I stumbled upon a blog today which is a terrific resource for anyone who uses PowerPoint. My first introduction to the blog was an article called “What’s the Problem with Creating A PowerPoint?” This is probably the most insightful article I’ve ever read about creating presentations. The key word here is “creating”. Some clients will “make a PowerPoint” and then ask me to “clean it up”. What they don’t realize is that sometimes it means starting all over. In other words, taking their content (headlines, bulleted text, clip art) and figuring out a better way to communicate the information. The author, Rick Altman, points out that the creative process of “Making A PowerPoint” should never begin with simply opening up the program and staring at the various layout options the software offers. As with any other creative endeavor, ideas get “kick started” through free association, scribbled out ideas, and other activities that take place away from the computer or even the office environment. I am a PowerPoint Designer, and I have to say that I too am guilty of expecting the software to do some of the heavy lifting for me. Sure, it’s great for making things look professional with template and color options. But PowerPoint cannot generate ideas. People do that. So they should use the software mainly to communicate those ideas. Reading this article has been an eye opener for me. I will be starting on a new PowerPoint project this afternoon, and I know it will be a challenge to come up with the “big idea” but this time I’m going to make an effort to rely less on the program. Mind you, I won’t shun the computer, but I will start by doing research on the company’s website and also just looking at some cool presentations online that may be completely unrelated to this industry. The point is, you never know where your next creative inspiration will come from.