Monday, June 1, 2009

Not so clever PowerPoint tips...

I was reading this post on Dangeously Irrelevent.

Most of their posts I like, however this one left me with a "WTF?!" grimace. The topic is 5 clever powerpoint tips. Some tips are actually good, like creating a custom slide show and hyperliking to a new presentation.

There are two tips that are just not well thought out.

The first is to "start creating your presentations in widescreen format"

I hadn’t really thought about the fact that most laptops ARE now shipping with wide screens to accommodate widescreen video and movie formats. So why not start creating any new PowerPoint slide decks that you make in widescreen format?

Well, yes laptops are in widescreen, but your presentation medium is not! Most projects in classrooms today (including portable ones) are still optimized for a 4:3 aspect ratio. Presentation screens are also 4:3, so why give up on that prime real estate? This makes no sense! Yes in the future these two bottlenecks will be widescreen as well, but will you *really* be using the same powerpoint slides 5-7 years from now? If you are, there *is* something wrong with your content.

The second silly thing tip was "Mix portrait and landscape slides in the same presentation"

This is silly for the same reason as the widescreen - real estate! Mixing slide orientations can be quite good in skilled hands to bring forth a point, however you are sacrificing real estate *and* you risk having viewer fatigue if you do it too often (as most n00bs do with animations)

The other three tips are good - no complaints there :-)
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