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Creating Visual Media

Building the Presentation

Prepare to Present


Creating Visual Media

We'd like to throw in some of our personal opinions about creating good presentations and large documents.

Use lighter backgrounds and dark text for longer presentations. White text against a dark background can cause eyesore before long, so use these in short presentations.

Using all CAPS is never desirable in presentations, documents, or any other visual media, except for posters, shorter titles, and to draw attention to words.

Decide on one method to emphasize the text. Having text that is within "quotes", and/or italicized, and/or bolded, and or ALL IN CAPS can be difficult to read. The emphasis gets lost when too many methods are used. If your text has the same meaning with or without emphasis, don't add any emphasis at all.

For large amounts of text, use fonts that are easy to read, like Times New Roman, Garamond, or Palatino, which you'll commonly see in paperback books, or Arial. Beware that a lower-case L and an upper-case I in Arial font look the same. Serif fonts are sometimes considered best. They contain the *tittles* and *jots*. Sans-Serif means without serifs, such as Arial and MS Sans Serif.

Times New Roman 13 pt

Arial 12 pt


Warnings and Cautions, when used in a professional environment such as a production manual, or training manual or presentation, and especially when referring to the physical safety of personnel and/or equipment, should always be marked in the same manner and include a graphic for each warning or caution. Clipart for these types of items are available from Clips Online. The best colors for these types of graphics are red and/or orange for warning, yellow and/or orange for caution.

Don't write sentences in your presentation unless you do not have a Presenter. Use short phrases. The presenter or instructor can expand on the comments or thoughts without seeming repetitive.

Building the Presentation

There are important things you should know when creating a slide presentation. It is more helpful to know them ahead of time, but finding out later can also be helpful.

Master Slide

The most important component of your PowerPoint presentation could be the master slide. To see the master slide, hit View-Master-Slide Master. Everything you do to the slide master changes all of your slides if they are built upon the master and have not been manually changed.

Suppose you decide you want a different font for your titles. Click on the box that says "Click to edit Master title style". Change the font, the color, the shadow or any other format you want all of your slides to have. For Dreamboat's taste, the titles are far too large. She likes to reduce the font size and change the size of the title's text box itself.

Now, if you have a logo (and you should!), place it here in one of the corners or where desired. Unless you are selling to potential customers, minimize the size of the logo. It is rarely necessary to use the date, footer, or slide number boxes. These can be deleted. Focus on the presentation, and not the details.

You can apply a template/theme to your presentation. But ask yourself first: What is my focus? If you want people to focus on your information, then keep the background graphics to a minimum, and use a minimal number of colors. Once you apply a theme to your master, you can often click on the background graphic objects here in the master slide and ungroup it to remove some of the objects, while still having a nice design background.

Regardless, you won't want ANY presentation to be over, for instance, 10 to 20MB. Anything more can get difficult to run, depending on the PC. Many people want to run them on laptops, then find it difficult to transfer the files to it. If your ONLY recourse is a floppy disk, you MUST keep your slides to a minimum of LESS THAN 1.4MB, which could really cause problems.

Prepare to Present

Consider the potential need for the following items before you find yourself at a client site and in a bind:

The need to perhaps split your presentation into several presentations to manage the file sizes. You can hyperlink from the last slide of Pres1 to the first slide in Pres2

Availability of a CD-Burner to burn your presentation(s) to a CD for portability

Having Winzip installed on the PC that the presentation is being created on, and also on the PC from which it will be viewed

Knowing how to use the Pack and Go feature (see the help file) in case your presentation PC does not have PowerPoint installed or does not have the appropriate version

Knowing how to download and install the PowerPoint viewer in the event you need it

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