E6S-029 KISS for Powerpoint- Powerful Presentations - Part 2

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your source for expert advice on Lean, Six Sigma, and performance improvement methods. In this episode number 29: Powerful Presentations Part 2 – KISS for Poweroint, we give detailed recommendations for the most effective use of powerpoint, and how not to fall into that “death by PowerPoint” trap.   Here we go. 

***KISS for PowerPoint***     



Objection 1) My company's norms or templates are to fit 4 quadrants to a page (and fill up each deck)… 

"Counter 1) : Consider the effectiveness of your company's ""quad"" templates or 2X2s… Is it messy, distracting, or does it get the point across? 


Objection 2) I need to present more information than I can fit with your rules of thumb… 

Counter 2) Information can be given in a number of ways: Written hand-outs, verbal, demonstration, or PowerPoint.  The PowerPoint presentation should be a reminder for what you will say or do, not the entire message.  If you really need to convey more detail, consider providing written material for your audience to review on their own after your presentation is complete.

Objection 3) I like to use PowerPoint's animations to control the pace of a presentation and provide entertainment/distractions to the audience.               

Counter 3) Me Too! But I learned it doesn't matter what I liked.  Although I had fun creating my animated PowerPoint masterpiece, in the end it took a day to create a 10 second bit, which may have barely left a mark for the audience.  If your animations don't really hammer home the message, then they are just distractions, and should be eliminated."                                                                                                                                                                                                             

I            Rules of Thumb and Tips for PowerPoint

a.       Font – Pick Standard

i.      Choose Arial or Times New Roman or something else basic and legible

ii.      At least 24 point face

1.      Anything smaller is too tough to read

2.      Graph & Chart text falls into the same category (18pt min on axis labels)

3.      Know that what you see on your screen is far bigger than how it will appear to the audience when projected.  A 2-ft screen at a 2-ft distance is very different from a 6ft screen projected at a 20ft distance and poor light control.

b.      Format

i.      Bulleted 6X6

1.      6 words per line, 6 lines per page- (one line per bullet)

2.      Two schools of thought on formatting

a.       Incomplete sentences, title format, with each major word capitalized

b.      –OR- Incomplete sentences with only the first word capitalized, and not period

c.       Colors

i.      Use of colors is good,  but avoid using too many and avoid certain color combinations

1.      Keep backgrounds simple (header & footer colors typical)

2.      Colors look different on your screen than on the projector, and each projector is different.  Greens can look brown and reds and look orange.

3.      Not everyone can see the differences between colors.

a.       Green/red color blindness or full color blindness

b.      Black text on red background illegible to some

c.       Some color combinations clash and create an eye strain for the reader

i.      Lime green on red, or hit pink on light blue, etc.

d.      Some colors do not contrast enough for gray-scale printing

II         Do's and Don’ts with PowerPoint's many features - animations, music, video,                  

a.       Use sparingly, like almost never. Each new feature you add to your PowerPoint adds another level of complexity to your planning and presentation preparation, and has diminishing returns on the effort.  Keep it Simple…

b.      Test: Does this say, "Look at what you need to know ," or "Look how good I am at PowerPoint?”

c.       If you do use them

i.      It must enhance the message and not distract from it.

ii.      It must work, so you’ll need to find all the right settings for sound, video links, etc, beforehand.

iii.      If you plan on handing out static copies of your presentations, you will need 2 versions so that anything hidden or off screen is presented on the hand-out 

III      Controlling presentation length.        (Example a 10 min presentation should be max 6 slides (1 Title slide, 1 Overview, 3 substance, 1 Conclusion)

a.       ~3 minutes (training average) per slide with substance – not counting title or subject break slides

i.      Some excess information is presented as a reference in training to go back to, but may not be discussed

b.      6-10 minutes per slide on a presentation topic. 

i.      ~approximately 1-minute discussion on each bullet point

c.       Manager-Tools recommends 10+ minutes, B/W, short bullets, and the rest spoken. (very high D approach)                                           

IV      Technical issues                    

a.       Functioning screen, projector, sound

b.      Room setup, where will you stand?

c.      PowerPoint versions: Are you using your own computer or plugging into a station that may have a different version of PowerPoint with different font files and sound files.       

Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 29 of the E6S-Methods Podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 30, where we discuss the “Burning Platform,” that compelling story that motivates your team to get in gear.  “Light it, Sell it, Jump in!”  Subscribe to past and future episodes on iTunes or stream us live on-demand with Stitcher Radio. Follow us on twitter @e6sindustries. Find us on LinkedIn to join a discussion. Outlines and graphics for all shows are posted on our website, www.E6S-Methods.com. “Journey Through Success”