely!

  • #151157

    Christie Scott
    Participant

    Bring a back up on disk, on flash drive and email it to yourself. And if you can… bring an IT person with you. The place you are giving the presentation might not be set up like your computer at the office.

  • #151155

    Shannon Kennedy
    Participant

    I love this!

  • #151153

    John Denne
    Participant

    Everybody should have this training! KISS holds here, too.

  • #151151

    Veronica Kelly
    Participant

    Know about the room and conditions you’ll be giving the presentation in (and test in there if you possibly can)

    Make sure someone with okay-but-not-the-best eyesight can read/comprehend each slide quickly when they are sitting at the BACK of the room. You’re testing font legibility, graphic size, and colour contrast. Particularly if the room itself will be bright or (heaven forbid) has a light source behind the screen.

    No point in having a brilliant slide if they can’t read a word of it 🙂

  • #151149

    Susan
    Participant

    Keep the screen content simple but use dynamic words. Flesh out the ideas in the handout notes if the presentation will serve as a future reference.

  • #151147

    Jennifer Moore
    Participant

    Make sure your Powerpoint is accessible to everyone in your audience. When I say accessible, it means for the blind and low vision more so than any other disable person. There are ways to make this happen when preparing your presentation. I am very strong on this tip. This is my #1 tip

  • #151145

    Anonymous

    @Kristy, That video is priceless hysterical. It certainly summed up my feelings.

  • #151143

    Denise Petet
    Participant

    I reiterate folks suggestion to NOT just read the slide. If you’re just gonna stand up there and read the slide to me, just give me a handout and let me read it in peace.

    Also you are probably not as funny as you think you are, so use ‘humor’ sparingly.

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