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InfoTech Partners North America, Inc.
13656 South 37th Place
Phoenix, AZ 85044-4531
Phone: (480) 706-1728
Fax/Voicemail: (480) 718-8880
Email: roman@itpna.com

Maximizing PowerPoint to Deliver Your Message
By Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA, CITP

Microsoft PowerPoint is an incredibly powerful presentation tool to help you visualize and deliver virtually any message. Many firms use it to improve training, market firm information, and deliver engagement proposals and results. But like any tool, it can be improperly used, so it is important that you are aware of basic guidelines to ensure success before you deliver your presentation. This article will help you focus on how to organize your message, pick a theme, and utilize fonts to maximize your usage of PowerPoint.

Organizing Your Message
When delivering any message, whether it is for marketing or training, we recommend you begin by writing your conclusion, which focuses on a single
purpose. In your mind, you must ask yourself why you are building this
presentation; is it to persuade, to sell, to motivate, or to teach. This focus, provides the “slant” you want to deliver to the audience. All slides and information you present should have a direct bearing on what you are trying to translate to your viewers. The next step is to build your outline so that every item leads up to supporting your conclusion, which means you must have extensive knowledge of the information you are presenting. PowerPoint has an Outline view that makes it very easy to type in your headings and supporting bullet points. In general, headings and bullets should be a single line whenever possible, so as to not clutter up the slide and to allow the presenter to give information without looking like they are reading their slides.

Picking a Theme
PowerPoint provides many pre-set themes and layouts under the Format, Apply
Design Template tab that are a good place to give you an idea of the
application’s capabilities. When developing a series of programs, it is important that you have consistency in a theme. Many firms develop their own standardized templates that utilize the firm’s colors, fonts, and logo, to tie into their letterhead and web site. This template, along with all other PowerPoint presentations developed utilizing it, should be saved on the network to allow others to reuse the information.

Importance of Fonts
Often times, people developing PowerPoint presentations utilize the default
fonts, which in most cases is Times New Roman. We recommend you customize
the fonts to match that used by your firm or to make a stronger impact where
necessary. Fonts can be changed on the template by going to View, Master,
Slide Master, and selecting the heading or text body and picking another font. Please keep in mind that typing in all caps “yells” a message, so it should be used sparingly as well as mixing different fonts or sizes of fonts, which could make the presentation look like it was “slapped together.” Also, simpler fonts such as Arial or Universal are easier on the eyes and much clearer to read from a distance. Busy fonts with lots of swirls or scripts, may cause the reader to have to re-read the message, so they should only be used in headings and for additional emphasis on a point or quote.

A Word About Color
We are all aware that color has an impact on us and it is important that your theme portray the right image for the topic to be presented. In Tom and Rich Mucciolo’s book: Purpose, Movement, Color, they listed the following moods that colors represent, which can be used as a guide to help you develop your themes:

  • Blue: is seen as conservative, loyal and secure while maintaining
    credibility, and has been shown to reduce blood pressure and create calm.
    When in doubt, the authors say use blue!
  • Red: can mean danger or provoke emotions of passion or competition, so it
    is good for marketing or sales events. The authors recommend that users
    stick to darker shades such as maroon or burgundy.
  • Green: is for go, ready, growth or money, which is probably why it is so
    popular with CPA firms. The authors stated that it is good for group
    discussions and to initiate feedback on issues.
  • Yellow: is good as an accent color as it is associated with hope for the
    future, happiness, and considered both stimulating and attractive.
  • Black: as a background indicates finality on information that has already
    happened and is unlikely to change. Accountants can use this sparingly to
    present financial statement information.

Great Presentations
Every good presentation begins with a thorough understanding of the topic
being presented, as well as practicing delivery over and over again until it
can be done flawlessly. In addition, the impact of color, fonts and layout
sends a message to the audience that helps set the mood, so it is imperative
that you maximize these options to ensure you get your message across.

We are in business to service and act on behalf of our clients. Please review our Privacy Statement and Declaration of Integrity. For comments regarding this website, please email ITPartner@itpna.com or call (480) 706-1728. All information presented here is the opinion of InfoTech Partners North America Inc. or the respective authors of the various articles and is not to be construed as legal or technical advice. Please consult your lawyer or technical person for specific utilization.

InfoTech Partners North America, Inc. , 13656 S. 37th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85044 Email: ITPartner@itpna.com Phone: (480) 706-1728 Fax: (480) 718-8880