Creating your visual aids

It’s not the number of slides that’s the problem…

overdecoratedhouseIs it me? It’s that time of year when chestnuts are roasting on the open fire and Jack Frost is nipping at my nose, Yuletide carols are being sung by a choir and yet I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. Christmas shopping must be done but everywhere I look there is so much ‘stuff’ I just don’t know where to start. It doesn’t matter if I stay in the comfort of my own living room and surf the net – there’s even more ‘stuff’ on there. Sometimes you just want to stop and scream and say just tell me straight what do I have to do, where do I have to look, please, please, please just make it simple. It’s not Christmas that is the problem; it’s not even the fact there is quite a lot to sort out: it’s the fact that there is so much choice and you don’t know where to start.

Back to work, why are so many Powerpoint presentations absolutely overwhelming (and strangely as a result, absolutely under-whelming)?

It’s not the number of slides that is the problem, but the number of objects on each slide.

Clutter, clutter, everywhere. Should I look at the image in the top right corner? Or that text strapped across the centre? Or wait a minute, what does the footnote say? Is that important?

A cry from the heart here – just keep it simple – give it to me straight – and tell me what you want me to know. Don’t ever be afraid of white space (or black, or whatever background colour you have) – without it, what hope have we of ever ‘seeing the wood for the trees’. As ever, less is more.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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