DonnaM » Blog Archive » A neat powerpoint trick

A neat powerpoint trick

I love presenting but struggle to prepare presentations. I know exactly what I want to talk about but what I struggle most with is preparing presentation slides.

The presentations that I enjoy watching are those with lots of diagrams, screen shots and illustrations that provide something interesting to look at and support the speaker’s story. But they aren’t great as take-aways – they don’t make sense without the story. And the presentations that I hate most are those with lots of bullet points, however well they support a story (personally, I also find that they stop my story flow as I am as drawn to the words as everyone else is).

I was pleased with some of the IA Summit presentations this year that included diagrams and photographs in the slides, with speaker notes for reading later. This is great, but still has a disadvantage – it takes a lot of paper to print out – Powerpoint at least doesn’t have an option to print both slides and speaker notes with multiple slides per page.

So I came up with a neat trick to get around this – a way to tell a story with illustrations, and provide listeners with notes to follow up later. It’s dead easy as well. I create my presentation with a slide containing an illustration followed by a slide with relevant notes and bullet points. Then I ‘hide’ all of slides with notes. They don’t appear when I’m presenting, but they print out. So listeners get a good set of notes, and I don’t have to once show a bulleted list on the screen.

How cool is that!

(come and see me practice this at our new seminar – Latest Thinking in Usability and IA, July 29, Canberra, Australia.)

2 Responses to “A neat powerpoint trick”

  1. joe Says:

    Brilliant, actually. In addition, this technique would help tech writers create quick training docs.

  2. Michael Says:

    Nice tip, Donna. Thanks for blogging it!