PowerPoint Design in 2009: Blog posts with quotes

PowerPoint Design in 2009: Blog posts with quotes


PowerPoint Design in 2009: Blogpost summaries

PowerPoint Design in 2009: The Experts talk

PowerPoint Design in 2009: Why Design Matters?

Andrew Abela Slide design in 2009 Advocates two different types of powerpoint style. Simple PresentationZen and Duarte for “ballroom” presentations and more detailed for “Conference Room” presentations.

Use different presentation styles strategically, recognizing that different presentation situations call for different presentation styles. What I wish for in 2009 is that presenters will realize that both types of presentations, simple and detailed, have their place.

Andrew Dlugan PowerPoint Design wishlist: 8 modest proposals Andrew writes his post in the form of a letter to the PowerPoint programmers:

Instead of just spewing mechanical details, (e.g. “On the Home tab, in the Font box group, type or click a font in the Font group“), why not provide them with a virtual speech coach with useful advice like:

  • Using fonts consistently makes your slides look more professional.
  • When using different fonts on a slide, do so with purpose (e.g. one font for titles, one for labels), not to make things “look interesting”.

Andrew Lightheart PowerPoint: we’ve been fooled… PowerPoint is not that important to the success of a presentation.

PowerPoint is a technological red herring. It puts us off the scent because it fulfils so many psychological and emotional needs for the speaker.

In terms of impact, slides have as much impact as the the fonts and the layout of a document. The main cause of success or failure is the content of the communication and the way it is structured.

* Place more focus on the planning and structure of presentations, including educating themselves a little in the psychology of communication.

* Make handouts in Word (or a package designed for producing printed material), make speaker notes on paper/cards, and follow the Lightheart visual aid rule (”You only need a visual aid in a presentation if you would need one in conversation”).

* Use the B key more often.

Bert Decker PowerPoint Revolution in 2009

I would estimate 90% of all types of presentations are created by people who go to their computers and start the process by using the PP outliner or going right to writing text and bullets on the slides themselves. So the end result is totally PP driven, and we have information without influence and data without emotion. Remember, Barack Obama did not get to be President by using PowerPoints.

First, figure out what your message is – what is your Point Of View, what Action do you want people to take and what are the Benefits (for them – not you.)

This way your presentation becomes you speaking – your energy and drive and enthusiasm – and then you can hit the clicker and draw on your PPs, hit the clicker again and go to a Black Slide as you amplify, or use props, or stories, or exercises, or word pictures, or whatever you choose.

Brent Dykes PowerPoint Design in 2009: a hammer or a toolbox

I am concerned that rather than adding the simple, visual approach to presenters’ “toolboxes”, presenters will use it as a hammer for all presentation situations. .. Just because bullet points may be perceived as the duct tape of PowerPoint design (inelegant and ugly), it doesn’t mean bullet points aren’t effective in certain situations.

Christope Harrer 10 reasons why Presentations are going to make it big in 2009: Slide Design Wishlist Christophe has put together a great Slideshare presentation to demonstrate his 10 points.

Everything you add to your slides should have a positive impact on the message you try to communicate. This is why I always use very simple design theme for my slides. Your theme shouldn’t look beautiful on its own, it is your content that should make your slides beautiful, because you want them to look at it not at your theme.

If all the slides in your slideshow look exactly the same, you will lose people attention. The solution is dead simple : make changes! Use different types of visuals, move them arround your slides, change sizes, etc. Be careful yet,  you need to keep your presentation consistent and your design should also link your slides altogether.

Craig Strachan PowerPoint Presentations – a wishlist for 2009 Less slides, less text, less complexity:

We still need to see less text. Far to many presentations are text heavy. Laura Bergells makes a great point about going picture crazy and replaceing every single line of text with graphics. We do need to find a balance, but I would still rather see a presentation with too many graphics than with too much text.

Dave Paradi PowerPoint Design in 2009 Sees a distinction between design-focused presenters and effectiveness-focused presenters for whom design is less important. Also a comment on Lessig.

The much larger group will be those who are trying to sell ideas, products and services in a tough economy. In 2009, presenting effectively will impact your results and ultimately whether you get to keep your job or not. They don’t have time for elaborate design.

And many of the new trends in presenting simply won’t cut it in most corporate settings.

Denise Graveline How to use PowerPoint in 2009 Engage the audience beforehand through social media, advance questions, add to slide in real-time.

