Another leaked secret wiki-leaks style memo in an occasional series. I bring you the top secret Powerpoint manual issued to the leaders of all educational institutions, companies and government agencies*
The 10 rules of giving a Powerpoint presentation:
- Don’t bother to check that the projector works before the room is full. Log in to the Windows desktop first then search for your presentation. This will build rapport with your audience.
- Use a preset background. These make text so readable and they are so attractive to the eye to a captive audience. A dark background is always a good choice with navy text. Yellow swirls can complete the viewer’s experience.
- Preset transitions are also always appreciated. Why not try a different fade-in for each slide. And bring in every paragraph separately. This was groundbreaking in 1996 and it’s just as great now.
- Some presentations fail to impress by being too short. Use at least 30 slides, if possible.
- Always schedule your presentations at convenient times. If it’s not possible to span the standard lunch break, time your presentation for the half-hour just before lunch. No one will mind at all if you overrun.
- Read every word on every screen. I cannot repeat this enough. Many people whom you employ may be unable to read. Others may be secretly blind, hiding that fact by expertly touch-typing their sales reports. Spare them the agony of endless bluffing. Read every word on the screen. Twice is even better.
- Pace the speed of your reading. Read at least twice as slowly as the time that it takes the least literate person in your audience to read the words twice.
- Keep to a huge font size when you are presenting in a small room. Tiny fonts go down well in larger venues
- Use acronyms wherever possible. Always use at least one acronym that you can’t remember what it stands for. This gives your audience something to ask about at question time.
- Everyone enjoys seeing banalities spelled out in a bullet point format. In a meeting room. If you are presenting unpleasant facts – such as redundancies – the experience of sitting through a well-planned Powerpoint presentation will soften the blow enormously.
Inspired by the devotion to Microsoft Powerpoint that I share with Andrew, XanderG, heather-the-other, who all mentioned Powerpoint’s unique blessings when they commented on the previous post.