PowerPoint - Are You a Finer Designer?

Test your PowerPoint design savvy

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Are you sure your slide presentations are doing the job you want them to do? Could that rapt attention you observe actually be a catatonic reaction to massive overload or boredom? Take this test to assess your skills at reaching and motivating your audience.

Cheat Sheet: This quiz awards points for answers; and not surprisingly, the best answer gets the most points. But the real point of this exercise is to help you create effective slide presentations. With that in mind, feel free to cheat. If you don't get the answer right the first time, read the other answers (especially the best answer) to find tips that will help you become a "finer designer."

1. When I start to design my slide presentation, I first think about:

a. My objective for doing the presentation.

b. My abysmal lack of experience with PowerPoint software.

c. The needs of the audience.

d. All of the above.

2. I adhere to the following guideline(s) when developing my slides:

a. I use a consistent look for each slide.

b. I use simple headings that guide my audience through the presentation.

c. I limit the text on my slides to three or four main points.

d. I use bullets rather than paragraphs to convey information

e. All of the above.

3. My audience knows I've considered their needs because:

a. I have included a "What's In It For You" slide in my presentation delineating the personal benefits they will receive from my presentation.

b. I've included summary slides at the end of each major topic to recapitulate the most useful information they can take from the presentation.

c. I've included a question-and-answer session at the end of my presentation.

d. I have allotted a sufficient amount of time for that question-and-answer session to be held.

e. All of the above.

4. When I have a lot of information to convey:

a. I use a detailed chart or graph.

b. I import an article or other document to the slide to support my main point.

c. I reduce the font size to make the information fit on the slide.

d. I use several slides, breaking up the information into logical chunks and using subheadings to communicate the fact that I am continuing the original discussion thread.

5. To help my audience view my slides easily, I should:

a. Use a sans serif font, such as Arial or Helvetica.

b. Make the font as large as possible, at least 36 points, for readability.

c. Allow plenty of white space.

d. All of the above.

6. I help my audience understand my presentation by:

a. Reading the slides out loud as I present them.

b. Skipping over slides whose content isn't needed (especially if I'm running out of time).

c. Providing handouts of the slide content before the presentation.

d. All of the above.

Answers:

Question 1 - All Things Considered

Question 2 - A Consistent Look

Question 3 - What's In It For Them?

Question 4 - Keep Slides Simple

Question 5 - Make It Legible

Question 6 - Be Clear, Not Cruel

Scoring:

Points earnedStatus
29.5-30Congratulations! You are a "finer designer." Spread the word and save the business world!
29-25You have a sensitive soul, and audiences appreciate that. A little tweaking of your presentations, and you'll he a "finer designer" candidate.
24.5-20It's not just about you. Remember when your mother told you that? Think more about your audience and watch their interest level rise.
Below 20Lock the exits! It's the only way they'll stay put.

By Marian_Schackling

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