Death by PowerPoint – Part 3 – How to Get it RIGHT

Just to be clear, I am not a PowerPoint basher (see Parts 1 and 2).  I just hate bad PowerPoint.  It’s a shame people invest so much time in great ideas, and so little time figuring out how to present them.

Well, here are the best lessons I’ve learned:

1) Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule – that’s 10 slides, in 20 minutes, using 30 point font.  The 10/20 part is a great rule of thumb because one you are design presentations in consistent fashion, you can always guess roughly how long your presentation is going to be (2 mins per slide).  The 30 point guideline keeps you from cramming too much cr*p onto a slide and helps you limit yourself to one -and at most 3 – points per slide.

2) 5 Ways to Make PowerPoint Sing – is a great 5 minute video by Duarte design firm in Mountain View and Chico, CA.  You could take an all day course somewhere else, but if you retained nothing but the lessons in this video, you are on your way to being a presentation Ninja!

3) – Most of us learn complex skills best through the examples from others, so I check out the work of every day presentation virtuosos at this web site.  It’s sort of like the YouTube of PowerPoint.  One of my favorites is one on THIRST. You will note that many of the presentations you like will not strictly follow the 10/20/30 rules, or the 5 points made by Duarte.

That’s OK, but you still have to put a little dash of YOU into every presentation.  Like the best blogs, make it a little personal.  It will make your presentation seem so much more natural and engaging – like a one-on-one conversation.

So we leave PowerPoint as a topic for now, but it does not mean we are done with presentations.  We’ll revisit this later when I’ve collected my thoughts on a career-changing, all day class I took on presentation skills.

And remember what your piano teacher or soccer coach used to say: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

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