Friday, November 23, 2007

Start small with visual slide transformations

In a workshop I did yesterday a participant raised a real concern that perhaps you have been wondering about as well. We had just finished going through the exercise where I put up a couple of paragraphs of text and the participants come up with visuals that could be used instead of the text. What this participant raised was that it seemed like it would take a lot of time to think of and create visuals for a whole presentation. And this was time she and her colleagues would not have in the fast paced environment they operate in. When you first start realizing that visuals can make a much larger impact than text, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to look at applying the ideas to an entire presentation. So what I suggested was to start with just one or two slides in the next presentation. Look for ways to make those slides more visual. Then, take another one or two slides in the presentation after that. And keep focusing on only one or two slides per presentation. After five presentations, you'll have ten slides that are now visual instead of paragraphs of text. You'll now be able to re-use these slides and will be more comfortable with creating visuals, which will help you create new visuals quicker. Any time you are making a change like this, start small and build your confidence and skills. In no time at all, you'll wonder what was so hard about visualizing ideas instead of writing long blocks of text.


Blogger Lisa Braithwaite said...

This is a great idea, Dave, and one that I've suggested to clients who are overwhelmed with the idea of taking a whole presentation to the next level. The only problem I've seen with it is that, when the few slides with images don't seem consistent with the rest of the presentation, it can be hard to convince others of the value of an image-based presentation.

One of my clients discovered this when she turned in a draft of a presentation to her client, and he pulled out the few image slides, calling them "fluff." There was no point in trying to explain how everything would fit together in the live presentation. He just wasn't ready for it.

It's difficult to proselytize when there's not enough impact from just a few slides. She's keeping the faith, though, and will try again next time!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Good suggestion, Dave. I would also suggest that people find good resources for visuals, which makes the whole process more palatable. I rely on, which is a wonderful source of photos and other graphics.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Kirby said...

I am using PowerPoint 2003 and have a number of slides with animation, either entering/exiting text or pictures or both.

I need to print how a slide looks at each stage --- before first animation, after the first animation or animation group, etc.

Anyway to do this? I've searched and searched.

3:54 AM  

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