Saturday, January 22, 2011

5 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations

The following are some helpful tips for making the most out of a PowerPoint presentation:

1: Presentation First, PowerPoint Second

The biggest mistake people make when creating a PowerPoint presentation is that they make PowerPoint the presentation's focus. The focus should be on the presenter and on the compelling story that he has to tell. PowerPoint is most effective at providing supplementary information, like simple, colorful graphs, but should never be the main source of information. The worst thing a presenter can do is to turn around and read from the PowerPoint screen. If all of the information is on the screen, then there's no need for the presenter

2: Tell a Story

The goal of any presentation is to sell the audience on an idea. It could be a pitch for investing in a new company, a plan for reorganizing a business or a proposal for a scientific research project. For the audience to understand the presentation on an intellectual as well as an emotional level, it needs to be told as a cohesive narrative -- a story. The audience needs to know three things:

  • Where we are now
  • Where we want to end up
  • How we're going to get there

PowerPoint slides should be used to communicate those three simple ideas. This is best accomplished by simple text statements, strong images and graphs.

3: Show It, Don't Write It

Human beings are highly visual learners. It's much easier for our brains to remember a strong, unique image than a series of facts and figures. PowerPoint is a great, easy-to-use program for creating dozens of different types of graphs and charts. Remember that the simpler and bigger the graph, the better. For example, if you want to drive home the point that Windows PCs control a large majority of the home computer market, show a pie chart with a huge chunk of the pie filled in with red and the word "PC." No matter how many stats you quote, this image will get the message home faster and will stick with the audience longer.

4: The Rule of 10

Guy Kawasaki -- former Apple "chief evangelist," venture capitalist and professional speaking guru -- has established his famous "Kawasaki Rule of Ten" in which he only uses 10 slides during a PowerPoint presentation, often in a "top 10" fashion. Those 10 slides generally consist of nothing more than a single sentence or phrase and a supporting image. The 10 slides give the audience powerful visual cues that reinforce the message that Kawasaki is communicating. And since the audience knows that there are only going to be 10 slides -- and 10 main points to cover during the presentation -- they know when the presentation is about to end. Which brings us to our final tip.

5: Keep it Short

No one ever complained about a PowerPoint presentation being too short. The second an audience gets bored and stops paying attention, the presentation loses its effectiveness. The audience not only stops processing new information, but begins to resent the presenter for wasting their time. Kawasaki, for example, thinks that an ideal PowerPoint presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why APPLE logo is bitten???

Apple LOGO is first designed by Ron Wayne, co-founder of Apple Computer, the IT giant's original logo was completely different from the one we know today. It depicted Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an Apple tree with a poem, “A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE” all around the border is a tribute to his discovery of gravity.

That logo was replaced in 1977 by a Rainbow-Coloured silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it, an idea dreamt up by the graphic designer Rob Janoff, which was to remain the same until 1999 when Apple began using a Monochrome logo.

The urban myth says that the bitten apple is a reference to Alan Turing, the pioneer of the ENIGMA CODE and "FATHER OF THE COMPUTER", who committed suicide in 1954 by taking a bite from a cyanide-laced apple. Janoff insists that the apple simply represents knowledge.

Funny Thoughts:

  • The Apple logo was designed with a bite so that it would be recognized as an apple rather than a cherry.
  • The bite could also be pronounced "byte", a reference to computer technology.

There are many theories about this logo and many of them are just that. Find out the truth, read the interview with Rob Janoff, the designer of the original Apple logo, who will tell you all about his design.

Interviewer: When did you design the original Apple logo with the colorful stripes?

RJ: Early 1977. The agency got the account (Apple) sometime January. The logo was introduced with the new product Apple II in April of that year.

Interviewer: Were you working for an agency at the time?

RJ: Yes, I was working for an advertising and public relations agency called Regis McKenna and I was an art director.

Interviewer: Do the colors represent the hippy culture, which was in fashion at the time?

RJ: Partially it was a really big influence. Both Steve and I came from that place, but the real solid reason for the stripes was that the Apple II was the first home or personal computer that could reproduce images on the monitor in color. So it represents color bars on the screen. Also, it was an attempt to make the logo very accessible to everyone, especially to young people so that Steve could get them into schools.

Interviewer: What does the bite in the apple represents? Is it a reference to a computing term byte? Is it a reference to the biblical event when Eve bit into the forbidden fruit? Is the fruit itself referencing the discovery of gravity by Newton when an apple fell on his head while sitting under the tree? Is it possible you were influenced subconsciously by these stories?

RJ: Well, I'm probably the least religious person, so Adam and Eve didn't have anything to do with it. The bite of knowledge sounds fabulous, but that's not it. And, there is a whole lot of other lure about it. Turing the famous supposed father of computer science who committed suicide in the early 50's was british and was accused of being homosexual, which he was. He was facing a jail sentence so he committed suicide to avoid all that. So, I heard one of the legends being that the colored logo was an homage to him. People think I did the colored stripes because of the gay flag. And, that was something really thought for a long time. The other really cool part was that apparently he killed himself with a cyanide laced apple. And, then I found out Alan Turing's favorite childhood story was Snow White where she falls asleep forever for eating a poisoned apple to be woken up by the handsome prince. Anyway, when I explain the real reason why I did the bite it's kind of a letdown. But I'll tell you. I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience. It goes across cultures. If anybody ever had an apple he probably bitten into it and that's what you get. It was after I designed it, that my creative director told me: "Well you know, there is a computer term called byte". And I was like: "You're kidding!" So, it was like perfect, but it was coincidental that it was also a computer term. At the time I had to be told everything about basic computer terms.

Interviewer: How does it feel to see your logo everywhere?

RJ: It's a real unique experience that still makes my day whenever I see it unexpectedly. You're watching a movie or tv and usually when they have a cool character they'll have a laptop with an Apple logo on it, like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. I've done a lot of traveling and early on when the logo still had multicolored stripes on it I was in China and there it was on a billboard somewhere. It was Chinese script that I couldn't read, but something that came out of my head was up there for all to see and to interpret. It's kind of a personal thing. It's kinda like having a kid. You're very proud of it.

Interviewer: Do you like the changes Apple made to your original design over the years?

RJ: I do like them. The stripes served their purpose and they are definitely dated. I think it's very important that a product like Apple keep very up-to-date and Steve Jobs is obviously very conscious of that and he has fabulous designers working for him in industrial design and graphic design. I feel great that it's still the same basic silhouette even though it went through lots and lots of changes. The apple shape changed slightly from my original design in the early 80's. The design firm Landor & Associates made the changes. They brightened the colors, they made the shapes much more symmetrical, much more geometric. When I designed it I pretty much did it freehand. I often think to myself why didn't I do that. It's because it wasn't where I was coming from at the time. I think they did a great job and it will be fascinating to see the next iteration and how it works out.