Authors write books and facilitators facilitate workshops and creative consultants consult on the RIGHT way to use PowerPoint (or Keynote if you own a Mac). Let's cut to the chase — here are my 5 Must Do's when it comes to a presentation:
- Solid, Plain Background Keep it simple and open (I like plain white). Also, everyone loves to have their logo on every page - I don't ascribe to this tenet. If you are afraid of someone absconding with critical information, have copyright info at the beginning and end. If you're worried, add it to the printed form. But for screen projection - Less is More.
- No Bullets If you are using bullets on a slide, you are saying TOO much. Your slide is a thought, an impact, or an idea that people will remember. What you add verbally is the filler, the bullets, the knowledge. The minute I see bullets I want to walk out - because I know that the presenter has no idea what they're doing.
- 15 Words or Less I prefer 10 or less, but 15 is fine. Again, less is more. People don't want War & Peace, they want ideas, they want knowledge, they want to be entertained. If you fill the page with words, they are reading and not listening to you.
- Images Use images to add flourish and vibrancy to what you are saying. If they are boring business photos or bad art (which comes with PowerPoint - and they're awful) - stop before you kill again. Don't put an image on every slide - let the typography of the information reinforce your verbal statement.
- Colors & Fonts Keep it to 2-3 consistent colors. Since my branding has green, I use it with a graphite gray and a subdued autumn orange. That's it. Keep to 1 font only - if you begin to mix, I will walk out.
My comments might sound harsh - but I am a highly discriminating audience. My time is money (and yours should be too). I encounter too many morons (and I use the term lightly) who abuse our senses with bad presentations and awful delivery (I will cover How To Deliver in my next post). I hope they find illumination from this post and change their treasonous ways.
Feel free to agree or disagree with me (that's what the comments section is for) - I look forward to the discussion!