It used to be the old blue & yellow, but that is so boring now. Is there a good template or style anyone is aware of? Have you seen anything nice lately? Thanks!
Date: 02 Oct 2012 15:39
Number of posts: 7
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Blue and yellow? Please tell me you're kidding.
I don't know that anything is ever "in style" with PowerPoint except clarity. That's all that should matter. Go with something high contrast. Simpler is always better than complex. Use a clear, bold, sans-serif font. Fewer words in bulletpoints rather than long sentences you'd read. Pictures or images instead of words when possible. No cheesy animations. I hope these are all obvious suggestions most people would agree with. Unfortunately, people violate them all the time and their powerpoints, and talks, suffer as a result.
Also, YOU are the show and your PPT is your presentation aid, not the other way around.
I have had an odd fascination with PPT since the late 90s and have gotten way too nerdy about all of it's capabilities. I did get a good chuckle with the blue/yellow reference and have had moments where I got excited picking the "design template" and fun color schemes.
That said, less is more. For a job talk, I think a simple white background is most appropropriate… simply because it's easy to read. That said, i think a well selected color contrast is appropriate for Titles/Headers or to highlight important concepts. Google images is also a great source to find the right photo to show instead of tell something.
agree with above poster that bullet points are more easily digested than full sentences.
again, choose appropriate colors for graphs… make sure the legend is clear, etc.
simple animations (entrance, appear; exit, disappear) are good to set pace… but avoid the "jazzy" transitions such as blinds horizontal/vertical, wipe left/up/down, etc.
be sure to do a practice in a well-lit room to make sure your color choice is readable. I've seen some PPTs that were well designed, in theory… but in practice, the colors were not readable in a fully-lit room (yellow is always difficult to read).
please also use a large enough font (24 pt seems good).
I use size 36 font for most of my PPTs… that also helps you to have short and sweet bulletpoints rather than slapping sentences on the screen
Here are some suggestions:
- Choose font and background colors that provide high contrast (e.g., black/white)
- Use a large enough font size (my minimum size is 28)
- Make sure tables and figures are simple, large enough, and clearly labeled
- If the figures include different colors, make sure they are easily distinguishable (e.g., don't use yellow lines on a white figure)
- Use short bullet points instead of sentences
- If you have to show a complicated or "busy" slide, display it in parts rather than all at once
- Avoid silly animation, transition, and sound effects
- If you need to play a sound, display a movie, show a demo, etc., check beforehand whether it will work on the computer you're using for the talk
- If you will not be using your own computer for the talk, then make sure their computer has a version of PowerPoint that will open your talk. Note that older versions of PowerPoint may not open the newer .pptx files.
- Make a PDF version of your slides as a backup in case there are problems with PowerPoint. This can be done from within PowerPoint by saving your slides as a .pdf file instead of a .ppt or .pptx file.
I'm a big fan of Prezi for presentations (prezi.com)
It takes a bit to get used to but the way it functions works much better for breaking a talk down into sections and "zooming" into theories/data
I heard that people find Prezi annoying if not done well. I also found it annoying. It looked fancy at first, but was too distracting. Prezi itself captured more attention than contents. Maybe the presentation was not done very well, that may be why. But I read somewhere in Chronicle that Prezi is not recommended for job talk.