A Guide to Preparing PowerPoint Slides in Presentations

A Guide to Preparing PowerPoint Slides in Presentations PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Your Slides Are Not Your Presentation. Slides focus your presentation They emphasize what you think is important Slides can keep you on track. Slides Can Be:. Visual cues Mnemonic devices Communication shortcuts. . . Slides Can Be:. Images worth 1,000 words. . . Outlined Structures are Easier to Follow.

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A Guide to Preparing PowerPoint Slides in Presentations

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1. A Guide to Preparing PowerPoint Slides in Presentations N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation This guide on PowerPoint use and the art and science of oral presentation represents a synthesis of the best information available from numerous sources, including my own professional experience. My principal inspirations, however, were a guide used by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Instructional Computing Facility, and a similar “presentation on presentations” prepared for classroom use by Prof. Larry Lamb, School of Journalism & Mass Comm., UNC-Chapel Hill. -- Andrew Sleeth, Mar. 2006This guide on PowerPoint use and the art and science of oral presentation represents a synthesis of the best information available from numerous sources, including my own professional experience. My principal inspirations, however, were a guide used by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Instructional Computing Facility, and a similar “presentation on presentations” prepared for classroom use by Prof. Larry Lamb, School of Journalism & Mass Comm., UNC-Chapel Hill. -- Andrew Sleeth, Mar. 2006

2. Your Slides Are Not Your Presentation Slides focus your presentation They emphasize what you think is important Slides can keep you on track It’s revealing that we often speak of “giving a PowerPoint presentation,” as if the PowerPoint slides were an end in themselves rather than a tool to aid communication.It’s revealing that we often speak of “giving a PowerPoint presentation,” as if the PowerPoint slides were an end in themselves rather than a tool to aid communication.

3. Slides Can Be: These points are true for speaker and audience alike.These points are true for speaker and audience alike.

4. Slides Can Be:

5. Outlined Structures are Easier to Follow It’s easy to let the slide-making take control over the content rather than YOU having control over it. An outline will help keep you from being swept away by the creative process of making slides. Creative tools should support content, not the other way round.It’s easy to let the slide-making take control over the content rather than YOU having control over it. An outline will help keep you from being swept away by the creative process of making slides. Creative tools should support content, not the other way round.

6. No More than One Topic per Slide One topic The same topic And ONLY that topic!

7. Fatal Flaw #1: Too Much Text This slide says it all…which is waaaaaaaaayyyy too much!This slide says it all…which is waaaaaaaaayyyy too much!

8. Use the 6 X 6 rule: No line more than six words. No slide more than six lines. If you can’t do this, then a slide isn’t the right medium for your content.If you can’t do this, then a slide isn’t the right medium for your content.

9. Avoid Unnecessary Wording Avoid unessential words and punctuation like “a,” “an,” “the,” “to,” “for,” “and,” “by” Avoid a, an, the, to, for, and, by It’s amazing how much our minds will grasp with the right clues

10. Phaomnneil pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the Itteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and Isat Itteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey Iteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Obsessing over proper grammar and punctuation in slides ignores their function. Give your audience credit for being “wired” to fill in the blanks by taking advantage of the communication shortcuts that come with a visual medium. The longer you keep their eyes/minds focused on the slide, the less impact YOU make as a speaker.Obsessing over proper grammar and punctuation in slides ignores their function. Give your audience credit for being “wired” to fill in the blanks by taking advantage of the communication shortcuts that come with a visual medium. The longer you keep their eyes/minds focused on the slide, the less impact YOU make as a speaker.

11. Select Readable Type Size (Minimum 36 point for Titles) 24 to 32 point for text body Limit to three type sizes per presentation Proportion type size accordingly

12. Typeface Selection Use Serif Fonts for Titles: Garamond Courier Times New Roman This and the next slide are the prevailing wisdom. On the other hand, extensive research shows that serif fonts are more “readable” because they provide more visual clues to the brain about what letter you’re seeing. This explains why most newspapers use roman fonts for their copy and save the san serif for headlines.This and the next slide are the prevailing wisdom. On the other hand, extensive research shows that serif fonts are more “readable” because they provide more visual clues to the brain about what letter you’re seeing. This explains why most newspapers use roman fonts for their copy and save the san serif for headlines.

