Issue #139 July 24, 2007

PowerPoint Tip: How Many Features Do You Need To Know?

Recently we had a family picture taken on my wife's side of the family. We assembled at her parent's house and a photographer we know, Larry, came to take the picture outside. Everything went exceedingly well - the weather was perfect and smiles abounded. After we were done, we all went back into the house for refreshments. One of the reasons we have used Larry in the past is his ability to touch up a photo using Photoshop. He and I were talking about this in the house after the photo shoot and I had assumed that he was a Photoshop expert user. Turns out he only really knows the eight or so functions that he needs to make photos look amazing. As I thought about it later, that makes perfect sense. I teach that you don't need to know every feature of PowerPoint, only the ones to be effective at presenting in your role. That's why most top presenters only use about 20-25% of the features at most. It's also why I'll never be Microsoft certified at PowerPoint. All their tests focus on knowing every esoteric feature, not what you really need to be an effective user. That's why today I am introducing my PowerPoint Effectiveness Assessment. It is an online assessment that will allow you to measure yourself again 40 best practices and 74 specific skills I have found that real business presenters need to know. Like Larry, you don't need to know every feature, just the ones that will help you do what you need to do in your job. The big question is which of the hundreds and hundreds of features do you need to know? Now, with this online assessment, you will get a personal report listing which areas you are doing well in and which areas and skills you need to work on. It's like getting a personal road map to becoming an expert PowerPoint presenter. To take the assessment, check out the details at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/assessment.htm . You'll even get to see a sample of the extensive report that you will receive after completing the questionnaire. If you have a team of colleagues who would benefit from the assessment, such as a team of sales professionals, e-mail me for group rates.