By J Wilberg
There is a school of thought that says PowerPoint presentations are passé. Today’s audiences need more dynamic presentation media. I agree with that in the abstract. But in the day to day world where I do most of my work, PowerPoint still has a function – a big function.
A PowerPoint presentation:
1. Keeps me as the speaker on track.
2. Keeps the audience focused on the most important content.
3. Allows discussions to revolve around something everyone is seeing at the same time.
So for those reasons, I still like PowerPoint presentations. And because I’m not a genius at organizing and manipulating new, more dynamic media, I’s sticking with PowerPoint presentations for when I have to convey complex information to a diverse audience.
That doesn’t mean that presentations have to be boring.
Let’s not talk about content right now. That can be a topic for another blog. Today, let’s just talk about the look, namely, customized slide formats.
For several years, I have been working with Tessera Design on virtually every product that leaves my office – proposals, reports, and PowerPoint presentations. I find that Tessera’s customized designs elevate my presentations. Through the artwork and formatting, a consistent theme and message are created and conveyed. It’s a big plus.
This format helped me present a potentially touchy analysis of Milwaukee’s shelter system. Created by Tessera in 2010, the design had the effect of conveying that the system was itself embarking on a path of self-improvement.
One of my favorite slide formats was put together for a presentation to WISCAP (2012) on developing Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) Plans. The NRSA designation is a creation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that enables a local government to use federal funding much more flexibly in accordance with a plan developed collaboratively with neighborhood residents, business, and other stakeholders. It sounds like a dry, boring process but it’s actually terrific fun. A good NRSA has a lot of community involvement, a lot of people who love their neighborhood come together to make it better.
What better than a beautiful fall scene to make people see the promise of a NRSA?
Can’t you just see the neighbors out raking leaves and hear kids playing basketball in the background? The companion format for this gave just a thread of the same feel.
These are just two examples of many customized looks created by Tessera Design. They are offered here just to spark your thinking about what extra could be added to your PowerPoint. How can you make your PowerPoint pop? How can you separate yourself and your important project from the ‘ho-hum’ of PowerPoint presentations.
This is one way. No singing ducks or interactive surveys. Just good, clear information presented in a new, interesting way.