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  1. #1
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    PowerPoint Dos and Don'ts (2000 SR1)

    I have asked to give a 45 minute lecture on the best way to present a PowerPoint presentation, rules on good design and pitfalls. I know the basic rules such as bullet points should be brief, not too many animation effects etc, but I would like the Loungers' feedback on presentations both GOOD and BAD.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: PowerPoint Dos and Don'ts (2000 SR1)

    I have not been trained on good and bad points, but here's my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> worth.
    The Presentation itself
    <UL><LI>Keep the number of bullet points per slide low.
    <LI>Keep the font size up! Even the people at the back need to be able to read the slides and we are not all blessed with 20/20 vision.
    <LI>Make the bullet points 'keywords' not the text you are going to say. They should be reminders to you and needn't be particularly meaningful to the audience. If you do the latter, the audience will just read it instead of listening to you. If you do the former, they have to listen to find out what's going on.
    <LI>Try not to have just text on a slide. Graphics/cartoons etc. make the slide visually interesting.
    <LI>Don't use a) too many fonts [img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] too many font sizes c) lots of colour for the text. Keep it simple.
    <LI>Don't have too many slides. Use the slides as prompts to keep you, the presenter, on track not make them a substitute. (How many times have you heard a presenter say " I won't bother to say the words - you can read it as well as I can say it"??)
    <LI>Encourage questions during the presentation. Beware of the 'I don't want to interrupt the flow of the presentation - can you ask me again when I've finished' put down.
    <LI>Make eye contact with everyone to make them feel they're included. If the auditorium is dark, do it anyway - from the floor it looks like the presenter is looking at you even if they can't see you![/list]Preparing the presentation
    <UL><LI>'Tell them what they need to know, not what you want to tell them'
    <LI>I used to use a 'spider' diagram - sometimes called a mind map? - to ensure all the points I wanted to make were covered. Then cut this down by at least 60% to produce the key slides.
    <LI>Put yourself in their position. What sort of presentation would you like to attend? One where you read everything from a screen, or one where the presenter was the focal point of knowledge and encouraged participation.
    <LI>Preparation is everything. It takes far, far longer to prepare a good presentation than it does to give it.
    <LI>Rehearse the presentation. Talk it, out loud, either to empty space or a long suffering partner. It gets the word flow established, avoids forgetting things, puts prompts into your head like 'mustn't forget to say that, there' and really establishes the timing. Fix the problems and repeat 2 or 3 times. On the live date, everything will seem familiar because it is. (Don't forget - buy partner present; this is above and beyond requirements of marriage vows)[/list]I think that' enough for a <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> worth.
    I hope you find this somewhat helpful (and that it doesn't start a range war among other, disagreeing loungers!)
    Silverback

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    Re: PowerPoint Dos and Don'ts (2000 SR1)

    Thanks for your comments. I didn't think about the problems with font size for those with poor eyesight and I really like the encourage questions advice.

    When I train people on PowerPoint, its more how to actually create a presentation. I give them a few guidelines but I was roped into this after I made my less than complimentary comments regarding a presentation that was over 45 megabites. The guy had photos of every single person who was going to work on the project (scary seeing some of these faces poster size) and the client logo on every slide. IMHO, the client doesn't care what the file clerk looks like and they certainly know who the heck they are!

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    Re: PowerPoint Dos and Don'ts (2000 SR1)

    Silverback's comments are right on,
    but I just have to add a few of my own.. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    - Consistent formatting, inconsistent formatting is right up there with multi-font abuse as a sign of an unprofessional presentation. Formatting refers to font size, graphics (if using arrows resist the temptation to show off 40 variations), colours, etc. Departures from consistent formatting (ie, color palette changes) can then be used to indicate SIGNIFICANT changes in topic. Use sparingly.
    - Worst slide I ever saw, had an orange background, bright green text with a white drop shadow behind it. Everyone left the room talking about the slide - but nobody knew what it said. Colours and contrasts are important for visibility. Whenever possible, test the slide on the device it will be projected on.
    I totally recommend two books (esp the first) by Robin Williams. "The Non-Designer's Design Book, Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice" and "The PC Is Not A Typewriter".
    Hope this is useful.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

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    Re: PowerPoint Dos and Don'ts (2000 SR1)

    Thanks Catharine

    I have ordered the book you suggested. While the company spends a lot of money on the designer in PR, who produced a background template, the rest of the layout and content is left up to the individual. Hopefully, I can now point them in the right direction.

    Regards

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