Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
PowerPoint Tip - Detailed Handouts without Packed Slides
There is a better way. Instead of overloading text on your slides, design a slide file that has both detail slides and properly designed visuals that can serve both show and print purposes. Here's how you can do it.
For each topic, create two slides. The first one you will display during the presentation and it should be visual, not packed with text. The next slide should contain any detailed information you want the audience to have to refer to after the presentation. This second slide will never be shown during the presentation. It is there for printing purposes only.
Then, for each of the detailed slides, click on Slide Show - Hide Slide. This stops the detailed slide from being seen during the slide show. When you are running your slide show during practice sessions, make sure that the detailed slides are not shown.
To print a handout of slides that includes both the display slides and the hidden detail slides, check the Print hidden slides checkbox on the print dialog box. You will then get a printout with each of the detailed slides beside or below the display slide. Your audience can quickly see that they have more detailed information and can take notes that are appropriate to their own situation.
When you are presenting using this type of handout, it is a good idea to mention how the handout is structured at the start of your presentation. This lets the audience know that they do not need to take copious notes and can be more engaged in what you are saying. It also frees you from feeling that you have to plow through a lot of detailed slides in order to finish on time.
This is one way to provide a handout that is more customized than the usual handout that most presenters provide. If you want to create an even more customized handout using your slides as graphics in Word, you can get detailed instructions in my ebook "Guide to Advanced PowerPoint Techniques" at http://snipurl.com/gtappt
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Teaching Templates to Professors
If you want more detailed instructions on creating your own custom template, check out the web tutorial I did that shows you what colors, fonts and other elements work well for presentations and then I showed you exactly how to do it in PowerPoint. You can get your copy at:http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/wtcustomtemplate.htm
Friday, November 17, 2006
Making slides more visual
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Wall Street Journal article on PowerPoint
In the article they quote my suggestion that poor presentations cost organizations over $252 million dollars per day. To see the full article on this calculation, click here. To calculate the cost of poor presentations in your own organization, read another article by clicking here.
If you want to stop wasting money due to poor presentations, e-mail me to discuss how one of my customized Think Outside The Slide(tm) seminars can show your staff how to strategically use PowerPoint visuals to enhance the clarity of their presentations.
PowerPoint Tip - Downside of Dashboards
While this sounds like a good idea, I have two key objections to the way most of these slides are created. First, if you ask a presenter how the color has been calculated, i.e. what constitutes a green, yellow or red, they can't answer your question because they don't know. Someone programmed a set of calculations on a spreadsheet or in some other tool that spits out the color rating for each item based on a complex formula of factors. The presenter simply reports the rating. This does not serve executives well because they need to be able to discuss why an item is rated so that they can make intelligent decisions on it. Sometimes it may be a delay in reporting from another area or system that causes the formula to report a red flag on an item, which causes unneccesary panic in the executive suite and a waste of everyones time searching for and reporting that the item is actually OK, but the reporting was flawed.
The second problem I have with most dashboard implementations is that the scoring system of three colors does not allow enough granularity to give a true measure of a situation. What is the difference between a green and a yellow rating? Probably one tenth of a point on some numerical system used to calculate the colors. Three choices is OK for a stop light where there are only three possible actions, but for organizations, more choices are needed. Even in school we had percentage scales which allowed for up to 100 possible ratings or letter grades, which had 13 possible ratings (A+ to D- and F).
My suggestions for using a stoplight dashboard slide are twofold. First, make sure that the rating calculation is transparent and understood by everyone. Make it easy to investigate why a rating is calculated the way it is so that time wasted chasing phantom problems is reduced. Second, increase the granularity of the rating scale. If you want to stick with the stoplight colors, add a + and - to them to have a total of 9 possible ratings to choose from. These suggestions should improve the clarity of dashboard slides used to present to executives and others.
Executives do prefer visual slides to text slides, and this is one of the items I discuss in my special report on Presenting to Executives. You can get your copy at http://snipurl.com/execs .