PowerPoint is one of the most used presentation tools in the world. Just like me, I am
sure, many of you have had to attend more than one too many boring presentations. I believe the time has come to change this. It is high time to start creating vibrant
presentations to generate happy audiences as well as happy presenters. How you can achieve this when using PowerPoint? To provide good answers, I am interviewing experts from all over the world who also long for ending the era called Death by PowerPoint.
For this blog, I interviewed Mike Robertson from the USA. Mike is a graphic designer who specialises in designing professional presentations. He also speaks professionally about this subject. I am a great fan of his and consider him to be my Nestor.
Is it possible to design a creative slide in PowerPoint?
This is the central question in my interview with Mike. I am convinced that it is possible to design a creative slide for anyone, no matter what your field of expertise is or what kind of audience you’re addressing. PowerPoint has so many functions to help you create a unique and vibrant presentation. The key is to know how to use these professionally.
Mike fully agrees with me on this matter. Although he is a Mac user at heart, the great number of requests he got from PowerPoint users eventually led to him broadening his horizon and delving into PowerPoint. While familiarising himself with the program, he discovered the great potential PowerPoint holds. Many people dismiss PowerPoint as an out-of-date and boring tool, but Mike disagrees with that. He believes the ideas of people are boring and passé. Dismissing PowerPoint entirely because of some bad presentations you saw is like saying you hate the guitar just because you heard a few bad guitar solos. It’s an unfair generalisation. Mike has created his own style for making the best professional presentations. He developed a unique method to use animations in text and images to give his messages more impact. His favourite animations are ‘fly in’ and ‘fade’. These are quite basic and simple, but when you start experimenting with the timing and duration of the animation, you can create slides that are effective and have impact. Mike believes every slide should please the eye and stimulate the imagination.
What are the key qualities of a good PowerPoint?
I believe a good PowerPoint should enhance your professionalism. Mike takes this even one step further. His presentations are so spectacular, that other professionals in his field almost feel embarrassed while looking at them. Realizing all the possibilities they had been unaware of.
Mike mentions his slides cause his audience to catch their breaths or start applauding. He believes it is possible, with skill and determination, to create astonishing slides your audience will never forget.
How can anyone make a PowerPoint presentation that looks great?
To create a fabulous PowerPoint presentation, it is key to pay attention to every slide, as they can help you make your message as appealing as possible.
According to Mike the worst mistake people can make is taking the easiest route when creating slides. The use of standard templates, default fonts and amateurish clip art makes your PowerPoint look boring and similar to everyone else’s PowerPoint presentation. Mike likes to start with a blank sheet. This enables him to look for the right font and a suitable background texture. This way, it immediately brings home the message to the audience that this presentation is not the standard run of the mill presentation they are used to.
The broad set of functions PowerPoint offers, allows you to let your creative powers run free and to back up your story with a kick-ass presentation. If you want to go all the way, it could even be useful to use a program like Photoshop to help you create the exact image you want to convey.
With every single slide you create, make sure you’re aware of how that slide can help strengthen your message and excite your audience!
Do you want to present with more results? Frowa Schuitemaker is an expert on professionally connecting with audiences by using PowerPoint and how to speak with more long-term impact. She is the creator of the concept PowerPoint Intelligence.