PowerPoint: Stop the Bullets

A few years ago:

“Lukas, I want you to create a draft of a proposal on how our client can better leverage innovation.”

“Sure boss, I’ll do it… Wait. I have no idea about innovation.”

“Don’t worry. I have some PowerPoints, I’ll send them over. Plus, you can find a lot more on our intranet.”

“All right, I’ll dive into it, right now!”

I went to my computer and opened my email. 5 huge PowerPoint decks, 40 to 190 slides long.

Always eager to learn something new – and innovation was such an exciting topic! I opened the first PowerPoint and started reading.

Click… Click… Click…

After 15 minutes I got up to get a glass of water. On the way to the kitchenette, I contemplated what I had learned so far. I was a bit startled when I realized that if someone asked me to say something about innovation – I wouldn’t be able to say a single complete sentence.

I came back to my desk, determined to focus better this time. The first PowerPoint from the beginning. While I was really trying hard to make sense of every bullet point, I realized that it was a daunting task. Like something was always missing between the bullets. Some of those bullets were not tied to the other ones at all. And sometimes, there were so many textboxes flying around the slide that it was damn difficult to guess where to start and what to read next!

One hour later, I got a headache.

 

Sounds familiar?

For years I struggled with reading PowerPoints like this one. I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t say what exactly it was.

Luckily for me, Nancy Duarte (world famous expert on presentations & communication) made that clear in her recent publication Slidedocs. What she says is that bullet points are “relatively easy to squeze out” for the author, but rather impossible to digest for the reader. More importantly, she provides a practical, 165 slide long guide on how we can do better.

Because Nancy is a revolutionary, she has made the whole publication available online. Free.

If you think – that there is a chance – even a little one – that you will produce a PowerPoint, which you will not present, but rather send over email for someone to read through…

If you’d like to know how to use PowerPoint to create scannable, visually enhanced and easy to comprehend documents…

If you want to save your boss, colleagues or clients some pain, time and effort trying to figure out what you meant with your deck…

Take a look at Slidedocs.

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