Monday, January 28, 2008

Tips for Putting Together a Powerful Slide Show

I am currently working on a project to help Windtime Country Products maximize their presence at a National FFA in-service. Part of my responsibilities is to develop a slide show for a luncheon. Windtime has a package offering for the National FFA that includes chapters windmill assembly, windmill history, a wind generation laboratory, pond aeration education, teaching curriculum, fundraising, and public relations. It is a very exciting opportunity for both parties.

The following strategies are what I used while putting together the slides:

1. Visually Based - The pictures should be crisp, clear and have some level of "wow" factor. They should also tell a story without any text. The pictures should take up the full screen.

2. Simple, Large Text - The words should be common, the sentences should be brief, the font should be simple (and the same throughout) and the font size should be between 24 and 64. I used Helvetica font here.

3. Appropriate Colors - Even though the slide show is in PowerPoint, the slides were put together in Adobe Photoshop. This allowed me to get the color of the text to match colors in the picture. For those images that didn't fit the full 10 by 7.5 inch screen, I matched the slide background with a primary color in the image. This text is the same color as one of those hereford cows in the back pasture.

4. Simple Pictures - Almost all of the pictures in this show have a central focus (windmill, turbine, etc.) and then the rest of the picture is either the sky or just a solid background. This makes it easier for the eye to focus on the main subject. Busy picture equals confused viewer.

5. Only a Few Slides - This show has 17 slides that run at either :05 seconds, :10 seconds or :20 seconds, depending on the amount of text on the slide. This particular show will repeat itself for about 60-minutes (as the background visual at the luncheon.) Whenever Dale stands to speak at the luncheon, the show will freeze on just one slide so the audience members' attention can only be on Dale.

You can view all 17 slides (and learn more about Windtime and their products and services) here.

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