PowerPoint, putting the audience in control

One of my friend’s posts pointed me to beyond bullets a blog about communications.  It was strange because a few minutes later I came across another link in another feed I was reading so I decided to check it out.  I liked this post on the Presentation Dashboard, an idea for putting the audience in control.  I like this concept very much and have used it myself many times in different forms; here are a few of them:

1.      I have created several PowerPoints that I designed not to be presented but to be emailed out or web delivered and navigated around.  This was done with lots of buttons and links and was very effective.  We also used this idea for training courses

2.      This worked so well that I changed my PowerPoint standard template and so that I created a master slide with index buttons all the way down the left hand side.  Because it was in the master it appeared on every slide.  When I presented it made it very easy to jump around the presentation following up on any topics the audience wanted to discuss.  Depending on which section you were in the appropriate link had a bright yellow border, this prevented me getting lost, (some of the packs had 100 plus slides), and gave the audience context.

3.      I also created quite a few master presentations that linked to other presentations.  Each link went to index pages.  These worked great to, I called them “Master Slide Packs” and were particularly useful for new users joining my teams.

4.      Finally I evolved the master slide pack idea, and started doing document maps, again full of links to documents and presentations.  Sometimes these maps were graphical, but I think in the end the narrative types were the best because they allowed me to talk through a project from its history and background all the way through to the latest information and how to keep up to date with the project.  As you followed the narrative there were links throughout to the documents, document libraries, presentations or associated web sites.

All of these were examples of putting the audience in control.  I use X1 to index my PC, I just checked I have 699 PowerPoints on it at the moment!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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