Get Wired March 2015: Byte-Sized Tech Tips


Prevent Death by Powerpoint

Ever sat through a presentation that almost put you to sleep? Save your audience from a similar fate with these tips.

Use visuals

Images or videos boost interest and promote recall. Try using them as metaphors like TED’s tech team did – for a talk on failure planning in IT, they showed a photo of a sinking ship. Choose professional stock images over cartoonish clipart.

Cut the text

The audience should be listening to you, not reading the words onscreen. Avoid multiple bullet points and keep to one idea per slide. Marketer and public speaker Seth Godin recommends only six words per slide.

Bigger is better

Words should be large enough for the viewers at the back of the room to read. In general, choose font size 30 or larger.

Colour it simple

Keep to two or three main colours. Ensure a strong contrast – grey text on a white background is a no-no – but avoid glaring colour combinations like red on blue.

Minimise special effects

Dissolves, spins and other animations only distract and add little value.

Consider alternatives

Try Prezi, which is great for non-linear presentations such as mind maps. Haiku Deck (haikudeck. com) lets you search for free images to create eye-catching slides, and its iPad version means you can edit on the go.

Read more:

    Mar 20, 2015
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