This week I watched people stress over an executive presentation. Here are some of the simple guidelines that I follow when writing a PowerPoint presentation. The key with writing a presentation is that the presentation is supporting the message that you are going to be deliver. The presentation is not the messenger, you are!
- it will save a lot of effort formatting the lines of text
- well written templates will automatically resize the text depending on the amount of text on the page
- there are a plethora of templates here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT101172721033.aspx?ofcresset=1
- keep the text on the lines short as possible
- use spell check
- no full sentences
- no periods at the end of lines
- don’t do repeats
- if you are talking about toothpaste, don’t put it on each line, just put it in the page title
- minimum font size = half the age of the oldest person in the room
- do not do it by eye – use the font properties of the text box
- communicate on three levels (data, emotion, me) as covered in this post
If you are concerned about people being able to use the slides for reference after the presentation, there are two simple options for this dilemma.
- create detailed notes for each slide – this does have the downside that people need to see that there are notes as part of the presentation bt it does work well for printouts. Remember to spell check.
- create a separate slide deck that is specifically written for reference purposes