Rethinking PowerPoint Presentations with BBP

A friend of mine recommended Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson last week so I promptly bought a copy on I’m only a few chapters into the book but it already resonates with me and my thinking on how to do a presentation. Here’s the advice I’ve taken away from the book so far:

  • A presentation should be like a story with a beginning, middle, and end
  • The presentation should first be built in outline form in a separate program like Word
  • After the outline has been built, each slide should be made in notes view with the slide containing the presenter’s notes followed by one sentence and a relevent picture in the slide itself
  • With each slide containing no more than one simple sentence and picture, the presentation should be timed such that each slide is used for approximately one minute

The book also does a good job of giving some theory behind how people learn and interpret new information. I’ll do a follow-up post once I’m finished with more insights from it. If you ever do PowerPoint presentations, I’d recommend reading the book as well as visiting the BBP community.

4 thoughts on “Rethinking PowerPoint Presentations with BBP

  1. David,

    Good post. Just came across it, from post about TAG/ATDC talk — which was excellent, by the way.

    Along the same lines as Beyond Bullet Points, I highly recommend Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte.

    Beyond that, I would only add that there are many different uses of “slide packs”, i.e. Powerpoint or Keynote. Examples might include teaching, providing structure to a problem-solving workshop, etc. The Beyond Bullet Points style is very good for public speeches; less good for others.


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