Experiments in Powerpoint

These past few terms, I decided I was going to work a bit longer on presentations to engage the audience better. This required developing my own frameworks for how I was going to structure each individual presentation. Sure there were some obvious rules like 1) avoid too much text 2) put in a funny picture 3) tell a story and not just facts… but that’s the usual bs everyone says. I wanted to do something different.

Experiment 1: Minimalist

Essentially this was the idea of using minimalist design. Less text, less graphics. Simple messages and smooth transitions.

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Experiment 2: A visual motif

It is easy to simply select a theme from power point and put text in it. But if you truly customize the theme and make it your own… that leaves a lasting impression.

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The idea was to create my own template, with thin fonts. The motif here is using sketches. Each slide looked consistent and I changed other rules. The headers on the bottom, no capitals. And hence the presentation unique.

Experiment 3: The fancy fonts and flashy animations (used sliderocket)

To be used with caution. The ‘disturbed’ font may look exciting… but it can be a pain to read sometimes.

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Also, while this presentation worked in a dark room with the fancy animations… the slides look too crowded to print and distribute.

Experiment 4: What about that last slide?

I decided early that the last slide was going to be a different. Some variations on using word clouds and using a funny picture.

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Ive done the word cloud before. And one key insight I took from using a funny picture is: that picture is up there the entire time you answer questions! This is great.

Powerpoint, for all its flaws is actually pretty darn powerful. The presentation in the end however is only as good as the designer and the presenter.

More experiments to come! Also, I intend to get my head around prezi one of these days. I have avoided using it because it is too darn complicated and disorienting.

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