Monday’s Art Marketing Action Newsletter and podcast about designing PowerPoint presentations provoked a number of comments and questions. Those who had obviously had to sit through a number of wickedly boring presentations cheered me on in emails and comments. Quinn McDonald, who apparently teaches PowerPoint (!), wrote:
Others were perplexed: If not bullet points, then what? Trust me, I understand. We’ve gotten so used to them that we think we can’t do without them. But we can! I’m living proof. You should see the presentations I did just three years ago. (Thankfully, they’re destroyed!) I used bullet points as a crutch to get me through so I didn’t have to look at notes. That’s what most speakers do.
You shouldn't be writing out complete thoughts in text on your slides. If you can speak it, use your related slide for emotional impact. Words on the screen just can't create that kind of emotional impact.
With art, you don’t need bullet points! And you rarely need any text at all. I sat through years of art history classes in darkened rooms. Thousands of slides! Not a single bullet point in any one of them. Imagine! Like Quinn said in her quote above: Use your images to stimulate the right (creative) side of the brain.
Here's a slide from one of my recent presentations, which introduces the concept that "the economy is in the toilet." See: No bullet points and no complete thoughts in text. You get the picture.
PS: For those of you who didn't know what PowerPoint was, consider yourself blessed. You won't make the same mistakes we did!