  • Ask questions of the audience: Instead of loading your slides with bullets or pictures, try posing relevant–and thorny–questions about your issue. Use the slide to guide, even encourage discussion.
  • Play advance feedback back to the audience: If your conference organizers ask the audience to submit advance questions, get them ahead of time and share them on a slide or series of slides–no better way to let the audience know you’ve heard their feedback, and a great guide to a discussion.
  • Add to the slide in real time: Ask the audience to call out points and amend your slide on the fly, so their input is reflected. Or start a list on the slide and turn to the audience to add to the points you’ve made.

Ellen Finkelstein What I’d like to see in PowerPoint in 2009 Create content before PP design, storyboard, one point per slide, design is important.

In 2009, I’d like to see presenters start by writing down their goal for the presentation, their main points, and the data, stories, and images that will back up their points. And only then start to write.

I’d like presenters in 2009 to know that design is important. Good design provides a professional, custom look that says that the presenter cared enough about the audience to do more than slap on a default background. Companies hire professionals to design their Web sites and printed brochures; why not their presentations, which are just as important?

I’d like presenters to know that templates aren’t even necessary, that the top designers are using plain white or black backgrounds.

Eric Feng 10 crazy things to try with your PowerPoint presentation in 2009 A bit of light relief if you need it. Click through to his post to see Eric’s 10 crazy things:

But if there is something everybody needs now, it’s a good laugh – so here are ten absolutely crazy things to do with your powerpoint presentation in 2009. Remind people that no matter how bad things get, you can always laugh.

Gary Guwe PowerPoint Revolution Summary of design principles

Remember the purpose of your presentation is to convey a message to the audience. The MESSAGE is what you want to have stand out so everything you do should help to enhance the purpose and message and reduce distraction.

Gavin Meikle (contribution via blog comment)

“Id love to see more corporations throwing out old fashioned, text-dense, bullet-point riddled slides and encouraging more simple, clear, graphic designs. Internal competitions for the best most effective presentations as voted upon by the audience would help create a new culture. I don’t know about the US but here in the UK bullet points still seem to rule in far too many organisations. I’d also like to see more published research into what actually works best in different types of contexts. Finally I’d like to see PowerPoint having alternative default formats for on-line versus live presentations to help people learn how to use it appropriately in different contexts.”

Geetesh Bajaj Slide Design in 2009: Changes Approach to preparing a presentation.

Always start your presentation on paper — draw your ideas, link relationships between concepts, and create a storyboard. Take another sheet of paper, redo the entire thing — this time, remove all unwanted info, and fine-tune further.

George Torok Step away from that PowerPoint or someone might get hurt Plan your message first and then consider how you can best use the visual aspect of PowerPoint.

The first thing that presenters need to do, in 2009, is to ask these important questions before creating their presentation.

What’s the purpose of your presentation? What do you want you audience to do because of your presentation?

What message do you want to deliver that will help you achieve that purpose?

Jan Schultink 2009  Looking ahead in the world of PowerPoint presentations Design recognised as important. More typography, slides more fluid as they transition into each other(do away with overhead projector heritage), 3D used better, focus on data visualization.

[slideshare presentations]Almost too simplistic for my taste: “1 word a page”, often accompanied by cliche stock images, to be clicked through at very high speeds, often abandoned mid-way.

3D will be used better, enabled by PowerPoint 2007, bringing “the technology to the masses”. Data visualization is still relative virgin territory. Gradually doing away with the overhead projector heritage: one slide per subject, title in the top-left, source at the bottom. Instead slides will become more fluid as they transition into each other. New technologies enabling zooming in and out of areas will be leveraged. A great PowerPoint presentation become more similar to the supporting graphics that are often used in TV documentaries.

Jennifer Kammeyer Creating PowerPoint based on Research Really useful summary of the research that can be applied to PowerPoint.

So what we learn from the research is:
1.    Follow multimedia learning principles (for summary of principles see http://www.jenniferkammeyer.com/research.htm )
2.    Use full-sentence declarative headlines
3.    Don’t add irrelevant pictures (or anything irrelevant for that matter)
4.    Keep the design interference-free with high-contrast, easy-to-read text & graphs
5.    Use 2D graphs with cool colors and high contrast
6.    Use Gill Sans or Souvenir Lt font

Jeff Bailey Slide Design 2009: Let the Bullets Fly What not to do this year – some light relief!

