I'll do your props — PowerPoint templates & content
Champagne Design specializes in designing/programming PowerPoint templates and tweaking your slide content. A few thousand presentations created since the start of Champagne Design; these have honed my design skills to perfection and given me a clear understanding that visuals are more powerful than text alone or surprisingly, the spoken word. Even you, the speaker, are not as memorable as the props that you bring on stage. Presentations are a visual medium. A roadside billboard beautifully describes the best possible layout.
These billboard designers have the secret: Simple layout — Short copy — 5 to 10 seconds to view — Large font — Colour contrast — One big image — Simple background — Call to action — Company logo.
A great example of effective presentations, a TED talk a few years back when Jill Bolte Taylor walked on stage to speak about strokes, a very serious medical occurrence in her life. Her prop? A human brain, cradled in her hands. We can’t always be as dramatic, but we should strive to be memorable, otherwise, why try!
A roadside billboard is more effective than a full page of text in your hands. Presentations and Annual Reports, although both important to a company, are two different beasts. One is image-based, the other is text-based. The image below shows you how ridiculous it would be to design a billboard in this manner. Yet, we see this on PowerPoint slides all the time.
Photos, illustrations, info-graphics, charts, video, animation, “anything but bullet points” has become a mantra to me. I urge you to upgrade to more visual, aesthetic and effective presentation slides. Those bullets points are great for you, only you — they should be kept as cue cards of the past, move them to the notes area of your PowerPoint file. Use the built-in “Speaker View” feature in PowerPoint.
The success of various social media sites lies in their ability to include images. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, they all overflow with images. Pictures draw us in, our imaginations are tickled when we SEE. Reading engages a different part of our brain, so does listening. Imagine if online or print advertising had no images, just text! There is no conceivable way that it would be effective — why think that bullet lists would work on your audience!
Microsoft failed in a big way when they rolled out the first ever version of PowerPoint — they set the baseline for all slides with a bulleted list layout. We should have all learned better since then. But it is still the default style when you insert a slide. Ugg.
How many people would rather wait for the movie (images) than read the book (text)? An unfortunate comparison, but quite a common trend.
Ditch the bullet points. Go for visuals. The audience can’t read and listen to you at the same time.