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 It is safe to consider both of these concepts outdated, based on the average 8 second attention span.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.


-Tiffany Riggs-Kredit, IUPUI

The Talk of The L’s: Leno vs. Letterman

Have watched a person present information and afterwards your reaction is “wow that was good.”  Many people fear public speaking but not these two big timers. Jay Leno and David Letterman are two of the most famous late night talk show hosts.  These two characters have many things in common and different in their presentation styles.

First of all they have very similar presentation Styles. Both Leno and Letterman start their shows with a monologue introduction. Both of them also like to use short video clips as visual aids and to get the audience more into their show.  Leno and Letterman like to base their show on humorous material or they will make the material humorous.  Both of the hosts also use items that the audience can relate to so all their material is relative.   After their monologue introductions they both like to have special guests to interview.  Both Leno and Letterman sit behind a desk while their guests sit on a couch or piece of furniture.  Their interviews with their guests are also very similar to each other’s by the fact that they both make the interview into a comedy skit. Like one another they are very enthusiastic while presenting not only through volume but also through hand gestures.

On the other hand there are a few things that differentiate Jay Leno and David Letterman.   One main way they differentiate is through their delivery of information.  Jay Leno likes to go further in depth with every topic and lets the subject marinate.  On the other hand, Letterman likes to only say a few keywords about a subject before moving on to the next one. Leno also uses more jokes composed from words rather than Letterman’s funny short video clips.

Although they are much more similar than they are different, there are some characteristic differences to distinguish between the two.  Through watching both of their shows I was able to compare and contrast the two talk show hosts.  It was not easy to see the differences between the two because their shows were almost like déjà vu.  These two main talk show host faces are definitely not scared of talking in front of the public.  So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you have to give a public speech, just think to yourself. What would Leno and Letterman do?

By Colton Reed, Exercise Science Major-IUPUC