PowerPoint effectiveness based on research
New research about PowerPoint titles
Are you too dependent on your co-presenter?
Dave Paradi's Annoying PowerPoint Survey
Is the font on your PowerPoint big enough?
Why you can't read slides and listen to a speaker at the same time
PowerPoint slides as handouts and Slideuments and Slides are not handouts
Getting the resistant on board
PowerPoint design in 2009 -- a group blogging project
My fellow presentation experts Olivia Mitchell, Laura Bergells, Dave Paradi, Garr Reynolds, Cliff Atkinson, Jan Schultink, Jon Thomas, Jennifer Kammeyer, Ellen Finkelstein and others have been putting out bucketloads of excellent content about how to make PowerPoint effective for audiences and why.
So please tell me: If all this rich, plentiful, easy-to-understand material is out there, how do we get our clients to adopt the better way? (And let me clarify: I'm talking about training clients, not PowerPoint design clients. My design clients totally get it!)
Here are the arguments I hear against solid, well-founded research:
"We have to brand every slide with our logo, in case a client or someone from another company uses one of our slides out of context."
"We have to brand every slide with our logo because the audience doesn't know our company very well."
"We have to do slides full of text and bullets because our clients don't take our presentations seriously without it."
"We have to do slides full of text and bullets because we have no time to do a report as well as slides." (To which I reply, "Waah waah waah. Nobody has time. That's not an excuse.")
"We have to give our slides as handouts, because the conference requires it."
"We have to make our slides fit this format because we give it to another department afterward who won't understand if we change it."
I have responses to all of these arguments, but I'm not heartless or rigid. I get where they're coming from. Change is scary. It's time-consuming to develop new skills, train others and spread a new message. Sometimes there's one brave soul who gets it and wants to take the next step. But for every one brave soul, there are 15 who put up brick walls.
I suggest baby steps. Try one new thing. Cut down ten bullets to five. Spread out five bullet points over five slides. Take out hard-to-read charts and give them as handouts instead. Try using sentences as headers instead of single words or phrases. Nothing too crazy, fluffy or complicated.
But the resistance persists and honestly, I'm getting fed up.
You, my awesome readers, must have some responses to these arguments that I haven't yet heard or tried. If all the research can be ignored...if all the benefits to the audience's engagement, comprehension and retention can be ignored...if the ease, professionalism and simplicity of effective slides can be ignored, what else is there?
Please share in the comments how you appeal to your most resistant clients to make the move to new models of PowerPoint.