PowerPoint Help

15 pts.
Microsoft Office
Presentation software
I need advice for how to put together a PowerPoint presentation that won't put my audience to sleep. I've suffered through a lot of bad ones and don't want to inflict the same pain.

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Every time you make a presentation, you’re trying to sell your point of view. And to sell anything, you need to connect emotionally to your audience.

Reading your slides or ticking off bullet points won’t help you create an emotional connection with your audience. Neither will charts and graphs.

So how SHOULD you use PowerPoint? Seth Godin has come up with five rules everyone should follow. I’m paraphrasing them here so you should go read his eBook and read what he has to say. He’s the only guy I’ve come across that addresses the real issue of why so many PowerPoint presentations are deadly.


  1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER. No exceptions.
  2. No clip art. Use professional stock photo images.
  3. No dissolves, spins or other transitions.
  4. Sound can be used in a presentation, but never use the sound effects that are built in to the program.
  5. Don’t hand out print-outs of your slides. They don’t work without you there.
  6. DO provide a handout so audience members can take notes.

The handouts should complement your presentation, not repeat it. Handouts are a good place to include
your charts and graphs.

Discuss This Question: 3  Replies

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  • Marya
    I find that people like to take notes on the handouts, so I often provide a copy for attendees. Having the notes with the presentation is helpful later.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Margaret Rouse
    I agree that handing out notes to go with your presentation is always appropriate. Ideally, though, the notes would complement your presentation, not duplicate it. I'll edit the answer to reflect that. This is a collaborative answer though -- perhaps you can add a rule #6 for when it IS appropriate to hand out your notes!
    61,180 pointsBadges:
  • Bikecommutr
    You probably want to check out Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen. He does great work and makes presentations simple and entertaining.
    80 pointsBadges:

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