From the category archives:


Find a Presentation Designer Here

January 26, 2012
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Are you looking for a presentation designer? I’ve been asked so many times if I could recommend a presentation designer that I’ve decided to publish a list of PowerPoint and Keynote slide design companies and freelancers. I asked each presentation designer to talk about their approach to presentation design and to give me an example [...]

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9 reasons you should put words on your slides

August 24, 2010

I hate bullet-filled PowerPoint slides, but neither do I advocate having no words on a slide. That’s just going to another extreme. Images and words combined are the most effective PowerPoint slide design for most technical and business presentations. Here are eleven reasons why: 1. A picture may be worth a thousand words – but [...]

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Three traps when using images in your presentation

April 27, 2010

My post Presentation Images: Are you making these mistakes? sparked many wise comments. German presentation trainer, Anke Troeder wrote about combining words and images in your presentation, and I invited her to elaborate on that comment. Here’s the article she wrote: We should give up the false belief that any image says more than a [...]

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Presentation images: Are you making these mistakes?

April 9, 2010
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There’s a disturbing trend – the use of irrelevant images in presentations. Stock photo sites have made it easy to find stunning images. The problem is the images often have nothing to do with the subject of the presentation! My partner, Tony, calls it “Visual Musak”. At best, the images become background wallpaper to the [...]

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What you need to know before using a cartoon in your presentation

February 1, 2010
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I was reviewing a technical presentation for a client. The topic was the latest dental procedures. Every few slides a cartoon popped up. Cartoons about people with bad teeth. The cartoons were tangentially relevant to the topic of the presentation – but didn’t help to promote the message of the presentation. When I asked the [...]

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New evidence that bullet-points don’t work

October 7, 2009

At last, we have some scientifically rigorous evidence to show that slides full of bullet-points don’t work. The research is the work of Chris Atherton, a cognitive psychologist. Chris recently delivered a presentation at the Technical Communication UK Conference and has put up her slides on slideshare. There’s been a tremendous amount of interest in [...]

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Here’s a quick way to make over a bullet-point slide

August 13, 2009

It’s called the Assertion-Evidence Format and it was developed by Professor Michael Alley (I’ve mentioned it previously but somehow never devoted a whole post to it). BTW, if you’ve downloaded and read my Presentation Planning Guide, you’ll see that this slide format dovetails nicely with the planning system I describe in the Guide. First let’s [...]

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Powerpoint custom animation experiment – check out the animation for yourself

June 17, 2009

Yesterday, I reported on the results of an experiment into the impact of Powerpoint custom animation on learning. I’ve now been given permission by the authors (Dr Stephen Mahar and colleagues) to publish samples of the screencasts used in the research. Summary of the experiment The purpose of the experiment was to test the hypothesis [...]

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New research questions the benefits of custom animation in PowerPoint

June 16, 2009

I thought that simple, non-distracting animations that brought in slide elements one at a time as I verbally introduced them was helpful. I thought that it helped members of my audience focus on the slide element that I was talking about. Seems I might be wrong. Research carried out by Stephen Mahar, Ulku Yaylacicegi and [...]

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How to persuade other people to ditch the bullets

May 14, 2009

You’ve read Presentation Zen and Slideology and you’re convinced about the benefits of using visually-engaging PowerPoint slides when you present. But everyone else in your organization stubbornly sticks to the bullet-point slides. How can you persuade them to change their minds? The absolute first thing to do, is to be a good role model. When [...]

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