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Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations with Three Principles

Posted by: admin on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc. Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc. during the January 15 Sunrise Scrambler. Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations with Three Principles Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist for Apples & Arrows, has seen a lot of PowerPoint Presentations over the years and “about 99% of them are bad.” Drawing on his own expertise and some advice from one of his favorite subject matter experts, Nancy Duarte, Todd provided us with three easy principles for improving PowerPoint Presentations. Principle One You don’t need PowerPoint. Don’t use PowerPoint as a crutch. A presentation is the best time to utilize your personal creativity rather than depend on presentation tools. Experiment with other presentation tools that can add some flair to your message delivery. But remember that there is always a possibility that you’ll experience a technology glitch. So practice and be prepared to channel your passion for your subject by presenting without your tools. Principle Two Fewer words = better PowerPoint. Don’t present a document or your script. Limit yourself to 75 words in your slide deck. Your audience will remember images more than they remember words, so incorporate the most memorable photos and videos you can find. Images connect your audience to your message through the emotions they evoke. (Todd is willing to share his “cute kitten” image with you if you need it.) Principle Three Stick with three big ideas. Keep it simple so your audience can absorb and process your three most important ideas. A few other tips from the Q&A that followed Todd’s presentation include:

  • Check out colourlovers.com or kular.adobe.com for some pre-existing color palettes that will help you make effective choices.
  • Limit yourself to two fonts. Remove Papyrus and Comic Sans from your font style options. They are simply overdone.
  • Comply with copyright laws when using images. Check the Creative Commons area of Flickr for some dynamic photos that you can use with some restrictions. You can also purchase images or grab a camera and take your own.
  • Minimize animation and use conservative transition styles to keep your file size manageable.

For more inspiring ideas, Todd suggested reviewing Nancy Duarte’s book, Slide:ology:  The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.  And while you’re doing your research, Todd recommends viewing the video, A Pep Talk from Kid President to You.  In the memorable words of Kid President, “Remember that you were made to be awesome.  So get to it!” Our thanks to Wichita Chamber Board Member Todd Ramsey for kicking off 2014 with some practical advice that we can all incorporate in our presentations this year. We’re also grateful to our sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Wichita Scottish Rite Center, and Southwestern College Professional Studies. Special thanks to Jim Davenport from the Wichita Scottish Rite Center for providing a building tour following the presentation. There were many in attendance today who were visiting this historic building for the first time. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about its features and history. Check the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler photo album on Facebook for event pictures. Our next Scrambler is February 19 at the Museum of World Treasures. Aaron Bushell from Bank of the West will speak about how failure can lead you to success in his presentation, Fail is not a Four-Letter Word.


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