13. Typeface Selection Use sans serif for text body: Arial Lucida Console Impact

14. Use Bullets, Not Numbers Bullets imply no significant order Use numbers to show rank or sequence

15. Format Text for Emphasis Emphasize with size Then try font or style changes Finally, use color

16. Adjust text for emphasis Whatever you emphasize, change only one design element per slide. Once you make a design decision, stick with it throughout your presentation. Keep your headline in the same place, repeat type selections, color and line rules Clarity comes from consistency.Once you make a design decision, stick with it throughout your presentation. Keep your headline in the same place, repeat type selections, color and line rules Clarity comes from consistency.

17. Choose Color Carefully Use light letters on dark backgrounds Use the same colors consistently Avoid primary colors in proximity Never use patterned, watermarked or imaged backgrounds.Never use patterned, watermarked or imaged backgrounds.

18. Charts & Graphs: Use Solid Colors, Not Patterns Pattern fills on graphs cause confusion 3-D effects defeat comprehension Use of 3-D in a bar chart, such as this one, is not only unnecessary, it’s counterproductive for comprehension. Three dimensions should only be used when the data cannot be effectively represented along two axes.Use of 3-D in a bar chart, such as this one, is not only unnecessary, it’s counterproductive for comprehension. Three dimensions should only be used when the data cannot be effectively represented along two axes.

19. Use Simple Tables to Present Numbers

20. Forget Stock Clipart The only thing cliché clipart says is that you didn’t give enough consideration to the use of images. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional, gratuitous “pretty picture.” Just be confident it’s either relevant to your topic or isn’t one everyone has seen in a thousand other PowerPoint slides.The only thing cliché clipart says is that you didn’t give enough consideration to the use of images. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional, gratuitous “pretty picture.” Just be confident it’s either relevant to your topic or isn’t one everyone has seen in a thousand other PowerPoint slides.

21. Search “Images” on Google.com or Dogpile.com This illustrates good use of a “screen capture.” To save a graphic image of whatever is on your computer monitor, simply press Alt + Print Screen. You can paste the image where needed.This illustrates good use of a “screen capture.” To save a graphic image of whatever is on your computer monitor, simply press Alt + Print Screen. You can paste the image where needed.

22. Allow plenty of room around borders and illustrations This image was obtained from a search on Dogpile.com There’s actually another outhouse image hidden behind this one. Take your pick!This image was obtained from a search on Dogpile.com There’s actually another outhouse image hidden behind this one. Take your pick!

23. “You talkin' to me?” Oral presentation is about speaking and listening Speak to your audience, not your slide Make eye contact Connect [De Niro fans will recognize this defining moment from “Taxi Driver,” as sociopath Travis Bickle continues his spiral into madness by directing hostility to an imaginary bystander with the accusatory, “You talkin' to me?”] To establish eye contact, think in terms of noting (to yourself, of course) everyone’s eye color. To cue your slides, have the delivering computer monitor in front of you. If that’s not possible, then use a printout of the slides as your notes.[De Niro fans will recognize this defining moment from “Taxi Driver,” as sociopath Travis Bickle continues his spiral into madness by directing hostility to an imaginary bystander with the accusatory, “You talkin' to me?”] To establish eye contact, think in terms of noting (to yourself, of course) everyone’s eye color. To cue your slides, have the delivering computer monitor in front of you. If that’s not possible, then use a printout of the slides as your notes.

24. Your Audience Gives You Clues Confusion Questions Boredom

25. Slides Don’t Prove Competence PowerPoint slides aren’t evidence you know your work. Work on communicating what you know, not on making slides. What will your audience remember when they leave the room?

26. End on a Question Conscientious presenters want to hear what their audience doesn’t know Questions?

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