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Timeless Presentation Tips from Microsoft

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:

Graph Gaffe

  • 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

Bullet Pointless

  • 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

Animation Aggravation

  • 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?”

Repeating Offender

  • 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

Color Clasher

  • 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.