I have not used this presentation tool in class for years. So, why write another article about Powerpoint? Well, because for professional reasons I have seen myself in the position of using this program. Being a type of program with which I have never felt comfortable, I turned to the best professionals to teach me how to get the best out of this tool. If there is something that for some time I have clear is that you can only be the best learning from the best.
Tricks on how to make powerpoint
1. Use the Rule of Four
Less is more. The less information you give, the more your listeners will be able to remember. Avoid information overload. To do this, never include more than four concepts or images on the same slide. This is the amount of information that can be stored in the working memory. To know more about the types of memory I recommend reading the article The memory. Not to forget how to teach. Continue reading: Would a shoeless environment work for your school?
2. Leave an empty space
You must leave a gap in the slide so that it can breathe. It does not have to be a blank space. It is simply about locating an area that allows you to download content and harmonize the message. What you will gain from it will be a better understanding.
3. Apply Ockham’s knife
Ockham’s razor is a principle of economics. The simplest presentation is usually the most correct. Applying this principle to the design of your presentations will make you wonder on each slide what you can eliminate from it, what elements are unnecessary, how you can simplify the information. If you follow this principle, something will happen to you that is essential to me. You will stop reading your powerpoints and will go on to teach the content of them. Again the maxim of less is more. So reduce, eliminate, simplify to the maximum while always maintaining the content you want to transmit.
4. Connect all the elements together
In a slide nothing is arbitrary, everything is relevant, that is, all the elements that make up a slide must have a relationship, a visual connection. In this way, you will make the sum of elements form part of a whole.
5. Align the elements
Harmony is essential for the understanding of a message. Therefore, your slides must be aligned correctly, not only for aesthetics, but because it will increase concentration and attention, and facilitate the understanding of the message you want to convey.
6. Use the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is a very common form of composition in painting, photography and design. It consists of ordering objects within an image. This rule divides an image into nine equal parts, that is, it forms an invisible gang of nine rectangles and four points of intersection. Through this rule what you will achieve will be to harmonize and compensate for the elements in a slide.
7. Use grids to structure the information
Along with the rule of thirds, you can also opt for a grid system that will allow you to divide the slide by sections. Thanks to this grid you will have many more options when composing and organizing the elements that will make up the slide. The grid will no longer be nine rectangles but will have sixteen. This will allow you to increase the variety of positions of your elements.
8. Use the contrast
The contrast gives you the option to make a difference on a slide. With the contrast, you will get attention. How to get it? Through size, shape, tone or color, position, texture, and typography.
9. Use a good template
You must insist on the harmonic aspect of the slide. Define what your template will be for the presentation and define well the elements that you will repeat on each of the slides, never forgetting that you must include the essentials. In the template of a presentation, there must always be a homogeneity in terms of typography, sizes, colors, as well as other important aspects such as images, transitions, alignments, etc.
10. Maximizes the signal and minimizes noise
What does this mean? Very easy. Never let the signal (information) yield ground to noise (superfluous elements). These superfluous elements must be suppressed using Ockham’s razor. You should minimize everything that is not strictly information or keep a relationship with it. Some examples of noise would be the thick lines of a table of contents, images with a simple decorative purpose, symbols of difficult interpretation, illegible handwriting due to their small size, etc. You might also read: https://www.speakymagazine.com/social-status/