Tips from Microsoft’s Design Exec on Creating Great Powerpoints

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If you are trying to avoid ‘death by powerpoint’, Microsoft’s Experience Design Team member, Monica Lueder shares a few great insights. She has been supporting Microsoft leadership/executive teams in their speaking engagements (and is creating powerpoints for more than 10 years!).

Here are her 4 tips:

1. Know your audience (and venue)

Monica: The most important thing is to understand who you’re presenting to, the purpose of the information to them, and what the outcome should be. This is your North Star.

2. Storyboard up front

When I kick off a project, I’ll often create a skeleton deck with the team or executive involved. This may be notes on each slide saying what picture, graphic, or message goes on it, or maybe a quick sketch. Then below I’ll paste in what we think the speech is going to say.

3. Draw eyes where you want, when you want

If you do want to show a video or an animation build, make sure it truly adds value to your story.

4. Keep it simple, seriously

A rule of thumb I build presentations by: Expect to talk or present for on average 2–3 minutes per slide. For example, if you plan on presenting for 50 minutes you should probably have roughly 15–25 slides.

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