Using PowerPoint? Take Some Ideas From These Spectacular PowerPoint Examples

I recently took a colleague completely off-guard.  The meeting was about to begin.  He was apologizing that a projector and screen weren’t set up.  And for some reason, I was very calm.  “I told the hotel staff that I didn’t need any of that stuff.  I don’t have any slides,” I told him.

He thought about my comment for several moments.  “You’re not going to use slides?!”

To my co-worker, it was unfathomable that in this day and age someone would not want to use PowerPoint to supplement his presentation.  PowerPoint (or Keynote for those Mac users) is a great tool that has just been overused, and often abused, in presentations.

In the event that PowerPoint is something you’re planning to use in an upcoming presentation, and in the event there’s nothing I can do to talk you out of using it, then at least click on a couple of the following links.  These presentations offer a glimpse of what can be possible when it comes to creating some amazing visual aids using PowerPoint…

Imagining What’s Possible: Example #1

You Suck At PowerPoint

I like this presentation because, if we all take a good, hard, honest look in the mirror, this is the truth.  The designer of this presentation (who also designed a similar, more gently-named presentation called Steal This Presentation) offers a series of common mistakes we make in designing PowerPoint and how to address them.

PPT Sample 1 - You Suck

Imagining What’s Possible: Example #2

Introduction to Slide Design

Alex Rister, who has a pretty amazing blog entitled Creating Communication, also designs some amazing presentations.  The Introduction to Slide Design presentation has a dual-purpose: 1) explaining how to put together great presentations and 2) showing you what great slides look like.

PPT Sample 2 - Slide Design

Imagining What’s Possible: Example #3

The Gettysburg Address

In the beginning of this post, I claimed PowerPoint is over-used, often abused.  I mean it.  PowerPoint isn’t always necessary.  And Peter Norvig does an amazing job illustrating this.  How historic would Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address have been had he chosen to use PowerPoint?

PPT Sample 3 - Gettysburg Address

Looking for some additional tips on how to make a rockin’ PowerPoint presentation on your own?  You may find these other blog posts helpful:

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13 thoughts on “Using PowerPoint? Take Some Ideas From These Spectacular PowerPoint Examples

    • Thanks Tracy. That’s funny – thank yous for NOT using slides. And it speaks volumes to what participants/learners *want*. I wonder when PowerPoint became the default “must have” for a presentation. As much as I preach the virtues of going without PPT, even I find myself sliding back to default PPT mode from time to time… PPT really is a nasty habit to try to break!

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  10. Yes I have been reading a lot about not using power point…somehow I have not been able to do that. It helps me put my thoughts together visually and also a way that I dont forget what i am going to do next

    • I don’t think the point is that people should NOT use PowerPoint… I think the point I’m getting at is that if you’re going to use it, then be sure to use it well.

      I think there are various ways that presenters like to put their thoughts together, and if PPT helps organize your thoughts, then definitely use it… for organizing your thoughts.

      The thing about presentations is that they’re not about the presenter, and so you may need to different documents – 1) your own plans for the presentation 2) engaging visual aids for the learners/audience.

      It’s point #2 above that I recommended people take a look at some of these examples in order to get some ideas on how to better visually engage your audience after you’ve put your own thoughts in order.

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