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It's not the tool, it's the user.

Stashed in: @vkhosla, Star Trek!, Fonts!

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PowerPoint is an awesome tool. Unfortunately, not everyone has a background in computer-human-interaction nor a history of fundraising. While there are some fun ways to present slideware information like Presi or the lessig-method, there's some common mistakes that separate the professionals from the amateurs.

o Never use pps, if you have to, use PDF

o All headers should have same font size

o When you save, save with "fit slide to current window"

o Don't use a custom template unless you know what you are doing

o All bullets should be same style throughout the presentation

o Try to avoid watermarked backgrounds

o Slide numbers are helpful to reviewers and audience

o Never use a font less than 16pt unless it's a footnote

o Simpler text is better, bullets are 2 lines or less, no more than

6 bullets on a page, preferrably 3-5

o Fundraising slides should never be longer than 12 slides--if you can't explain your problem, the opportunity, your solution, why you are different, and what it's going to take to succeed in that many slides, you need to go back and think about it. (Note: I do NOT like 12 tweet business plans, but slideware seems to be the right level).

What if the user IS a tool? :P

I've known a few of those!

You are being more generous than Vinod Khosla.

Six bullets of up to two lines would be well outside the limit of 5 second comprehension/retention.

In practice I think nearly everybody has to really fight to keep themselves from cluttering slides. It must be a natural cave man instinct. Knowing that there were only so many walls to the cave, you had to draw really small sabre tooth tiger burgers on the wall to make sure you could fit every body's lunch order.

Everybody says to cut it, but on their own slides people are too attached to their own material to stick to it.

Point taken--though I don't think you can fit 6, two line bullets onto a slide w/o violating the 16pt rule! :-)

Thank you for the tips, Greg.

See also: Startup Pitch Decks and the 10-20-30 Rule

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