PowerPoint presentations vary in quality, including the good, the bad and the ugly.
Sales people, instructors, corporate managers, consultants and network marketers deliver an estimated 40-million PowerPoint presentations every day. Many of these are totally effective, meeting the needs of both the audience and the presenter. But many more are only moderately successful, with monotonous media that leaves the audience bored and unfocused. And many others appear to be thrown together, undermining the presenter and destroying his or her entire message.
Many presenters have access to professionally designed media, but create their own, despite an obvious loss of quality. Although they may take this route due to time constraints, their choice is often because they are not comfortable with stock media that is available to them. Although it may have a professional appearance, it usually doesn’t fit the individual presenter’s personal style.
Most presenters personalize stock presentations, usually by eliminating some slides, adding a few new ones, or editing wording. The result unfortunately is often a patchy presentation that spoils an otherwise professional appearance.
Either approach—professional design or “roll your own”—has definite advantages and disadvantages. Professional designers can produce attractive slides with aesthetic appeal for audience members. But many presenters feel that they don’t tell the story in a way that matches their needs. Yet few front-line presenters have the training, patience or time to produce high quality media.
Some professionals argue that the best way to improve quality is to provide PowerPoint training for presenters. This approach may sound OK to people inside of company headquarters, but has little appeal to people on the front line who don’t have the time or patience for additional training.
The best approach is for design professionals to provide media that has strong, ongoing input from presenters. Although they may get their initial marching orders from internal managers or marketers, they need to have presentation content that actual presenters have approved and want to use.
Small companies—even home-based businesses—may have the best opportunity to use high quality presentation media. Since they don’t have in-house design departments, they can find a professional service that meets their budget, yet customizes presentations that are directly defined by the presenters who will use them.
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