Friday, May 04, 2007

Powerpoint is innocent

Seems like poor old powerpoint has been getting a bit of a bum rap of late. And is it any wonder?

I’ve sat through more than my fair share of boring slides filled with clichéd clip art and masses of boring undersized text.

Thing is I can’t help thinking powerpoint is not to blame. It’s surely the person putting the presentation together.

They’re so concerned with squeezing in every ounce of detail that they leave themselves with nothing to talk about.

This week I got lumbered with the job of putting together a powerpoint for a major telco client.

Rather than a brief, they gave me two presentations done for internal use.

There was not an ounce of white space to be seen on any of the slides. Hardly any pictures either.

So I took out my favourite pink highlighter and highlighted the key points. These became the basis of the new presentation.

I then took a large proportion of the remaining info and included it in the ‘notes’ section.

Next up I searched the client image library for some interesting pics, which really helped to lift the whole thing.

Suffice to say the client loved it. Best powerpoint they’ve ever seen apparently.

The key to my success was the use of the ‘notes’ section. Without these notes the powerpoint didn’t make a lot of sense.

By including them the client felt comfortable with an incomplete story that they were able to complete during the presentation.

If I’d left them out they’d have taken one look at the slides and panicked.

So there you have it. Powerpoint is innocent.

For more great tips on presentations visit Presentation Zen.