I know what you’re thinking…
that this is truly just a lost cause. However, I am here to tell you it is completely possible to change the stubborn corporate “deck” into a great presentation!
It’s no wonder these corporate presentations are called “decks” in reference to a deck of cards; the dreadful things are AT LEAST 52 slides and very easy to lose your audience in the shuffle. I personally don’t even like to call them presentations, they are reference documents…long, boring, and tired reference documents.
So let’s dive right into the 5 ways YOU can conquer the corporate PowerPoint:
1. Think outside of the slide!
Keep text on slides to a minimum and utilize the instructor notes to dump as much information as your heart desires. When it’s time for your meeting, just select the “Notes Pages” from the printing options and distribute to your audience:
2. Do not copy and paste charts and graphs from Excel!
Attempting to do this will almost always result in distorted or ineligible objects. Use the “Shapes” tool to duplicate your charts and graphs. Yes, I know this is time consuming but this post is not titled “Quick Ways to Tame the Corporate PowerPoint Deck”. The end result will be worth it…trust me. To get you started, click the shiny blue download button below to get your hands on a few tutorial slides on “Using PowerPoint Shapes”.
3. Use Smart Art!
Smart Art can literally turn your text (within reason) into various charts and visual representations. They even provide descriptions for each type visual to help you choose the right one for your information. If you have A LOT of text on a slide (like paragraphs) I would definitely implement tip #1 and free up some slide realty by moving a lot of your info to the instructor notes.
4. Use your brain!
I know, this is an absurd request. When you finish your presentation, quickly flip through it spending no more than two seconds on slide. This is a good way to catch slides that are too “wordy” or catch when you’ve clicked through way too many text only slides without an attention saving visual slide to break it up. This is where your brain comes in…when you identify these slides, read all the text, and think of ways to get the point across without having to literally write it out on a slide. Consider replacing text with a chart, image, process flow, or smart art. You might even find you don’t need the slide altogether…think about it.
5. Animate your content!
PowerPoint animations have a bad rep for being cheesy and distracting. Honestly this is true of anything you use the wrong way! I bet you’ll have trouble cutting with scissors if you hold them backwards too! Use animations to maintain your audience’s attention and avoid overwhelming them with information. If you don’t direct your audience’s attention they will start reading at random points of the slide which means you lost them before you even started speaking to it. Click the hyperlink below to see a previous blog post about using animations to capture your audiences attention.
There you have it folks, 5 ways to conquer the corporate PowerPoint “deck”. Let me know if this was useful and I will deliver additional “deck” killing strategies. Happy presenting and good luck!