New Federal and State Laws Will Soon Prohibit Use of PowerPoint

June 4, 2014

Don’t you wish that were true? For the next major federal or state election, let’s support a candidate who will make the elimination of PowerPoint a plank in his or her campaign platform. In the meantime, if you plan to use PowerPoint, you can do it more effectively by trying these eight tips:

  1. Limit the words on any slide to 20 or fewer. Use pictures to represent ideas about which you speak, not words.
  2. Throw out 80% of your slides. Your customer or trainee doesn’t care about what your building looks like. Most companies have flags out front. Those slides say NOTHING about what you can do for your customer.
  3. Nobody cares about your bio. People care about who they are, not who you are.
  4. Don’t tombstone: Newspapers and good web pages draw reader interest by not lining the headlines up like grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery. While most slides should share a background in a single presentation, the layout should differ from one to the next.
  5. Motion is distracting unless it’s coming from the audience. The more the audience moves, the more it will be engaged and learning. The more motion there is on a slide, the more amateurish the presenter will look.
  6. Hide what goes on behind the curtain. Hyperlink slides so that you can move seamlessly among presentations.
  7. Color is grossly misused. Ten million American men are color blind (7% of the population). About .4% of women are color blind. When you put red and green together on a slide, you cut out part of your audience.
  8. Get rid of your last slide that reads Questions? If you did a good job, questions flowed throughout the presentation. Otherwise, you were just reading to them.

Contributed by Laura Simms, MSA, BIS, owner of PROFESSORDOCTORMOM, LLC.

Join us for the Become a Talented Trainer: Guide Your Employees, Temps, Contractors to Success seminar on June 18, 2014 in Novi or June 19, 2014 in Lansing with Laura Simms.