The two most used, but useless slides in presentations

Practically any presentation that I witness, ends with a ‘Thank you!’ or ‘Questions?’ slide. The slide above is one of those examples that even combines both of them.

It seems a universal misconception that this is a good ending of your presentation. But… is this really the last visual message that you want to share?

Consider this:

  1. Most presentations are followed by a Q and A session that lasts at least 5 minutes or more. Do you want to have something so obvious and non-informative like this, being projected on a big screen behind you during all this time (probably receiving the most viewing time of any slide from your whole presentation)?
  2. No matter how good you are – there are always people that drift off with their attention during the presentation. Only at the end, when the dynamics change – they regain consciousness to the here and now. Even these people can still be reached with your core message – but when all they see is a big question mark on the screen – even this opportunity will get lost.

In other words… pay speical attention to your last slide – what is the message that you want people to go home with? And consider including your contact information for more information afterwards.

And instead of a slide with ‘questions?’ it is much better to show a thought provoking question to start the discussion. But don’t let this be the last slide of your deck. Unless of course it is the start of a round table discussion amongst partipants.

But how about thanking the audience? Of course you should! You have been given a platform to share your views and ideas. Although there are always presentation purists that argue that this is selling yourself short. It is the audience who should be thanking you.

As for me – I always thank my audience for their input. And this automatically leads to being thanked as well. My presentations are interactive. Questions and reactions makes the experience more valuable for all – for which I am truly thankful. And there is nothing wrong with expressing that.

 

Stap over op 16:9 dia’s

Ik kreeg laatst de vraag welk formaat beter is bij het maken van een presentatie: de standaard- versie (4:3) of de breedbeeld (16:9) versie. Ik hoef daar niet lang over na te denken. Het is zonder meer tijd  om over te stappen op de 16:9 variant.

Waarom?  De 4:3 versie stamt uit het analoge tijdperk – toen televisies, monitoren en oude films nog in dat formaat werden gemaakt. Tegenwoordig is vrijwel alles breedbeeld.  De meeste presentaties worden gegeven in kleinere vergaderzalen waar een breedbeeld 16:9 monitor aan de muur hangt. En als jij daar je 4:3 dia’s op toont, wordt je beeld of uitgerekt, of kleiner gemaakt en verschijnen er balken aan de linker en rechterkant van je beeld.

Ook qua communicatie werkt 16:9 beter – zeker in zakelijke context. Denk alleen maar aan een flowchart of een tijdlijn die met een breedbeeldformaat veel beter uit de verf komt.

Tot slot en niet geheel onbelangrijk: het krijgt steeds meer het imago van ouderwets. En dat is iets waar u waarschijnlijk niet mee geassocieerd wilt worden.

Instelling aanpassen

Tot en met PowerPoint 2010 is de standaard dia ingesteld op 4:3. Als je dit  wilt veranderen moet je dat handmatig doen via het tabblad ‘Ontwerpen’ en vervolgens ‘Pagina-instelling’ . Klik vervolgens bij ‘diaformaat aanpassen’ –  op ‘diavoorstelling (16:9)’

Vanaf PowerPoint 2013 is de standaard ingesteld op 16:9. Op de afbeelding hieronder  kun je zien wat de verschillen zijn.

Let wel: de 16:9 afmeting die PowerPoint 2013 gebruikt (blauw) is groter dan de 16:9 afmeting  in PowerPoint 2010 (groen). Dit is gedaan zodat oude 4:3 dia’s (oranje) gemakkelijker kunnen worden overgezet omdat dezelfde hoogte wordt gehanteerd.

Dus als je werkelijk toekomstbestendig wilt zijn met je dia’s – hanteer dan de dimensies van PowerPoint 2013.

aspect-ratio-PowerPoint-Total Connection

Uitzondering: slideshare

Er is wel een uitzondering. Als je van plan bent een presentatie te maken voor slideshare. Slideshare werkt namelijk nog met het 4:3 formaat. Als je je presentatie dan upload –wordt het vergroot en wordt de onder en bovenkant van je zorgvuldig ontworpen dia’s afgesneden. Om dat geval kun je beter met 4:3 werken.

Zo niet… stap dan vandaag nog over!

Mocht u nog 4:3 presentaties hebben liggen die u graag in 16:9 wilt gaan gebruiken, maak dan gebruik van onze professionele Dia Conversie Service. Nu tijdelijke actieprijs!

 

PowerPoint lessons from Varoufakis

On May 17, 2015 – former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave a keynote presentation in Brussels for a business club.

Afterwards, he posted the video and the PowerPoint slides that he used as two separate files on his personal website.

This was obviously well meant as good Public Relations. However, it backfired on him. People (not present at the presentation) noticed the complex slides and commented about it on Twitter (see screenshot above). Instead of support for his ideas and strengthening credibility, it further damaged his already tarnished image.

By posting the presentation material on internet he did prevent one annoying common problem: looking at an online video where the spreaker uses slides that are not visible for the viewer.  But… by resolving it this way – he created another problem.

In this case – the slides are visible. But as a seperate download (see screenshot below – as taken from his website). And, even though it is on the same webpage, it isn’t integrated with the talk. And that’s when it gets tricky. The slides can take on a life of their own – as it did.

 

Tip 1:  be careful what you use as a hand-out.

Ensure that your slides – that are meant as visual support of your story – never get separated from your story. In other words: next time that people ask you for a copy of your slides – never say ‘yes’ automatically. If you do want to provide a hand-out, make sure that you have a document ready that can stand on its own.

In this case, for instance, the slides could have been incorporated in the video with some simple editing.

Tip 2:  No Comic Sans

If you want to be taken serious – never use the Comic Sans font – as in the slide presented above (economic reforms). Comic Sans was designed for comic books. By using this font, you subconsciously decrease the value of your message.

Tip 3: Make it readable

The presentation itself consists a lot of copy and paste images. Nothing wrong in itself. But there is a risk that in the process, letters become too small to read. This is what happened here. A quick fix could be to retype the most important words and place them on top of the original words.