PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

Awesome PowerPoint Tricks with Ingrid Mengdehl & Richard Goring

PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

Awesome PowerPoint Tricks with Ingrid Mengdehl & Richard Goring

In our Present to Succeed Lessons Learned series, we include all the fascinating, valuable, and wow moments from the sessions of our debut 2021 conference. We aim to share with you the best takeaways and help you improve your presentation craft every day.

We have another excellent duo, this time from the presenting agency BrightCarbon. Ingrid Mengdehl, a Managing Design Consultant, and Richard Goring, the Director of BrightCarbon, presented some very useful PowerPoint tips for anybody looking to increase their productivity.

Ingrid and Richard presented a highly practical session in which they demonstrated how to utilize PowerPoint more efficiently and effectively. They show how you can prevent death by PowerPoint and interact with your audience more visually.

What is it about death by PowerPoint?

“What is it about most presentations that makes them so bad?” Richard asked the audience. And, let’s face it, the vast majority of presentations are dreadful. Your audience may be scratching their heads, wondering why they’re even bothering.

That’s what’s known as “death by PowerPoint,” which occurs when you try to fit all you want to speak about onto a single slide. This is a major issue since the words you read and hear are processed in the same section of your brain, which means you’re asking your audience to perform two things at once with one part of the brain, which is impossible.

The solution is what Richard and Ingrid’s workshop was all about: using visuals like diagrams and animations to explain and reinforce your message without distracting the audience with too much text and bullet points, which are for documents.

And if you can successfully combine the visual with what you’re saying as a presenter, your audience will benefit from a process Richard calls dual coding of information. Dual coding information is when your audience can take in both listening to you and seeing the visuals at the same time. We can support both aural and visual information streams at the same time. That’s how your presentation could be so much more powerful.

Richard and Ingrid, both from BrightCarbon, were introduced by our co-founder, Iva. From then on, they took the audience on a journey of exploration of how powerful PowerPoint actually can be.

How do you do that in practice?

That’s precisely what Richard and Ingrid demonstrated in their session, using a range of PowerPoint tips and techniques to create visually exciting slides. So, how can you get your audience’s attention and get them to pay attention to the vital things?

The first thing that Richard showed was how to highlight bits of a slide to make an impact. For that, he created a simple custom mask to get people to focus on exactly what matters.

This simple highlighting technique that Richard provided, makes for a great transition and guarantees to make your slide more engaging because you can control where you want your audience to focus at on it.

It is a two-step process. The first step is to go to the slide in PowerPoint, then go to the Home tab, then to the Shapes, and choose the second-to-last line from the Line section in Shapes, called the Freeform shape. With it, you can create any shape you need over what you want to highlight.

The second step is to draw an entirely black box over the entire slide and get rid of its outline. Then use the layer functions and send that rectangle backward. Now all you have to do is use another tool to cut the hole in the black rectangle using the freeform shape/s that you have created. So, then click Shift and select the Freeform shapes, go to the Shapes Format tab and find the Merge Shapes dropdown menu, from it, you have to select Subtract, which cuts the freeform shapes from the black rectangle. Now you have the black rectangle with holes that match the objects underneath that you want to highlight.

Now to make it not so stark black, right-click on the black rectangle, go to the Format Shape option and adjust the transparency slider. Somewhere between 20 and 30%, transparency lets you still have the image visible. But allows you to focus on what is important.

Finally, you can make a simple animation for the rectangle’s entrance and you are good. This is just one of the dozen valuable techniques that Ingrid and Richard showed in their session.

Richard and Ingrid showed a project they have worked on, a slide with a hospital built within PowerPoint that allows highlighting any department. This technique is a simple but powerful way to make your highlights on the slide not only verbal but that can also be used in such a way as the pictured slide, to make the information presented more digestible without too much text.

Let's summarize

Ingrid Mengdehl and Richard Goring from BrightCarbon shared excellent advice with our audience at the Present to Succeed 2021 Conference in a 45-minute hands-on session full of useful PowerPoint secrets and tips. A single article would not be enough to reveal all of them.

Their main piece of advice is to avoid using too many bullet points and too much text on your slides, instead opting for a visual presentation. You now know how to use the Freeform shapes in PowerPoint to highlight anything you want in your slides. Try out that fantastic approach for yourself!

Let us know what the most valuable takeaway from Richard and Ingrid’s session was for you in the comments!

Free invaluable resources that Richard and Ingrid provided:
Presentation resources | BrightCarbon
www.brightcarbon.com/PTS21
BrightSlide | PowerPoint productivity add-in | BrightCarbon 

Тhis is one of the sessions you should see for yourself and discover the numerous tips our speakers are giving. For €39, you can buy the Design Track Recordings, or for €79, you can have all 30+ sessions!

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Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!