Transforming PowerPoints to Meet Online Demands

August 17, 2020

Skill Development

Transforming PowerPoints to meet online demands

People have been talking about effective (and ineffective) PowerPoint strategies seemingly forever, but now we that we have moved online, how is it different?

The online shift in visual focus

Understanding the difference between in-person and online PowerPoint strategies is dependent on understanding the difference between in-person and on-line visual focus:

  1. in-person presenters should command the audience’s attention 80% of the time and the role of visuals is secondary;
  2. online, specifically when screen-sharing, visuals become the focus of attention 80% of the time as they take up the majority of the screen.

For a quick visual of this difference, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5439RrKiFg.

Why does it matter?

Because of this difference the role visuals play in creating a dynamic presentation are totally different. In person, the “dynamic” part of the presentation comes mostly from the speaker’s physical presence, specifically body language and voice. In this case, we want visuals to be secondary most of the time, you should be using fewer slides overall, and they should only be animated at moments (the 20%) when they are strategically designed to be the center of attention.

On-line, where this focus shifts, the slide show needs to become dynamic as the visuals are now the primary visual stimulus and the visual stimulus needs to be active. Essentially, the slide is replacing the physical visual presence of the speaker; therefore, in order to achieve “dynamic”, the slide needs to be much more active than you would want it be in person.

So how do we do it?

Active in slides is done by animating (making the slide populate 1 idea at a time while you talk), morphing (having slides shift as different parts of a slide may become bigger, bolder or more central) and annotating (using the pen function to mark-up slides in real time and even add additional information as you talk). Used together, these functions transform most slide decks into dynamic visual stimuli that, combined with a dynamic vocal presence by the speaker, serve to achieve the goal of creating a dynamic presentation. Here’s how the “morphing” was done to create the earlier video illustration (which was not a video at all but simply a PowerPoint “morphing” between 2 slides).

Morphing Explained

Preparing for your next presentation

Take some time to make your slide deck more dynamic. Animate it so that pieces of the slide appear only as you discuss them and then use morphing to create video effects that allow you to shift focus or explain a phenomenon. Finally, consider using a mark-up feature to actively add illustration as you present.

These changes will help you create a more dynamic visual presence as you shift to the online space.

Subscribe to our blog
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
< Back To The Blog