You are smart or your wouldn’t have been asked to present. You owe it to us to prove how smart you are. We, the audience, wants to worship you. How are you going to do it? Are you are going to put everything you plan to say on your slides? No, stupid people do that. You are going to put everything you know on your slides. The more information, the better. Seeing your vast knowledge will certainly make us fall in line.

and from PowerPoint Design 2009: A whole new you:

But it is now 2009 … we want substance over style. We want — no we crave — interesting ideas and content delivered by people who know how to present. We want trainers who connect with us. We want to look into their eyes and know they care about what we get from from the discussion.

In short, we want CHANGE! We want our presenters to think more about us, the audience, than they do their freakin’ slides.

Jeromy Timmer What to put in your slides in ’09 (part 1) and What to put in your slides in ’09 (part 2) Take off logos and don’t use templates. Create a colour palette and use a grid.

All of the standard Microsoft PowerPoint templates stink. Horribly. The ones that aren’t completely awful are so overused that they’ve become a cliche. Don’t use any of them.

Don’t have a logo on the slides. You may not have your logo on the slides, but you can still incorporate your brand into your presentation material. Create a color palette based on your logo or on a photo representative of your industry.  My favorite tool for this is Kuler. Just upload an image and let Kuler do its thing. You can tell it whether you want bold, colorful, or subdued colors.

Jim Anderson A Presenter’s PowerPoint Slides: Too Little Of A Bad Thing? Should be designed to support the words that are being spoken.

As we enter 2009, what should the ideal PowerPoint presentation look like? In a nutshell, it should look like it was designed to support the words that are being spoken. This will involve a lot of visual imagery (”pretty pictures”) and SOME detailed slides if they are needed.

Joey Asher How to put lipstick on the PowerPoint pig (great title) PowerPoint largely irrelevant as to whether you accomplish your busines goals. Working on content more important.

But ultimately my position on PowerPoint is this: it’s largely irrelevant to whether you accomplish your goals. That’s because PowerPoint and other visuals, now matter how graphically pleasing, don’t inspire audiences, sell ideas, or win business. That’s done by the speaker. If he or she has a well-crafted message that focuses simply on the listeners’ needs, and if it’s delivered well, then the presentation is going to be a success regardless of what slides you have.

Slides don’t grow businesses. Connecting with audiences and colleagues and business partners and customers is what grows businesses.

Here’s what I’d like to see going forward. Let’s start creating presentations by taking out a blank sheet of paper and writing down what we want to accomplish and what our audience cares about.

John Windsor Improving your presentations in 2009 Make your first slide a goal slide. Connect with your audience.

And, rather than give you a long list, I’ll give you just one thing — one thing that, if you do it, will change both how you interact with your audience and, very likely, what your slides look like. Make your first slide a “goal” slide, not a title slide. That’s it. Start off with what your audience is trying to achieve or what you want them to understand. That will give them a powerful and (hopefully) succinct way to think about what is to come.

Laura Bergells Social media inspired PowerPoint design for 2009 Twittery design for slides. Push-back from the audience.

The brevity of Twitter can make you a better designer. A better headline writer. A better presenter. Using and studying Twitter can be a powerful exercise in how to get your point across swiftly and succinctly.

Yes, you can often use various social media outlets — Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, your own blog, YouTube, et. al. — to meet your audience pre-presentation, to get a better feel for who they are and what some of their questions and concerns may be about your topic.

Lee Potts PowerPoint Design in 2009: Very Superstititous Points out that many people behave in a superstitious way around PowerPoint. They follow rules without understanding why.

Like many superstitious beliefs, design criteria like these usually have a rational, thoughtful beginning. However, over time, they became less and less methods for achieving particular aesthetic or rhetorical goals and end up as thoughtlessly applied dogma.

Lisa Braithwaite Is PowerPoint the new black? More visuals, less text. Use flipchart too. Use a remote.

This may be the case in the professional speaking/PowerPoint design world, but in the real world, I have yet to see a speaker use an image-based PowerPoint in a presentation. My experience at conferences and meetings is the same as it’s been for years and years: heavily bulleted slides featuring boring corporate templates, too many words, and cheesy clipart.

Use slides that are clean, simple, and support your points with creative and relevant images. Show data on your slides only if the charts or graphs are simple, clean, and data points large enough to be seen in the back of the room. Otherwise, put data into separate handouts.

