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PowerPoint is often disparaged as many presenters, both
professional and amateur, abuse it.

Those of us who create multi-media presentations, would like
to defend PowerPoint. (disclosure – I don’t create PowerPoint, but my staff
does and really well!)

Think of the first – ever speaker, Joe the Caveman, or maybe
Fred Flintstone. He spoke using one or two cave drawings to represent the message.

Remember slides? Maybe the first slide show that you were
aware of was your great aunt’s 3- carousel presentation of her whirlwind trip
to Europe.  Those slides
represented her trip, probably with more than you wanted to know. Auntie
probably tried to spend several hours on her show and tell.

Let’s consider corporate multimedia slide presentations, the
pre-cursor of PowerPoint, Keynote, etc. Those slide presentations did not
contain the speaker script as they were considered “Speech Support”. Another
words, each slide supported the message. They were NOT the script.

Before I continue, I have another little disclosure. My
partner/husband began his career programming multi projector slide
presentations and won several professional awards for his work.

The scenario for creating those 35 mm slide shows:

  • A
    professional corporate scriptwriter meets with the client to determine the
    objective of the speech and important points and details.
  • Thumbnail
    of script is created with major points and communicated to the Art
    Director
  • The
    art director designs the look and feel and incorporates the elements into the
    presentation, using more graphics and less text.
    • (If
      there had to be some text, then a rule of thumb for text, was no more
      than 5 lines per slide)
  • The
    professional artist created the art
  • The
    art was then photographed (pre-computer scanning) creating transparencies
  • We now
    had slides
  • One or
    more slide projectors were used  (as many 73!!)
  • Then
    came the programming of the slides to the finished script and possibly
    adding music or voice over

Here’s the caveat: note the words professional and
director
.

With the advent of PowerPoint and Keynote, even I can create
a slide show. But, what will it look like?  That ‘s the problem with both applications. They’re easy to
use, but that doesn’t mean that they’re used well.

We still need to follow most of the steps of the days of
slides:

  • A
    professional corporate scriptwriter meets with the client to determine the
    objective of the speech and important points and details.
  • Thumbnail
    of script is created with major points and communicated to the Art
    Director
  • The
    art director designs the look and feel and incorporates the elements into
    the presentation, using more graphics and less text.
    • (If
      there must be text, then a rule of thumb for text, is still, no more than
      5 lines per slide)
  • The
    professional artist/media producer creates the art and he or part of the
    team programs the transitions. (The animations during the slide or
    transitions between slides can add to the impact and help make the point)

PowerPoint can be creative, artistic and have major impact.
It can create a “wow!” and have a lasting affect. Think about it. We’ve all seen the motivational speaker with
a very few slides, that are so well done that you understand and remember the
presentation. This definitely is not the speakers’ speech in type on the
screen.

We didn’t have the tools to make it easy pre-PowerPoint, so
we did it right. Now we have the tools to make it easy plus more creative
options and don’t take the time to do it right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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