A few years ago Microsoft assembled some fun videos outlining some great Power Point advice. They’re pretty funny, and I’ve included the link at the end if you have some time. I personally loved Graph Gaffe & Color Clasher.
If you don’t have the time here’s a summary of the key points made in those videos:
- Don’t obscure the point you’re making with too many charts or too much info in one chart
- As a rule of thumb, you should not have to explain your chart…
- Don’t get too artsy
- Don’t overdo it with too many bullet points
- Try to simplify your presentation
- Cut out bullets entirely
- If additional info can’t be cut move it to a Notes section
- Make your point with images, when possible
- Don’t distract audience with too many animations, fancy transitions etc.
- Try only using transitions when changing topics
- Simpler is Better
- Ask yourself a simple question: “Does this animation/transition help make my point?”
- Don’t Repeat Yourself
- This means don’t regurgitate or read verbatim the bullets on your slides
- Support your slides with oral material, rather than writing everything on to slide
- Let images talk, where possible
- Don’t hand out slide print-outs with notes until end of presentation
- Use a background color that will support rather than obscure text & graphs
- Unless you’re a graphical expert, try using Microsoft’s built-in themes
- When in doubt, step back to look at your slides. Are they still legible?
Alright. Here are the videos: Microsoft videos
If you’ve got your own tips or experiences to share, please post a comment. I’d love to hear from you.