PowerPoint images

4 05 2017

Just when you thought Trump’s administration couldn’t prove themselves to be anymore inept today, Sean Spicer, took us to a new low. 

In his carefully prepared press briefing today he showed 4 images on the one slide..! OK, maybe it’s not quite as important as impending thermonuclear armageddon but there’s no excuse for it. 

Did you know PowerPoint was initially produced as a specialised word processor for producing acetate slides? It’s a little known fact that the world’s most popular presentation software started out as a program to help people produce physical printed slides for projectors like these. 

Old acetate slides were expensive to buy and print (if you didn’t just write with the multicoloured pens and do it freehand) and they were a pain to transport. As such, you tried to squeeze as much on each slide as you could. 

Readers of a certain generation will remember the tear-off backing to the clear acetate slide being used to block off the part of the slide the presenter didn’t want you to read yet. As presenters spoke they would slide the paper down the acetate to reveal their next point bit by bit, line by line. 

Even if you’ve never seen an old acetate slide presentation you’ve experienced what it was like. The “master slide” PowerPoint template of Title, Text and Bullet points and the presentation of information line by line is a direct throwback to those acetate slides. 

Just because the next line of text is “fading”, “appearing” or “flying in” doesn’t make it any different to someone sliding down a piece of paper over those preprinted acetate slides in the olden days!

But now we don’t have to carry slides around with us. We aren’t limited by only having 10 slides for an hour-long presentation. We can use as many as we like. And that is why Sean Spicer’s slides are so hideous. 

Each of those images should be on its own slide. Instead of 4 cramped images with tiny unreadable text squeezed underneath each image each picture deserves its own slide.

If each slide was separate not only would they be more legible and impactful, Sean Spicer wouldn’t have had to turn and point like he did. 

If you are interested in making more impactful presentations and want to avoid making the mistakes people like Spicer and even Bill Gates make…

you should check out Garr Reynolds brilliant website and book called Presentation Zen

Our job is to make the ideas we are presenting as easy as possible for our audience to engage with. Tiny, crushed collages don’t help. It costs nothing in ink or acetate to put each of your images on a separate slide. It doesn’t make the presentation any harder to transport either. 




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