Writing and Presentation Skills

DESIGN EFFECTIVE POWERPOINT VISUALS

I.START WITH YOUR TITLES

II.DESIGN A BASIC TEMPLATE

III.THINK VISUALLY AS YOU DESIGN

IV.EDIT YOUR EFFORTS

  • I. START WITH YOUR TITLES
  1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE NEEDS TO SEE
  •  REINFORCING THE STRUCTURE

–Title slide or deck cover, preview visual, section visuals, executive summary deck page, closing visuals

  • EMPHASIZING MAIN MESSAGE

–Look at presentation objective for clues (sound bite); recall focusing techniques; try making a story board/outline; focus on each section or chunk individually

  • DRAWING ATTENTION TO SUPPORTING POINTS (visuals, quantitative data, examples)
  • PREPARING FOR Q&A (placed after closing slide)
  • MAKING YOURSELF THE VISUAL

–To fix the flow; to add emphasis to an important section; to give the audience a change of pace

  1. CREATE TITLES THAT CLARIFY YOUR MESSAGE
  • SPECIFY YOUR POINT X (2. Title) X
  • SPEED UP INFORMATION SHARING–place them right.
  • CREATE STAND-ALONE SENSE

–Help viewers follow along; Provide useful records

  • INFLUENCE DESIGN DECISIONS

–Create images that match your message (charts, drawings, maps, photos); Make highlighting decisions based on the title (spot, dimming)

  • ADAPT TO SITUATION

–When words are implied; When a less direct message is the better option (negative); When a slide image works by itself

  • II. DESIGN A BASIC TEMPLATE
  1. ESTABLISHING A COLOR SCHEME
  •            CONSIDER THE AUDIENCE

–National, religious and other cultural differences; business considerations; colour blindness

  • CHOOSE A BACKGROUND COLOUR

–Projected slides; decks; black and white printouts

  • SELECT TITLE AND TEXT COLOUR
  • PICK A SPOT COLOUR
  • ADD DIMMING OPTIONS
  • MAKE SURE THE COLOURS WORK TOGETHER (avoid ‘fruitsalad’ effect)

–Limit yourself to one dramatic colour; Experiment with less intense colours; Try complementary colours; Test deck colours on hard copy; Test slide colours on the big screen

  • 2. MAKING TYPOGRAPHY DECISIONS

ØLIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE OR TWO FONTS

Serif fonts; Sans Serif fonts

vCONSIDER THE VARIATION AMONG FONTS

–Height; Width and spacing; Use families (Arial, Arial black, Arial narrow); Create right impression

MAKE LETTERING LARGE ENOUGH TO BE SEEN

–For projection; For decks; For handouts based on your slides

  • ENHANCE READABILITY = ENHANCE READABILITY
  • Choose simple style options; avoid all capital letters; Select an alignment for your titles; test line spacing; Check paragraph spacing; Use simple filled bullets instead of…
  • 3. CHOOSING SIMPLE BACKGROUNDS AND LAYOUTS
  • CHOOSING A SOLID BACKGROUND

–Insert line to emphasize title; Add edge to black slide with arrows or borders; include a logo

  • MODIFYING PLACEHOLDERS
  • POSITIONING DESIGN ELEMENTS
  • MODIFYING ‘SLIDE MASTER’ FOR DECK

–Remember invisible margin; consider adjusting margin;

  • DESIGNING A TITLE MASTER
  • 4. USING COMPANY TEMPLATES

(see p.104 : tips for designing a template)

  • LOGO CHALLENGES

–Large or colourful logos; Logos that interfere with titles

  • TITLE TROUBLES

–Ttiles in all capital letters; Right-justified titles; deck titles used as page summaries.

  • COLOUR ISSUES

–Too few colours; Colours you don’t want to include

  • BACKGROUND WOES

–Intense slide backgrounds; Busy (taking too much screen space) background designs

III.THINK VISUALLY AS YOU DESIGN

  • 1.DATE-DRIVEN CHARTS EXPLAIN THE NUMBER
  • TIME SERIES (CHANGES OVER TIME)

–Choose column charts for limited data points; Use line charts to emphasize trends;

  • ITEM (RANKING OR VARIATION AMONG ITEMS)

–Use simple bar charts;

  • COMPONENT (PARTS OF A WHOLE)

–Choose pie charts for simple comparisons; other choices for multiple component comparisons.

