Issue #174 December 9, 2008

PowerPoint Tip: Take time to update your slides

In the next few weeks as my travelling starts to slow down and I have more time in the office, I’ll be doing something that I suggest you do as well. I’ll be reviewing and updating the slides that I use in my workshops. Today’s tip is about why you should update your slides and how to do it. In my book, The Visual Slide Revolution, and in my teaching, I suggest that you can cut your preparation time dramatically by using a library of standard slides that will cover about 70-80% of the material you normally deliver. But you can’t just create the slides once and assume that they will last forever. I suggest at least every six months you freshen the slides with new ideas. This way, it keeps your material current and it keeps your delivery fresh because you are always integrating new ideas. Where will these new ideas come from? From your experience. In the past six months, go back and see what slides you have created to customize a presentation and ask yourself if they should be incorporated into the slide library because the message can be applied to many situations. Add these slides to the library. Then, go back to your notes and e-mails and see what questions were asked about the content you deliver. If a question was asked two or three times in the last few months, create a slide to answer that question and note in what circumstances it would be appropriate to add this slide to a presentation. Finally, look at the slides you have been using and take a critical viewpoint when assessing whether you could do a better job with each slide. Most will be fine, but you’ll take a fresh look at a point and a more effective visual will pop into your mind. Revise those slides. If you are always improving, your competition will never catch up. As an example, here are some of the slides I’ll be working on in the next few weeks. Twice this year I have had to address the issue of vector graphics causing a slide file to grow very large. I’ll add a slide on how to address this issue. I’ll also use some of the slides from my new PowerPoint Content Templates as illustrations of some of the types of visuals that can be used. And I’ll also be updating my slide on how you can hyperlink to content outside PowerPoint with better graphics. As we get closer to the end of the year, it is a time to reflect and look back. Take the time to revise your standard slide library to make your presentations in the new year even more effective. If you haven’t created a slide library yet, now’s the time to start. If you want to learn more about my new PowerPoint Content Templates that can kick start your slide library, go to .