Power Point-ing: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

In college or at work, at some point you are going to create a power point presentation. You may prefer Prezi, Google Slides, or the most commonly known Microsoft PowerPoint itself. These programs offer endless options in colors, themes, graphics, animations, and even cute little icons for bullet points to personalize your message. But please remember: Just because you can, does not mean you should! Yes, it is cliche, but it is true: Less is more. You can use catchy phrases and cheesy jokes to gain the attention of your audience, but let it end there. Here are a few helpful hints on how to make an awesome power point presentation without losing your credibility.

There are so many rules to follow when you are creating a presentation. Know your audience to better determine which approach to take. The ever popular 10-20-30 rule is a favorite. Your presentation should be no more than 10 slides, 20 minutes, and use 30 point font or larger. This is a great tool for the novice presenter. Keeping a simple theme with little or no animation and using a standard font will get your point across.

Maybe you have heard of the 5 by 5 rule (5 words per bullet point, 5 bullet points, and no more than 5 text heavy slides in a row). There is also the 1-6-6 rule (each slide has one main idea, 6 bullet points, with no more than 6 words each). It is safe to consider both of these concepts outdated, based on the average 8 second attention span. Text is evil and will lose your audience quickly.

The most important thing to remember as a presenter using PowerPoint, is the slides do not replace you. The images you provide are nothing more than a prop. Do not let your audience get caught up in reading and stop listening to your message.

Here is a new style of PowerPoint that is simple, easy to follow, and even easier to remember for your next engagement. “B4 You Present” is here to sweep the nation. The 4 B’s will save your audience from needing that second shot of espresso.

*Beyond the basic font – find a happy medium between boring and comedy. The font you use speaks volumes.Choose your style carefully, and stay consistent throughout your presentation.

*Big and beautiful – Create a clean slide with large font. Can you see me now?

*Browse for high quality images- Use one or two pictures per slide, no fuzz no pixels

*Boil it down – Break up your bullet points to their own slide, no more than 8 words per idea.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. No one wants to read a slide show, even if it contains graphics and bright colors. What we really want is to be entertained. So, treat each slide like its own individual advertisement. Use meaningful info graphics to display those boring figures and follow those four steps when building your PowerPoint slides. You will be the star of the show.

dosndonts

-Tiffany Riggs-Kredit, IUPUI

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