  • CORRELATION (PATTERN BETWEEN VARIABLES)

–Try dot charts when you have many data points; use paired bars for limited data points; complex correlation comparisons using bubble charts.

  • 2.CONCEPT DIAGRAM DEPICTS IDEAS
  • SOME DIAGRAMS ILLUSTRATE RELATIONSHIPS

–To show interaction (Venn diagram or overlapping circles); To emphasize structure (pyramid diagram or honeycomb pattern); To compare concepts (T chart, Matrix)

  • OTHER DIAGRAMS HIGHLIGHT SEQUENCE

–To indicate linear flow (arrows, chevrons, lines); To show time sequence (Gantt chart); To depict circular flow (curved arrows)

  • UNCOMMON DIAGRAM STANDS OUT
  • FIND INSPIRATION FROM MANY SOURCES
  • MATCH THE DIAGRAM TO YOUR MESSAGE

–Consider what the diagram means; Make shapes bigger, bolder or central for a reason; Check the arrows

  • 3.PHOTOGRAPHS ADD INTEREST
  • FINDING PICTURES

–Inserting Microsoft images (clipart); finding free photos; Purchasing images; Supply your own images

  • CHOOSING IMAGES
  • ALTERING PHOTOS
  • POSITIONING PHOTOS
  • CAPTURING INTEREST WITH OTHER OPTIONS

–Cartoons, sounds, videoclips.

  • 4. ANIMATION CLARIFIES COMPLEX SLIDES
  • Build lines of text
  • Build complex charts
  • Add layers to diagrams
  • Avoid distracting transitions

DISTRACTING TRANSITION:

AVOID!!!         AVOID!!!                   AVOID!!!

AVOID!!!          AVOID!!!

AVOID!!!          AVOID!!!        AVOID!!!

AVOID!!!                AVOID!!!

AVOID!!!         AVOID!!!            AVOID!!!

AVOID!!!  AVOID!!!  AVOID!!!

5. TEXT CHARTS LIST IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • KEEP SLIDES EXCEPTIONALLY SIMPLE
  • KEEP DECK PAGES SIMPLE

–Use telegram language; maintain stand-alone sense; switch to active voice; limit use of subpoints.

  • USE PARALLEL STRUCTURE

–Grammatical parallelism; conceptual structure (major points > sub divisions >details);

  • FINE TUNE THE FORMATTING

–Consider your use of case; wrap lines of text so they look balanced; use simple highlighting options

  • ADD A VISUAL FLOURISH

–some symbol, picture etc

IV.EDIT YOUR EFFORTS

1.VERIFY THAT THE STRUCTURE IS CLEAR

  • REPEATING THE PREVIEW SLIDE
  • ADDING TRACKERS
  • 2. ENHANCE THE VISUAL EFFECT
  • CHECK YOUR USE OF CLOUR
  • USE GRAPHICS AS ‘POINTER’

–Lines, arrows, circles etc to highlight.

  • ELIMINATE CHARTJUNK

–Eliminate design elements that don’t contribute to your message: ie, avoid 3-D, simplify titles and labels, avoid vertical column labels, improve line charts, cut borders and extra lines, adjust chart colours, position slices /bars appropriately.

  • 3. PROOF AND PROOF AGAIN
  • MAINTAIN CONSISTENT PHRASING
  • DOCUMENT YOUR SOURCE (Munter 2009)
  • CHECK FOR RERORS

–Don’t rely on the spell-checker (colour)

–Check the numbers one more time

–Test the animation and colours in a slide show.

  • RECAP

I.START WITH YOUR TITLES

II. DESIGN A BASIC TEMPLATE

III. THINK VISUALLY AS YOU DESIGN

IV.EDIT YOUR EFFORTS

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