This book will use three terms to categorize the presentations created:
Speaker-led presentations are usually what most people think of when they think of PowerPoint. The presentation is designed with the intent that there will always be a speaker sharing the information in the slides. The information in the slides is not complete “ it is expected the majority of the information comes from the presenter. The slides should not be the focus of the audience's attention, the content should be. And if the speaker is not familiar with the mechanics of PowerPoint, the mechanics can easily become the focus.
This type of presentation still makes up the bulk of the PowerPoint work in today's business world. However, as you will see later in this chapter, people have taken the speaker-led approach and expanded it to create stand-alone presentations of all types.
Content slides, such as bulleted lists, graphs, pictures or multimedia slides, provide the bulk of the presentation material for a speaker-led presentation. Each content slide is expected to contain enough information to provide a summary of what the speaker is currently discussing or to add spice and interest to the material.
Keep textual slide content to a minimum when developing speaker-led presentations. You don't want your audience to spend all of their time reading the slides and not listening to what you have to say.
Everything on a speaker-led presentation should be in a font large enough for the whole room to see it.
Speaker-led presentations should be balanced. As a presenter, be careful to keep the audience interested in the content and avoid overdoing the extras, such as animations. Too many extras can cause some of the audience to stop listening to the speaker and start anticipating the next trick.
Speaker-led presentation navigation is usually via simple mouse clicks and keyboard actions. The order in which information is presented is determined by the speaker, with some influence from the audience. While there may be links to hidden slides, FAQ slides and other presentations for additional information, the path through the presentation tends to be linear.
Self-running presentations present enough information that the presentation can be viewed by itself without a speaker to support it. They are linear in nature, with no human intervention while the presentations are running. Movement through the presentation is automated and timed so the presentation flows on its own.
Self-running presentations should contain enough information to prevent confusion by those viewing the presentation. These presentations provide information such as:
These presentations are set to run unattended indefinitely. It is recommend that during the development of these presentations extensive testing is done to ensure the material is moving fast enough to keep the viewer's attention, but not so fast it is impossible for the average viewer to keep up with the changing content.
One special use of a self-running presentation is an introductory loop for other presentations. In this case, a series of slides is set up to provide introductory information. When the main presentation is ready for use, a key press or a mouse click transitions from the introduction loop to the main presentation.
A kiosk presentation is a non-speaker led presentation in which all movement through the presentation is done via mouse clicks and automation instead of keyboard entry. You can think of these presentations as a middle ground between a speaker-led presentation and a self-running presentation.
Kiosk presentations depend heavily on animation and automation, and are not generally linear in nature. Because the presentation provides information to a user without any outside information, the path through the presentation depends on the user instead of the designer. Each user may take a different path.
A kiosk presentation must have navigation buttons to allow the user to move from slide to slide. While some slides may be linked and have automatic transitions, there still needs to be a way for the user to move around. Since the keyboard is disabled, movement through the presentation is done by right and left mouse clicks and clickable navigation buttons. If there are no navigation buttons , the presentation must be fully automated and is considered a self-running presentation.
This style of presentation is designed to provide detailed information to one viewer at a time. In the corporate world, you might see a product announcement done as a kiosk. The information provided is summarized on the main presentation slides, with links to product detail slides, web information, FAQ slides and other information. This idea can be taken a step further by linking a number of presentations to a main menu to provide a catalog of products and services.