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How to Gain Control of Your PowerPoint

by Cliff Atkinson  |  
January 13, 2004
  |  13,166 views

Do you control your PowerPoint, or does PowerPoint control you? For many organizations, what appears to be a situation under control is in fact a system that's out of control.

When organizations attempt to control branding by implementing a typical PowerPoint template, they ensure that their presenters overwhelm or bore their audiences, which is a loss of control of the brand.

When organizations seek to control information by encouraging the use of bullet points on PowerPoint slides, they scatter their intellectual assets into unmanageable fragments, which is a loss of control of information.

And when organizations try to control messaging by enforcing a fill-in-the-blank PowerPoint approach, they lose the ability to tailor an experience around a specific audience, which is a loss of control of messaging.

What started as an honest attempt by organizations to control PowerPoint has in fact yielded the opposite result.


It's not that PowerPoint culture cannot be controlled, because it can. More often than not, organizations are simply trying to control the wrong things. And when they choose to take control of the right things, they can finally gain real control of their PowerPoint culture.

There are at least five things every organization should control when it comes to PowerPoint:

1. Control the value. It's difficult to control anything if you don't know its value. PowerPoint is many things to many people. But one of its most valuable roles is as a platform that carries intellectual assets.


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Cliff Atkinson is an author, speaker, and consultant who translates complex ideas into communications that get results at www.cliffatkinson.com. He is the author of the bestselling Beyond Bullet Points, published in four editions by Microsoft Press.

LinkedIn: Cliff Atkinson

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