April 27, 2009 | Alyson Stanfield

Podcast: Design Your PowerPoint Presentation

There will come a time when you’re asked to talk about your art–with slides. The design of your digital presentation should put the focus on your art. Listen to tips for designing and perfecting your PowerPoint presentation.


Newsletter (a written version of this podcast)


I’d Rather Be in the Studio! (pages 53-67 of the 2008 edition)

Listen & Download

The last episode of the Art Marketing Action podcast was November 22, 2010. You can listen to or download any episode on iTunes.

12 comments add a comment
  • Thanks for this, Alyson. I recently made my first power point to present at a workshop. Initially it was full of text, until my sister in law tipped me off to the fact that the was distracting. So I made 2 versions–I saved the text heavy one to upload to slideshare.com (http://www.slideshare.net/RCrowell/source-catalonia) for anyone who wants to just read/study it. The non-text version worked well for presentation.

    I admit that I put off making my power point for a long time, not looking forward to learning a new technology. As it turned out, I really enjoyed the process and found it a good way to organize thoughts and images. It is a far more interesting and flexible tool than the old-style slide show.

  • Cynthia Morris

    Great article and reminder! I finally got on the presentation bandwagon last autumn when I taught myself how to use Keynote. I had to do four presentations! Luckily I had found Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen. His video of his presentation to Google was immensely helpful to me. http://www.presentationzen.com/

  • Hmmmm… if not bullets, then??????

  • This article could have not been more timely. I am an undergraduate art student who is going on a study tour to Japan and China for two weeks at the end of May.

    In Japan, I will be giving my first ever PowerPoint presentation on my art to a group of Japanese art students and my own study group. I am thrilled and more than scared to give this presentation. This post helped to remind me to start getting my presentation ready and how to set it up. Any other hints people can provide for me would be wonderful. Thanks! Jaime Lyerly

  • Curious about the statement that “bullets are old school.” What is the current “school” for achieving clarity on something like PowerPoint?

  • To add to my previous comment here, I just wrote a whole blog post about this article and how timely it is for me and my upcoming presentation to a college in Japan.

    I would love to have anyone who is awesome enough to read Alyson’s blog come and check out my post at http://jaimelyerly.blogspot.com.

    I am specifically looking for advice on how to approach an art presentation when I am not sure about the language barriers. Any hints on how to get over stage fright would be great too!

    Creatively yours, Jaime Lyerly

  • If you could see me, you’d see I’m standing up and applauding that article on PowerPoint.

    PowerPoint was designed to have engineers talk to marketing. It was a great idea. (How do you know the engineer you are talking to is an extrovert? He’s looking at YOUR shoes, not his.) But it’s been downhill since then.

    Bullet points were all the rage until some sharp viewer noticed most were unrelated category headings that belonged in the “notes” section. In my classes over half the participants never saw the “notes” section and don’t know what it’s for.

    When I suggest that the slides hold one thoughtful sentence, an illustration or example, a map of where you are in the talk, I got open-mouthed gasps.

    The simple truth about PowerPoint is that logic doesn’t win agreement, emotion does. And emotion is processed on the right, creative, visual side of the brain. Make your words logical, your visuals emotional, and you have a decent PowerPoint.

    I start every presentation class with the phrase, “It’s not about you; it’s about the audience. What’s in it for them?” Your article did just that for artists! YEAAAA!

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Thanks, Rebecca. And thanks for giving me the idea for this podcast and newsletter in the first place.

    Cynthia: LOVE Presentation Zen! Thanks for the link. I’ve noodled around in Keynote, but I keep coming back to PowerPoint. I’m sure Keynote would work better on my Mac, but I’ve never had any problems (knock on wood) with PP.

    Stefanie: New post on “no bullets” coming up!

    Jaime: Glad we could help! How wonderful to do this as a student.

    Quinn: Thanks for chiming in! My husband (engineer/physicist) doesn’t believe that he could do a meaningful presentation without bullet points. Wonder if there is a difference when you’re trying to teach technical concepts to a group, say, of potential investors. ???

  • Nice blog entry and comments going one here! For those with an interest in Keynote, and its means to convey complex ideas (cf. Powerpoint’s cognitive style centralised on bullet points and clip art) my blog post may be of interest:
    For those who like Keynote, try and track down my 2008 Macworld video (floating about on the web somewhere) where I offer the cognitive neuroscience behind how we learn, and how slides can either hamper or augment that learning.

  • […] your thoughts and listen to the podcast on the Art Biz Blog. tweetmeme_url = 'https://aaartbizold.wpengine.com/2009/04/designpp.html'; SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: […]

  • […] Art Marketing Action Newsletter and podcast about designing PowerPoint presentations provoked a number of comments and questions. Those who had obviously had to sit through a number of […]

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