Need to create a large presentation—say, more than 60 slides? PowerPoints for live presentation can run past 100 slides, and in some instances you may need to connect multiple presentations for longer workshops. Training manuals and sales presentations can also require a lot of slides.
It may be tempting to fire up the slide machine and just get started, especially if a deadline is looming. But time spent on planning and preparation is the key to success with a big presentation. So make the process easier and the product better with the following strategy.
1. Make an outline. Yes, just like the ones in fifth grade! When you have a lot of information and ideas to present, it’s crucial to get them in the right order and the correct relationship. If outlining isn’t one of your strong skills, try these guidelines.
Tip: Create a slide outline in Word and PowerPoint will use it to build the presentation slide structure. For instructions, see The Power of Three: Using PowerPoint with Word and Excel.
2. Collect images. It’s much faster to gather and process all the images at one time, put them into a folder or album, and drag them into the presentation as needed. This step also provides the opportunity to evaluate which images work best on which slides.
Tip: To make this step extra-easy, put nothing but images in the image folder, and set the folder view to Thumbnails. Size the folder window and the PowerPoint window so they fit on the screen side-by-side, then just drag the thumbnail to the slide. And be sure to give the image files meaningful names when you make or save them, for easy reference later.
3. Finish development. If there is not a required design for the presentation, start by selecting a theme, then customize as necessary. Add text where necessary, and review to see if the outline is working well—if not, tweak. Use hyperlinks to create one or more overview/TOC slides and to create internal navigation if needed. Finally, apply animation if appropriate. Rehearse, check all links, revise as necessary. And your really BIG presentation is (almost painlessly) done!
Tip: See previous posts for helpful instructions on How to Customize a PowerPoint Template, How to Use Hyperlinks in a PowerPoint Presentation, and How to Animate a PowerPoint Presentation.