Courtesy of The Broadcat
Ricardo Pellafone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In Part 1 (see here), we walked through the fastest way to cut each slide down to a single message. In this Part, we’ll cover simple ways to improve the visual appearance of those slides.
These tips are easy, but if you’ve been working any amount of time then you know that very few people do them. And that’s good for you: it means this is low-hanging fruit to grab employee attention. Here’s what to do.
You’ll now see a bunch of options, and you’ll be tempted to go fancy with patterns or inserting pictures. Resist that urge for now and just go with a solid color—it’s a safe bet, and you’ll also keep the file size small.
(And when you’ve got this down and want to mix it up, here’s a quick primer on color theory and the color wheel.)
Finally, change the typeface to something different than the default—but remember that you still want it to look professional, so avoid some of the goofier novelty fonts that come bundled with Powerpoint.
We’ve called out a few good/bad choices above; if you want to go nuts with this, we’ve (generally) based this on Matthew Butterick’s great list, available here.
And that’s it! This whole thing can be done in less than a minute once you get the menus down, but it goes a long way in keeping employees from switching to autopilot as soon as they see your slides.
Now that we’ve punched up your on-screen content, we’ll spend next time going over how to best leverage your time to practice delivering the training. Stay tuned!
Bonus Tip: Handling your Corporate Communications team
Some of you have read the above and thought “that’s nice, but our communications team makes us use this corporate template for everything.”
We feel you. Here’s how to handle that.
- Instead of giving out your slides to employees, build a separate one-page handout that covers your key points—and use your corporate template for that handout.
- Find the most senior person you can reasonably approach on your comms team.
- Show them the slides and the handout. Explain that the handout is the only thing that will be given out, and the slides are for purely internal, in-person presentations.
In our experience, this works pretty much every time. The top people on your branding/communications team will get that there’s not much value to having branding on something that will never be distributed in any form, so as long as you can get access to someone with authority you should be able to get some flexibility on this.
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