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In this course, author David Diskin lays out a practical framework for building and delivering business presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint, and covers tips and tricks for controlling elements in slide decks. This course demonstrates how to engage an audience, present data in meaningful ways, incorporate gestures, and manage question-and-answer sessions. The course also includes tips on creating photo slide shows and utilizing keyboard and mouse tricks.
A complaint I hear over and over is that people force too much information onto a slide. As slide designers, we must realize the audience needs to focus on the presenter, not the slide show. If we give our audience too much to read, their eyes will be distracted and they won't see the emotion that our speaker is conveying. In other words, we need to cut down on the text, and here's some advice to make this happen. The second slide of our Human Resources file has a lot of text under Training Program. We're going to cut down the complete sentences into their most basic points and let the speaker convey the full thoughts.
Now, consider this. If your slide has a period, it's probably got too much text. Let's see what we can do with this. Our slide is already looking better and it gives our speaker enough to convey the full idea, but let's take the step one slide further. I'm going to duplicate this slide by right-clicking on the thumbnail on the left and choosing Duplicate Slide. With slides 2 and 3 identical, I'll go to the first, slide 2, and eliminate the Online Learning section.
Now, I'll go to slide 3 and eliminate the Instructor-Led section. Now, I have two slides that our speaker can advance through without giving the audience too much to read at once. Our next slide is just a giant paragraph, number 5 if you're following along in the exercise file. This is definitely bad news for the audience. They're not going to want to read this. Watch as I adjust this bulk into a slim, bulleted list. It will convey the same information in a way that's still easy to read but brief.
Looking a little better. We've definitely removed most of the text. Now we just need to make it look nice. I'll remove any periods, I'll reset the slide to its default configuration, and I'll take our very last one here, turn off the bullets, center it and make it bold. We'll add proper case to our words and I'll just add a little bit of space here with an empty bullet that I can delete.
As you can see, the goal here is to strip the slides to their minimum. We want to give the speaker something to work from and the audience enough to follow along but the space on the screen can be best used for photos or charts that our speaker can't convey with words. And if you feel like we've taken out too much, take solace by giving your audience a handout, flyer, or brochure or direct them to your website for more information. But during the presentation let them focus on the speaker.
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