With PowerPoint, I believe in the “less is more” philosophy. In my opinion, slide after slide of heavily bulleted copy will not keep your audience focused on what you say. However, powerful imagery that compliments your message will. Even if you’re a small company, like the one represented in the example below, your presentations should always reflect your brand. In my view, the less it looks like PowerPoint, the more engaging it will be. So how can you do this?
Well, the first thing is to understand what the client is trying to communicate. Lots of times there is a big idea hidden behind all the bullet points. When you uncover that big idea, think about what kind of images pop into mind. In the example shown, the client supplied me with lots of text explaining the crucial nature of the partnership they form with their customers. When I think “crucial” I think about a life or death situation. If you can’t trust your partner, then disastrous results may occur. So an image of two mountain climbers (one with an outstretched hand reaching for the other) was a good way to illustrate the importance of their business partnership. The next step was to locate other stock photos with a similar look and feel. This is important because the presentation should hold together as a unit, not be a hodge podge of clip art, and unrelated graphics. The more you can use great images to summarize an idea, the less your presentation looks like a PowerPoint. Sure there will be lots of specifics that will need to be conveyed to your audience. But that’s the job of the speaker. Individual slides should not look like cue cards. It’s best to keep the presentation professional and clean. Any specifics that the speaker needs to remember can be added to the notes section to guide him as he delivers the presentation.