Thought Leadership


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From Email to PowerPoint: Your content needs to break up... its time. (PART 4)

Learn the basics of designing your PowerPoint presentations

Welcome to the fourth installment of From Email to PowerPoint. As the title suggests, we’ll be meddling with your content today. Why? Because, chances are, you cram too much content onto a single PowerPoint slide.  We’ve all done it and we can all avoid doing it in the future. So, deep breath… here we go.

First things first, we never put all our words together.

So why do we sometimes think it’s OK to overlap content to make it fit on a single slide? Spacing content out is the same as spacing letters out. While a logical progression can exist without it, at the very least, it requires a ton more effort from the viewer/reader.

This does bring up the point; what if there is no logical progression?

Sometimes things get shuffled around. For the most part it is because there isn’t enough room. Maybe some of the text is getting too small or the most important part of the slide isn’t big enough. It may be that the whole idea just won’t fit on a single page. 

But why do we let the page mess with our content?

Arranging PowerPoint content like one would write a sentence – with the proper spacing, structure, and order, is fantastic. But take Microsoft Word docs for example. Word has no problem chopping your writeup and splitting it between one page and the next, if you’ve hit the allotted per-page character limit. 

Unlike Microsoft Word, PowerPoint doesn’t easily follow those automated rules, so there is naturally a disconnect between how we visualize the information we’re going to put on a slide and how that information ends up looking in reality.

Our best efforts could result in our content looking cramped, unclear, and in this case, out of order. The solution is quite simple: the paragraph.

Using paragraphs to space out your content doesn’t mean having one paragraph per slide. Instead, it entails breaking up content in a logical way for the reader/viewer.

And yes, one can definitely argue that adding in paragraph breaks increases the length of a document but it does not, in any way, alter the content. Similarly, shrinking the type down to 6 point only makes a document look shorter since the content remains unchanged. The only difference is that it’s harder to read and digest.

With PowerPoint, unlike with Microsoft Word, brands have an opportunity to choose how to distribute content among slides. Of course, that runs the risk of making slides look empty. To effectively avoid this pitfall, take a look at the last post in this series for some ideas and always remember to go for simplicity. 

Author Bio

Gregg Hecht

Placing a definition around art is always a subject of debate, but Gregg likes to think that we can all agree that whatever we see art in (be it a painting, in design, or even an athletic activity) there is always something special that distinguishes it. That “something special” has no formula, but trying to find it in design and in fencing has been the direction the last several years of Gregg's life has followed. He has no problem imagining that his interests will continue on in that direction for many more years.