Making a Great PowerPoint Presentation Better

November 7th, 2008 by kevin

It’s easy to make a PowerPoint presentation.. but way more difficult to make a great one. What classifies as a great Slideshow deck? I’d like to say most people get it, but many don’t. Here’s some advise from the pros:

Jeff Atwood says keeping it simple is the paramount to keeping your audience interested. No creating small diatribes or small novels inside your slides.

Seth Godin says to make an emotional connection with your audience through the use of images, simplicity, oh, and not bombarding your listeners with bulleted lists of factoids.

Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.)If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the meeting and send in a report.

There are countless resources on how not to use PowerPoint.

If you’re on board with my last few points, you rock and you’re the best – but how can you make an even better slideshow. Where’s that next edge?

Our Newest Concept: Graphic Design + Slides

Last week Dusty gave a presentation at Highlight Midwest with Matt and Jeff about the cool startup/entrepreneurial activity that’s going down in Omaha. In preparation for their talk, they put together a pretty sweet slide deck. However, it was lacking some serious visual pizazz. What did we do?

If you didn’t already know, we value design, look and feel, and usability heavily in the web applications we build. So we thought… maybe apply these same concepts to a slideshow?

Seemed like something worth trying, so we handed it off to Erin #2 to see what she could do. After a few hours, it was pretty apparent that it was time well spent. The before and after results are below.

Designed (Erinified)

End Result: Get a Designer to Take Your Presentation to the Next Level

Of course, hardcore graphic design doesn’t come cheap or free (usually). We hired an awesome designer for that reason, but there are other avenues to take if you’re seriously looking.

In fact, we contracted out to this designer, who specializes in gussying up slideshows, to create a presentation for our Tripleseat product. It was money well spent!