PowerPoint Tips from Jim Prost

A Reader wrote in with the following question:

Dear Fripp,
My question is about PowerPoint® presentations. I want to make a PPP with 5 jpg images, each size is 10kb. So, if my slides have nothing more except these 5 images, the PPP file size should not be more than 50 kb. But in reality, it becomes 1 or 2 mega. How do I solve this problem?
Thank You,
Syed Rafiqul Hossain

Dear Reader,
I am not an expert in PowerPoint®, however my associate Jim Prost is.  I have asked Jim how he would answer you.

PowerPoint® Tips by Jim Prost, Fripp Associate

"When I present, I consider myself my own visual aid. Give me lots of light and a handheld microphone and I am in my element. Often clients tell me after my speech coaching sessions, 'This is brilliant. We usually put together 40 PowerPoint® slides and then decide what to say in between.' The 'brilliant' advice is, 'Let us decide what you want to say, what is the best and logical way for you to say it, then let's look where you need to add PowerPoint®. Your PowerPoint® development should occur at the end of the speech development, not the beginning.'"

I am not saying don't use PowerPoint® and other visuals, just that they are often misused. Jim Prost is a Fripp Associate who provides PowerPoint® training, executive speech coaching and marketing consulting; he is an expert at using visuals correctly, prepared this for you. Hope you find it useful.
Patricia Fripp

Mistakes Made when Presenting with PowerPoint® and How
to Correct Them

Jim Prost — Fripp & Associates

would you answer this multiple-choice question?

Which of the following statements best describes your view
about presenting using Power Point®?

1. My PowerPoint® presentations use every sound,
clip art, and animation available.
2. My PowerPoint® presentation IS the presentation.
3. My PowerPoint® presentation enhances my points;
is clear, clean, and concise; and my audiences walk away with
a clarified message.

From the audience's perspective, answer 3 is the better choice.

Let's take a look at some common mistakes made when presenting
using PowerPoint® and how to correct them.

Mistake #1 – The Projected Image on the Screen Is My Comfort

Solution: Set up your computer so that it is facing you. This
way you can be facing the appreciative audience and you don't
have to look at or read from the screen. The last thing the
audience wants to see is the back of your head. What you are
seeing on your computer screen is the same image that is projected
on the screen behind you. Keep eye contact with your audience
to engage them in your presentation.

Mistake #2 – Leaving a Slide on the Screen Keeps the Audience's

Solution: A slide should be on the screen only as long as
you are talking about related material – somewhere between
30 seconds and two minutes.

Tip: To blank out a screen, just press the "B" key to turn
the screen black or press the "W" to turn the screen white.
This only works when you are viewing a show. To illuminate
the screen, press the "B" or "W" again.

Value-added hint: Research has shown that audiences will remember
your presentation best if they are allowed an opportunity
to digest a new slide for a few seconds before you start speaking
– especially if the visuals are complex.

Mistake #3 – I Have To Go Through My Slide Show in a Linear
Fashion – i.e., Slide #1 Followed by Slide #2 and So On.

Solution: You can navigate through your presentation any way
you like. If you want slide #23 to follow slide #1, be sure
you are in View Show mode, then just press 2 and 3 on the
numeric key pad followed by "enter.' PowerPoint® will automatically
go to slide #23. This also is another good reason to print
your slides as Handouts with the slide numbers on them. I
usually print my slides in handout form, 6 slides to a page.

Mistake #4 – It is Too Bad PowerPoint® Doesn't Provide
a "Pen"* Function to Write on the Screen While Presenting.

Solution: For those of you who like the "John Madden approach"*,
you can press Ctrl "P" while presenting and a John Madden-style
pen will come on the screen. Hold the left mouse key down
while moving your pen around the screen, and you too can analyze
the "play." To make this work, use the Tools pull-down menu
and go to Slide Show. Choose your pen color. (Make sure it
contrasts and compliments the background color of your slide.)

* John Madden, a famous football announcer on television,
is known for using a pen on the screen to show how a football
play occurred.

Mistake #5 – Audiences Are Wowed By All the Animations
and All the Transitions I Use.

Solution: Less is more (see my complimentary article "12
Mistakes Made When Creating PowerPoint® Slides and How to
Correct Them"
). I recommend that you give the audience
a copy of your presentation so they can follow it while you
are presenting. Show the material on a slide without any animations.
Your audience will already know what's coming. On the other
hand, if the audience will not receive a copy of your presentation
as a handout, you should use some animation, but remember-
less is more.

Mistake #6 – The Room's Lighting Won't Have an Impact on
the Visibility of My Slides.

Solution: Check out the environment in which you will be presenting.
First, try to make sure that all lights that directly hit
the projected screen are turned off. (You may need to climb
on a latter and unscrew some bulbs!). Light text on a dark
background looks best in a dark or slightly darkened room.
In a lighted room, a dark background may look so faded that
your light text won't show up well. For this kind of situation,
it doesn't hurt to try dark text on a lighter background.

Let me digress. While we are on the subject of lighting –
do not subject your audience to a presentation in a dark room.
At all costs, try to have the most light possible without
diluting the impact of the color of your slides. Other than
in a movie theatre, a darkened room will put people to sleep,
and hopefully this is not one of your objectives. (See my
complementary article " Mistakes
Made When Creating PowerPoint® Slides and How to Correct

Mistake #7 – My Presentation is So Powerful that My Audience
Will Be in Their Seats As Soon As The Break is Over.

Solution: If you take breaks during your presentation, I highly
recommend using a break "timer"* which is projected onto the
screen. I use a count-down digital timer and can even put
my client's logo as the wallpaper behind the digital clock. http://www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/cool/countdown01.html

Mistake #8 – The Presentation Pop-Up Menu Helps Me Run
Through My PowerPoint® Presentation.

Solution: Turn off the presentation pop-up menu. It is a sign
of a Power(less) PowerPoint® presenter. Go to the Tools
pull-down menu, then to View and uncheck both the Pop-up menu
on right mouse click and Show Pop-Up Menu Button.

* * *

Have fun with your next PowerPoint® presentation. Your audience
will appreciate the care you show by make a presentation that
is lively, fun, and targeted towards them. And, you'll get
a standing ovation.

If you have questions about this article, please email Jim
at JProst@Fripp.com

am serious about talking to Jim Prost about how he can help
me deliver a better PowerPoint® presentation. (Click here
to contact Jim Prost.)

here for more information on Fripp Associate, Jim Prost.