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Top 3 Tips for Creating a Great PowerPoint Presentation with Multimedia Expert Cedrick Chan

powerpoint-presentationITU faculty come from all walks of life. From start-up gurus to legal experts, University professors come to ITU with a wealth of professional experience. Faculty strive to share their real-world knowledge with students and give them a leg up in the business world.

One such faculty member is multimedia expert and ITU Department Chair of Digital Arts Cedrick Chan. Chan comes to ITU with a lifetime of knowledge. He served as Vice President of New Media for Big Entertainment (now Hollywood Media), a consultant for two Disney China TV series, and visual effects artists trainer at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) Training Center.

Chan shed light on one of his areas of expertise in a series of workshop videos on ITU’s Youtube page. Chan’s instructional video series Slide it Up: Guidelines to Better Presentations highlights tips for how anyone can become a better presenter. Here is a rundown of Chan’s tips for creating a stellar presentation:

1. Identify Audience

bored-in-presentationBefore you even create that first slide you need to figure out whom you’ll be talking to. A slide for your Managerial Accounting class will be different from one made for Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz.

Content is king and knowing what your audience is interested in is key. You can have the nicest looking PowerPoint in the world, but, if the slide content doesn’t connect, it won’t matter.

It’s important to sit down and think about what your audience needs to know. That means boiling down big concepts to their base in a way that engages the viewer.

In his video series, Chan uses the example of the enhanced version of President Obama’s State of the Union Address last year. During the presentation, the President used graphics showing how he improved job numbers during his presidency.

The graphics were a good visual for an audience that thinks the job market is a major political issue. A recent Gallup poll found that jobs and unemployment was the biggest issue facing the country. According to the poll, one in four Americans believes job growth is the number one issues in need of solving.

2. Keep it Simple

KeepItSimpleStupid-1440x900Now that you know what you want to say, its time to figure how you’re going to say it. The easiest route to share information is to keep it simple. Or as they say in the design world, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

“Keep it simple, stupid” (K.I.S.S.) is a design principle that was created in the US Navy in the 1960s. Simply, the principle says that simplicity in design will have a greatest impact on a viewer.

For presentations, that means bringing slides down to their bare essentials. It’s easy to throw every idea into a PowerPoint, but it’s important to not overwhelm your audience. By keeping your slides simple, you can easily guide your audience to the point you’re trying to make.

“We all get stupid by putting too many things on [a slide],” adds Chan.

3. The 10-20-30 Guidelines

102030--Technically, this is tip 2.1. The 10-20-30 guidelines are really just a way to follow the K.I.S.S. principle. They lay out the secret to creating a great PowerPoint slide in three simple steps:

  • Have just 10 slides
  • Keep the presentation under 20 minutes long
  • Stick with a 30 point font

Start-up guru Guy Kawasaki invented the guidelines. He leveraged his years of experience pitching investors to show what a great presentation looks like. He believes that the guidelines force presenters to keep it simple and know their stuff.

However, rules are made to be broken. Chan says in his video series that a great presenter can break the rules (he even does it in the videos).

“Whenever you break these rules, you better have a good reason. I do it because I want the picture to stand by itself,” reports Chan.

Learn More

Check out Chan’s full video below. Also be sure to check out ITU’s Youtube page for a full list of his workshop videos.