Editing PPT content is as important as editing any other form of content and at times, even more important, as incorrect grammar, sentence structure, and spelling when projected on a screen ten times the size of a letter will never go unnoticed by the large audience.
The purpose of PPT, more often than not, is to act as a facilitating tool for someone delivering a presentation. While the audience reads through documents or web pages, they watch and observe the PPT content while listening to the presenter. The action of reading, though not zero, will be limited. Based on these factors, editing a PowerPoint file should be treated differently from editing regular content and the following aspects should be taken care of in addition to the usual editing guidelines:
- No clear, structured paragraphs – While editing a normal document, you will be trying to build clear structured paragraphs. However, in PPTs, they are to be strictly avoided. Ideally, the text content in a PPT has to be in the form of bullet points. Avoid long sentences and try to keep the messages short, and as simple phrases.
- No full sentences – While the editor focuses on the completeness and correctness of a sentence in a normal document, a PPT content editor focuses on using short phrases with no errors, instead of sentences. Avoid full sentences and convert them to phrases instead. Use full sentences only when quoting somebody, external content, or a definition with a reference etc.
- Not too many bullet points either – Experts suggest having a maximum of 5-6 bullet points per slide. The aim should be not ‘at least’ but the ‘least’ possible. Bullets are non-visual, in text form and boring. Keep only the bullet points that cannot be conveyed through a graphical representation and transform the rest into appealing visual formats like an image or a graph.
- Using parallel phrase structure – Using parallel phrase structure is very important in a PPT slide. In a Word document or webpage, the structure of the sentence- with a beginning and an end- will cover up the non-parallel structure, but it will be glaringly evident in a PowerPoint slide. Nouns, verbs and adjectives should be used appropriately instead of mixing up all these part of speech randomly in the bullet points. If the first point is in a noun form, the other points also should be maintained in noun forms.
- Approaching modularly – While editing PPT content, care should be taken to ensure that the content flow from one slide to another is logical. Content on one slide should ideally stand up to prove one point and lead to the information you have in the next slide. Unrelated set of information should be demarcated with a sub-title slide as appropriate, thus ensuring a seamless flow for the presentation.
- Editing narration script – Narration script an important element of a PowerPoint presentation package, especially since the presenter will be using it to convey the messages in the slide to the audience. Editing a narration script is what holds the juice and makes the big impact. It has to be made listener friendly, conversational and fragmented, just like the sentence formation that you would use in a conversation.
In any form of communication, including PowerPoint presentation, content is king. In the current era where information is plenty and insights few, the success of a PPT content editor depends on how effectively, he can bring forth the insight hidden in the information on the slides.
Wittten by Glen Mary George for Chillibreeze