Making Your PowerPoint Slides Effective

I’m not a very good graphic designer, but even I know that PowerPoint slides should look better than this:

Bad Example 1

and this:

Bad Example 2

Knowing the slides should be better than these, and actually being able to put together better slides are two different things.

Over the past year, I’ve written a handful of posts about how to design more effective slide decks, and today I’m putting them all in one place. I invite you to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it each time you’re looking to put together a more effective slide deck of your own. Continue reading

When PowerPoint and Adult Learning Collide

Recently I’ve facilitated several sessions on more effective ways to use PowerPoint in a training setting. The simple truth is that your PowerPoint slides, like any other element of your presentation design, should align with the fundamental principles of adult learning theory.

Adult learners like to have some sort of control over what they’re being asked to learn. So how can PowerPoint possibly support this principle?   Continue reading

18 Sites That Can Help Your PowerPoint Slide Design

I’ll start this post by simply saying: Mike Taylor knows how to find things. He’s constantly posting articles and resources on Twitter and LinkedIn that, if curated in one place, would probably serve you better than any masters program in instructional design.

This post borrows heavily from one of his sites on which he’s compiled “a collection of the best free design resources on the web.” If you have some time, I encourage you to check out his site.

Sometimes having too many choices can be overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed his resources down into the following list of 18 resources that may be helpful if you’re specifically looking for new places to find stock photos, fonts or icons.   Continue reading

3 Principles for Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Last month I had an opportunity to write a 20-page booklet for ATD entitled PowerPoint: Your Co-facilitator.

Powerpoint Your Co-Facilitator - effective powerpoint presentations

Since then, a number of friends and colleagues have asked me to boil the booklet down into the top five or ten tips that lead to effective PowerPoint presentations. As I reflected on that question, I think there are three guiding principles that can make any PowerPoint deck better. And these principles have very little to do with conventional advice such as “bullets kill, so eliminate bullet points” or “only use three lines of text, no more than 8 words per line, and no smaller than 36 point font”. My principles have little to do with the need to hone your graphic design skills, either.   Continue reading

Effective PowerPoint Checklist: Is Your PowerPoint Good?

I’ve been working with a number of presenters to help them develop more effective, engaging presentations for upcoming conference or training sessions. While PowerPoint should never be the focal point of a presentation, effective slide design is important for those presenters who choose to use PowerPoint in their sessions.

To help presenters determine whether their slides are any good, I put together the Effective PowerPoint Checklist to help them perform a self-assessment.    Continue reading

Charts and graphs in PowerPoint: There’s got to be a better way!

I’ve been reading Nancy Duarte’s slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations and these sentences resonated with me: “Often ideas come immediately. That’s good, but avoid the potential pitfall of going with the first thing that comes to mind.”

As we prepare for presentations, how often do we open up PowerPoint and then either dump information into some sort of SmartArt graphic or create a bar graph (or a circle graph or a line graph) using the Insert>Chart function?

Creative Charts

Do either of these data presentation formats look familiar?

Since it’s what we’ve done so many times before, it’s often the first thing that comes to mind. But what if we didn’t settle for that first thing that comes to mind? What could we create? Could we make our point better for our audience?   Continue reading

Corporate PowerPoint Templates – SCARY!

Last week, someone asked what the scariest Halloween costume I could think of could be. I thought for a few moments, smiled, then said: a corporate PowerPoint templates!

PowerPoint templates are so much scarier than Freddy or Jason or a Demogorgon.

How so?

Because corporate PowerPoint templates aren’t the things of imagination and Hollywood magic. No sir. Corporate PowerPoint templates are very real.   Continue reading

One tip to change the outlook of your PowerPoint slides

At the beginning of the month, I wrote a post about some small tweaks to a slide deck that could lead to a much better visual presentation. One reader, Dan Jones, posted this comment:

powerpoint-comment

I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I actually suggested this particular tip within my organization recently after attending a monthly stats meeting. The more I look around, the more I see this particular engagement strategy being used… except it doesn’t seem to be used very frequently in the world of presentations or learning and development.   Continue reading