PowerPoint has a lot to answer for.
Because of its ready-made design templates, and a widespread assumption that we have to use them, audiences have to sit through presentations made up of slide after slide of bullet points, text in tiny fonts, clipart, logos, hideous colour schemes and ‘snazzy’ transitions between slides. Often, the presenter puts the slide up on the screen then turns away from the audience and proceeds to read the text to them.
No wonder people’s eyes glaze over.
(For more on on the evils of PowerPoint, read Seth Godin’s piece Really Bad PowerPoint.)
Fortunately, there is a solution. It’s not that hard. It’s actually a lot of fun. And amazingly, it means you can use PowerPoint (or Keynote, the Mac alternative) as a creative tool.
The rest of the Slides section of this course outlines a few key principles of effective slide design. For a more in-depth treatment of the subject, I thoroughly recommend Garr Reynolds’ book Presentation Zen. (See my review of Garr’s book.)