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Steve Puffenberger, founder of Advent Media, Inc., with 40 years as a professional in the audio-visual industry, observed that as Microsoft Office migrated to the desktops of nearly every PC or Mac user, the means to make presentation graphics became "commoditized.", Anybody with a computer could, for free, make graphics to show any size audience, whether they knew what they were doing or not. Books and Web tutorials proliferated to guide hapless users on which buttons to push to achieve ever snazzier, eye-catching (but distracting) effects. Schools changed report writing into slide shows. People were thrilled that they could do for free what previously cost hundreds for 35mm slides or overhead transparencies, but with commoditization came homogenization.
In the rush to pump out slides, the standards, methods, techniques and common knowledge about how humans perceive words and images on a screen have been lost. These are principals that AV and graphics professionals (aka signmakers) have know for hundreds of years. The result, PowerPoint becomes more noise than signal - a distraction. At best they put the audience to sleep, or annoy so much they keep the audience awake, but not getting the point. At worst, they skew data that leads to catastrophic decisions.
It's all because the standards and methods that professionals used in the old days have been forgotten in the quest to be "different" or they just never learned the basics of how people perceive images on a screen to begin with.
That prompted Steve to write the book, PainFree Presentations, which outlines those "forgotten" standards and methods. It guides those who build presentations on how to format slides so people get the message and are not distracted by amateur mistakes. Not only that, the book goes into all aspects of a presentation, from planning for the room in which it will be shown to how to become a presenter who can speak without notes.
And because a lot of people don't know how to use PowerPoint the way it was intended (the easy way), Steve also produced two tutorials, Learn PowerPoint for Free, which outlines the basics, and Set PowerPoint Free which provides step-by-step training on many advanced PowerPoint features. Neither of these free or inexpensive publications show you WHAT to do with your images to make them readable. The principles that make presentation graphics work for your audience are found in PainFree Presentations.
After reviewing the training information, you may wish to purchase onPowerPoint services for a Presentation Makeover, or retain Advent Media, Inc. for full-service Presentation Management services. And if you have a group that would benefit from the expertise, Steve Puffenberger is available for live on-site training classes, customized to your organization. Contact us for information.
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