I’ve blogged many times on how NOT to use Power Point. Most people use it incorrectly, and it becomes a barrier between speaker and audience. For example, they create word slides, really speaker notes, with many bullets of text, expecting – what? – the audience to read along with them? Or, they go nuts with the animation, swoops, and flying headlines that make audiences dizzy to little purpose. Or they use cheap-looking clip art that creates a tacky image of speaker and organization in the mind of the audience.
But what about the right way to use Power Point? What does that look like? Is there any right way? Following are 10 rules for using Power Point successfully.
1. Write your speech, either in outline, bullet, or text form.
2. Look for all the moments in the speech that could be illustrated using a photograph.
3. Find high-quality photographs from an online stock house to illustrate these moments (if you don’t have your own photographs).
4. Look for all the moments in the speech that could be illustrated using a chart or a graph to present numbers (that are hard to understand without a chart or a graph).
5. Create these charts and graphs.
6. Look for all the moments in the speech that could be emphasized by using one single number to highlight your point.
7. Create a slide with that one number in really large type – with no more than 5 words describing it.
8. Assemble these photographs, charts and graphs, and numbers in a Power Point deck.
9. Throw out all but the best ones; no more than one for every three minutes of talk – in other words, no more 20 slides in 60 minutes. Fewer is better.
10. Create an opening slide with your name, contact information, company logo and so forth, but resist the temptation to create an agenda slide unless you’re speaking for at least a half-day.
Follow these rules and you’ll be using Power Point in a way that enhances, rather than