Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top 5 PowerPoint Slide Makeover videos of 2010

Every two weeks I record another PowerPoint slide makeover video showing lessons presenters can learn to improve the effectiveness of the slides they use. I publish my videos on iTunes, YouTube and Brainshark. If you subscribe via iTunes, you get every new video automatically downloaded to your iPod, iPhone or iPad. The viewers on YouTube and Brainshark have to make a more conscious decision to click and watch the videos, since there is less of an automatic viewing opportunity.

So at the end of the year I decided to look at the past year’s videos and see which ones were the most popular with the YouTube and Brainshark viewers.

#1: Slide Makeover #45: Transforming speaker notes into a visual

Description: Far too many slides are, in reality, notes for the speaker to remember what they are supposed to say. The slides end up being read to the audience. This makeover takes a wordy slide and the accompanying speaking notes and shows how the clues hidden in the text can lead to a more effective visual.
Watch on Brainshark here (more corporate friendly). Watch on YouTube here (more home friendly).

I have to admit that I was not all that surprised that this makeover proved to be the most popular this year. I still see far too many slides that are really speaker notes instead of visuals that promote a conversation with the audience. Yes, it takes a little more time to create simple visuals instead of just writing out what you want to say on your slides, but your presentation will be so much more effective and your audience will take action on your message.

#2: Slide Makeover #53: Using a full screen photo to enhance a story

Description: Stories and analogies are important to increasing the impact of your message. Don't just type out the key parts of the story on a slide as bullet points. Use the ideas in this makeover to show a full screen photo that increases the impact of your story or analogy.
Watch on Brainshark here (more corporate friendly). Watch on YouTube here (more home friendly).

Using photos is a great way to illustrate what you are talking about and increase the impact of your point. Just remember to get permission to use that great photo. You don’t need to cause yourself or your organization legal trouble by using a photo that you don’t have permission for.

#3: Slide Makeover #46: Creating a simple visual to replace text

Description: When replacing text with a visual, don't make the mistake of thinking that you need a fancy or complex visual. This makeover shows that a simple visual combined with a good headline is much easier to create than trying to design a more complex visual; and it is more effective.
Watch on Brainshark here (more corporate friendly). Watch on YouTube here (more home friendly).

This makeover dealt with a subject area outside the traditional business context, but is a great example of how we can use a simple visual instead of thinking we have to create a complex graphic or even a full-scale animation to get our message across.

#4: Slide Makeover #44: Making definitions interesting

Description: In too many training and teaching presentations, the definitions of key terms are read verbatim from text on the slides. This makeover shows that definitions can be interesting if you connect with the audience and leave them with a definition they will remember.
Watch on Brainshark here (more corporate friendly). Watch on YouTube here (more home friendly).

I wasn’t sure if this makeover would be very popular, as it deals with what can be a boring topic, definitions. But with the need to explain more complex issues to a broader audience, you are regularly going to have to include definitions in your presentations, and this makeover gives some good ideas.

#5: Slide Makeover #57: Revealing infographics one portion at a time

Description: Infographics are a popular way to illustrate information, especially for print publications. When used in presentations, they can sometimes be overwhelming. Use the ideas in this makeover to reveal the portions of the infographic one at a time to keep the focus of your audience.
Watch on Brainshark here (more corporate friendly). Watch on YouTube here (more home friendly).

Infographics gained popularity this year. Most of us will never create one ourselves because we are not graphic designers, but we may want to use one that someone else has created in our presentation. While they are visually appealing, they can be confusing unless you use the ideas in this makeover to present them piece by piece to the audience.

Almost every slide makeover that I do is based on a slide that has been sent to me for one of my in-house or public workshops (learn more about my workshops here), one I’ve helped one of my consulting clients create or sent in by one of my newsletter subscribers (sign up for free here). They are real slides being delivered to audiences by presenters who want to improve. I hope you’ll join this movement by signing up for my newsletter, adding my blog to your RSS feeds, and attending a workshop in the future, either live or via the web.

Thanks for a great year of learning and sharing.



Blogger MDW said...

Hi Dave, Happy New Year. I recently attended a blog seminar by our university and all the presenters used PowerPoint save one who used Prezi 0 which is web-based presentation software. I must confess I was transfixed. So was everyone else. They all went up and asked him what it was. Curious what you thought about it and is it something you will consider giving tutorials or guidelines on?

10:15 AM  

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