Yeah, yeah I know that everyone says that they hate Powerpoint – “death by Powerpoint” and all of that. However, the reality of modern Product Manger life is that we end up using Powerpoint to communicate a lot of information about our products and the current status of our projects. Thank goodness you took all of those Powerpoint classes back in college…
What? You’ve never had a Powerpoint class in your life? Hmm, can I at least assume that you know about the color wheel? Dang – struck out there also? Looks like we’re going to have to have a talk here.
There are some people out there that are really gifted artists. One that comes to mind is Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen. However, then there is the rest of us. Powerpoint has a bunch of flashy features that lots of people like to use; however, the key is to remember that it’s really a communication tool. This means that you’d like to get good enough at using it that you can get your point across in a clear way that will stick with your audience.
So how does a product manger go about doing this? It’s actually pretty simple – it will just take an investment in time. I would suggest that you find a Powerpoint presentation that you’ve seen that really worked for you – it communicated what it was trying to say in a concise, clear way. Then you need to sit down with a blank Powerpoint presentation and try to recreate it from scratch.
This is actually a lot harder than it might seem at first, getting all of the details of a presentation that someone else created (fonts, colors, line thicknesses, what goes on top of what else, etc.) can be a challenge. However, as you go through this copy / creation process you’ll discover how a really good presentation comes together.
I’m out of room this time, but we’ll chat about color wheels next time…
How did you orignally learn to use Powerpoint? Have you ever had any formal Powerpoint classes or has it been all on-the-job training? What was the best Powerpoint presentation that you’ve ever seen? Why? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.