Mike Pulsifer What I’d like to see in Slide Design in 2009

All too often, slide decks are assembled with the intention that they also serve as handouts.  Well designed slides are terrible handouts since they lack the on-slide text necessary to form an informative narrative.  What the audience is left with is a presentation that is ineffective and handouts that have no value to the people they’re passed on to or kept by because they still need explanation.  You can never fit enough text on a slide to make them useful handouts.  At the same time, you all too can easily have too much text on a slide, rendering them useless in a presentation.

MJ Plebon My wish for 2009 10 items on wishlist ranging from design (fonts, colours) to content (message, stories).

The use of PPT slide template layout designs be reduced by 98%.  Let the majority of people start creating with a clean white canvas.

Norman Wei What I would like to see in PowerPoint design in 2009 No bullet points, one point per slide, use as many slides as you have points to make, know your topic, do not memorize your presentations.

Each slide should have just one short sentence as heading and a photograph that is relevant to the heading. NO bullet points.

Robert Lane Visually interactive PowerPoint design Advocates the relational presentation approach.

Presenters must assure that slides follow good cognitive design principles. Something as simple as having only one main idea per slide makes a huge difference.

Unless the goal is to show crucial connections between separate pieces of knowledge, absolutely do not place numerous ideas (or multiple bullet points) on a single slide.

Bullet points longer than 5 words belong in a handout, not on a slide. Simple text phrases speed up verbal processing and cause less conflict with a speaker’s words. Spoken words can fill in extra detail.

Becoming visually interactive with audiences requires a radical shift in thinking. A speaker must move beyond a single-slide-show-mentality and begin delivering many slide shows during performances. That is, he or she divides content into numerous small shows and links those shows together, to facilitate finding individual topics on demand. The resulting PowerPoint-based structure resembles a Web site in many respects and requires the same kind of organizational strategies used by Web site, video game, and database designers.

Rowan Manahan PowerPoint design in 2009 Use presenter view (much better in PP 2007) so that can have less text on screen.

So, as the presenter, you can move to a less text-dependent style of slides, but still have the security blanket of having your detailed speakers notes clearly visible.

Scott Schwertly Presentation Design in 2009

Add more storytelling to PowerPoint presentations this year.

Simon Raybould A wishlist for presentations in 2009 Big fonts, face the audience, put details in handout.

Well firstly I’d like to see the ability of PowerPoint, Keynote, Impress (or whatever) to actually write in anything under 36 Pt removed – or at least wired to the power supply of the computer like this… for every point under 36 the user tried to use, they got 5 Volts of shock. Writing in 24 Pt gives 55Volts, which should be enough to draw anyone’s attention to the fact they’re doing something stupid, right? Writing in 14 Pt should pretty well fry someone’s fingers.

My suggestion is to keep your slides clean and simple (ideas, not details) but to have the details available for your audience somehow.

Perhaps this could be done by

  • having well-written hand-outs to leave behind after the presentation for those who want to know the whys and where-fores. These will have to be different from the slides of course!
  • cover the details verbally at an appropriate level – although this degree of ‘on the fly’ work can be challenging
  • have some detail slides available in your deck which are shown or not depending on what the audience need at the time

Terry Gault What I’d like to see in PowerPoint slide design in 2009 Telling a story that your audience buys into is more critical than providing data and analysis.

The key is that the story must reflect a fundamental truth that the audience buys into.  If it does not buy into it, data and analysis will NOT add any value whatsoever, and may actually muddy the waters.  I am not saying “Don’t do analysis” or “Don’t have data to support your case.”  You should do your homework and have those at the ready, if it’s asked for.  My experience is that audiences simply don’t need data and analysis to make a decision.  They are comparing your story to their own real-world experience.  If your story passes the basic “sniff test” (“Do I believe this story?”) audiences rarely care about your data and analysis.

Wayne Botha Are we there yet? Rehearsal important. “Let’s worship my slides together” phenomena. Prepare your presentation first then see if PP appropriate.

I see some presenters have created a new problem which I term “Let’s worship my slides together”. Some slide presentations are works of art. Clear, high resolution, well balanced photos meticulously assembled into a stunning display of artistic creativity. In fact, the presenter is often so impressed with the slide show that he constantly points to the slides almost if he is worshipping the slides. “Let’s worship my slides together” problem obfuscates the real reason for the presentation in the first place, which is to communicate a message to your audience.

xiaoxiaosunXiaoxiaosun PowerPoint slide design in 2009. Be clear.

The slides should be simple, clear and easy to understand.


  1. PowerPoint Design in 2009: Does Design Matter? : Speaking about Presenting - [...] list of all the blogposts with quotes from each [...]
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