I do your presentation props — PowerPoint & Prezi
There is a big debate about slide design on the web. It’s been simmering for quite a while. Two opposing camps, although neither of them see any war. Both think they are doing a good job, and are clueless to the other side’s point of view.
Side 1: the INFORM side
Thousands and thousands of PowerPoint users. From corporate executives to teachers to research scientists and engineers. All possible demographics. Many view PowerPoint as an information delivery tool, not necessarily a presentation software. They tend to place all possible information into their presentation. Almost a book in some instances. There are better tools for that. In the same Office Suite, there is Publisher. Does an amazing job, better than Word in my opinion. But that’s for someone else to elaborate. We are talking here about the kitchen sink presentation style. This side wants to INFORM. With all possible data. Lots of statistics, tables, graphs, charts, numbers. They want to give it all. Which is fine. Unless you’ve heard of Death by PowerPoint. 2 examples below, waaaaay too much text.
Side 2: the AMAZE side
Some digital multimedia professionals. With the many books coming out lately on PowerPoint, they are awakening. They’ve taken a step back and started scrutinizing their work and that of others. Some interesting theories have been put forth. The “Billboard” style. The “Verbal with visual” style. The “Put it in the notes” style. The “One idea per slide” style. Basically, they want to pare down the information delivered to the bare minimum. Which is super, since we tend to tune-out when confronted with too much to read/interpret, all at once on screen. Like fixing a run-on sentence. People tend to remember pertinent visuals when they are pared with someone’s words. This is the AMAZE side. Which is also fine. Unless you then see the need to write and design two files. One to project during the presentation and one to print out with all the details, just in case it’s needed. Tedious.
What if your audience may/possibly/at-one-point/you suspect, need all that information. But you don’t really want to put all of it up there and bore them to hell. Aha.
You mean shoot them?
For those of you not familiar with this feature in PowerPoint, triggers are used to bring-up information when something is clicked on.
Build that very effective slide. Highly visual with just the minimum of text. Best impact on your audience when pared with your words. A billboard on the highway, 3 seconds to read it. 3 seconds and the audience focuses back on you the speaker. But place a trigger on that slide somewhere. Basically a “more info” button. And use it only if you need it. It is very useful if you get asked a few questions that need additional details. But it’s not all up there to bore the audience. If the presentation gets converted to HTML5, the triggers are still active. A viewer can breeze though it. Or can delved into all the details. You have choice!
You can have both: AMAZE and INFORM.
All it takes is work and thought.
Click on those “more” links or breeze through it. As you wish.