We’ve found over time, that no matter what type of presentation (physical/virtual event, webinar etc.) or whatever purpose it serves, people are struggling to build creative PowerPoints!
Although they might contain all the information needed to get across, their slides:
- Aren’t on brand
- Don’t engage the audience
- Lack dynamism
So why do people settle for substandard presentations then?
We want to debunk a few myths and correct a few misconceptions about PowerPoint, so you can learn how to achieve Presentation Perfection!
(If you'd like to learn more about how PowerPoint should still be your go-to program for presentations, check out Dale Smith, from London-based creative agency Article 10, and his latest webinar with WorkCast!)
Misconception 1 - PowerPoint hasn’t changed since the 1990s
A real misconception around presentation designers, is that the software is old and no longer contains relevant functions needed to create great slide decks.
There have, in fact, been around 12 new versions since the 1990s! Each new version has brought more innovative features to keep the software fresh:
- The “Tell Me” Feature
- Screen Capture
- Colour Picker Tools
- Morph Transitions
It’s worth spending some time getting used to how these features work, then you’ll gain a new appreciation of what they can offer you when creating PowerPoints!
Misconception 2 - Animations should be either: Not used at all or Used Everywhere
People are usually in one of two camps when it comes to animations:
- Don’t want to use any at all
- Use every animation under the sun
Really, finding a middle ground between those two is the ideal place to be. Keep it simple when it comes to animations!
Used sparingly and with a little thought put into where and how they are placed, and they can add a slick, professional look to your slides, without being too distracting.
Misconception 3 - Brand Guidelines should be strictly adhered to
People sometimes feel a little restricted by things such as brand guidelines.
Although it’s important to keep within the constraints of what your brand represents, it is okay to venture a little outside the boundaries, but still keep to the rules!
Look to utilise some of PowerPoints features like:
- Align Tools
- Colour Palettes
- Common Shapes
They can help you, in their own individual ways, stick to the brand guidelines, but also expand the variety of your slides and give each slide a different display.
Presentation designers occasionally look down on PowerPoint as a credible tool for creating vibrant slides, but the program actually has a wealth of different design capabilities.
No matter what the content, there is a way to stick to what your company wants, but get the message across in a different, unique way!
Misconception 4 - 10 Slides is the magic number for a slide deck
Many believe that, without question, 10 slides is the optimum number of slides to get all your information across.
Free tip: You don’t need to be this rigid with your presentation structure!
The trick is to work out how to relay all your information, your way and in a concise way to make it easy to digest for viewers.
Squeezing all information possible into one slide looks clunky and unprofessional.
Instead, pull out the killer pieces of information that your audience will take home from your session.
And don’t be afraid to be ruthless with your content! Cut out any needless sections to make it a more polished presentation.
Misconception 5 - Bullet Points should either: Fill the screen or not used at all
Once again, we have two schools of thought when it comes to this misconception.
- Fill the screen with bullets
- Don’t wish to use any at all
The second option generally only works when you have a highly skilled speaker, who is supremely gifted at keeping the audience engrossed in what is being said, or has an incredible stage presence!
Whilst the first option will, as the previous misconception alluded to, make the slides look too stacked with information.
Be creative with the way you display content. Use visual diagrams to illustrate a point or statistics, icons to break up text etc.
That way, your content will be more palatable for the audience!
But, the real trick to achieving Presentation Perfection, is to try and have a positive outlook when creating a PowerPoint.
Being positive will foster creativity and, most importantly, confidence!
The results you can achieve by having this outlook will surprise you!