Fix PowerPoint for my stroke – or for anyone

After being to South Coast Summit, at virtual Microsoft Ignite, Dataverse Summit and at my local work at CRMK, I have seen a lot of PowerPoints where I lost the content somewhere between you and me.
Focus is the most hard thing for me. Well before my stroke too.

🙂 I like PowerPoint, but
😍 I love to hear you talk!

There are a gazillions ideas out there already, but here are a few of my ideas.

I have always thought about these tips in general, before my stroke too. That’s what I liked in presentations. But today, these are not just “nice” – they are very much needed if you ever want me to get your message and what you have to say.

My tips are really very simple, and they also make it easier to create your presentation. Try it!

(More tips will mostly be added in the future.)

1. It is presentation, not documentation

If you ever screen your deck, don’t document it.

Writing a lot of text, then it is not a presentation! Sure, you may use PowerPoint to document (or anything) but when you want audience to listen to you, the PowerPoint cannot be more important than you are. If you write too much, is it since you don’t know or remember it to speak?

Who would ever both read and hear you?

2. Very simply bullets

We shall fast, easily, understand what this bullet means.

It is very great and fully to add smart bullets, so we have to read and really think why you talk about this. It’s awesome! But the listening is easily lost.

I love the simple “Code” and you talk about it.

3. Bring one bullet

Don’t show your bullets before you talk about it.

If you start with all bullets, then all listeners will always start read ahead of you. If I lost my track for a second, I have really hard to know which bullet you are now on. If all bullets are always up there – I don’t know!

Added 3rd bullet, but not 4th yet.

4. Only one focused bullet

I shall know what you talk about.

If you are good with point 3, then this may be ok to skip. But it is always better to gray out all bullets that you are not talking about right now.

Click to show how to do it!

I see clear that “Common” is what we talk about.

5. No extra pictures

Don’t ever add any random pics. Period.

The problem if you add pictures that look nice, but they don’t really have anything to add. Then I get sit there and wonder why that person/building/nature/sport/etc. and I am trying to find the meaning. I miss listen to what you say now.

AIK football is nice – but why in this slide?

6. Nothing but bullets

Only only have bullets.

The bullets are there to show what you are talking about. That’s it. You may have three bullets for an hour, or three bullets for every minute. But don’t write “text” for you, and don’t ever ever read the text from the slides! Slides are on your side; they are not the center.

Don’t write your “text” – talk it!

7. You may have quotes

Okay for a few quotes.

If you add any quotes, the speaker shall read them out. You probably add one line in a time, to make it easier to reading. If you instead let the audience read it, then you need enough time to read it and they all need different time. For fast readers they will lose the listener, and if I am slow, I get stressed. So you read it out for us.

What a lovely quote!

8. Animations are ok

Remember: Animation and Transition takes time.

I like to use animation, mostly to only add new bullets a bit soft, instead the boom new bullet comes too fast. The same is the transition, to softy move on to next slide. Even more spacy animations can be used – but you make sure that each animation takes time, where you should never talk when it is moving. We only receive one thing at the time!

Perfect animation! Play to see it!

9. No crazy theme

Use the minimum of crazy theme.

You are usually required to use a theme for PowerPoint. Sometimes these are really crazy, with all colors and added logo to every slide, some layouts with way too much “extras”. Find the simplest layout and stick with that for all slides. Or just don’t use the theme. Just do it.

Where do I read? Do I read? How much?

10. Eyes love dark

Dark is smoother, and lets you shine.

Don’t keep standard white background – or your company default template colors. On a stage with white, the audience can’t see you. Really, they all focus on the screen. And please, no pink or green yellow and all. Stay black, or maybe dark gray.

Dark looks so nice! 😎 Click to see!

11. Subject smaller

The subject is not too important.

All templates have subject BIG and then the “information” smaller. Why is the subject so important? The slides have what’s really interesting after the subject… So keep the focus on the important stuff!

Why show other than subject – if that important?

12. Why even have subject?

Do we need a subject at all?

Remember: less is more. If the subject is so so SO important – then have focus to the subject, and nothing else. The listeners know something about your slides, so they know what you talk about. So why say it when all already know? Why do we need a subject?

We only talk about development!

13. Use the space

We need to use space smart.

It is very common to only use the half screen. And to the right it is blank – or any random image. Come on, just do it right, use the space you have! And do not add any nice picture, that only makes the audience to focus on the wrong things.

Why is 50% just blank?

14. Kill the meta crap

The “meta” info adds nothing!

The “meta” makes you lose the audience. Everyone – I really mean that – they start to read, every slide, and many times. Focus focus focus, and never distract your listeners with non-information adding zero. It is used too often without thinking of it.

If you are interesting – they still lose you!

Your PowerPoint is too cool for you?

You want to talk?

You want us to listen to you?
Make sure you have more to say than show the PowerPoint.

Your PowerPoint is better than you?

That happens, you may be an awesome slide creator.
But then shut up, and send an email if we will never listen to you anyway.

It is okay!

Some people are great to be a speaker, other write great blogs.
But not all are great of both.
If you want to reach out, use your best channels that get the most.

Keep focus

But I know that you are probably a good speaker.
Keep the focus on you, not on the cool new pics and transitions and all “the text”.

PowerPoint is a great tool.
But YOU are in the center!

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