Avoid Speaker Handout Hassles (part 1 of 3 on PPTs)

Published by Steve Manicor | Topics: Training

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What do you do when a speaker’s PowerPoint presentation has so many animations that the PDF version looks like a Picasso painting? How about when a video clip comes out as a black screen when you put the PowerPoint slides online?

This is the first of three articles on managing and creating presentation slides (something you, your speakers or attendees can probably relate to).

Part two:
Making My Speakers Follow a PPT Template

Part three:
Great PPTs, Great Sessions, Happy Attendees!

Let’s get started: The problem in dealing with media-challenged speaker handouts is that you get the presentation maybe a week or two before you have to leave for the event. You barely have time to send the files to your printer or technology company, let alone look at them. You might not even know a set of handouts is a mess until it’s too late to fix the problem.

Most companies who are producing your speaker handouts on CD, online or in print are converting them to PDF format. This process ensures the file size will be acceptable and the file readable by everyone if you’re producing a CD or online handouts. Converting to PDF might create problems if your speaker incorrectly embedded a graphic, movie, sound file, etc. Not to mention all transitions are lost in the PDF.

This means, we comb through the files, find these problems, then contact you to determine what you want to do. It’s a problem you’re glad we caught, but one you really don’t want to hassle with.

We suggest working with your speakers in advance. Give them some real basic guidelines so they can focus on creating a quality presentation that will look good in any format.

Our production team identified…

The Top 7 Problems in Preparing Speaker Handouts in Print or Digital Format:

  1. Fonts: Tell speakers to embed TrueType fonts, or send the font files with a custom logo font.
  2. Graphics: Ask speakers to embed them all and use medium sized graphics (100k to 200k) when possible. Make sure speakers know if their presentations will be printed in grayscale.
  3. Logos: Speakers should embed the logo or make sure the transparent backgrounds won’t cause problems in the PDF conversion.
  4. Transparent objects: Remind speakers that these become solid in PDF format.
  5. Slide animations: Send your speakers an example of a cluttered slide with too many animations. Chances are the presenters don’t know that the final slide will include even the elements that disappeared. You might want the speaker to create a separate slide set for the printed book and have one for presentation.
  6. Audio and video: Have speakers tell you when they plan to use sound or video clips, and ask them to send native files. They can be re-linked in the PDF.
  7. File type: Clarify what type of files you want before they send them in. Hint – ask them not to send files in PowerPoint Show (.pps) format or in a PDF with one slide per page.

Download our tips “PowerPoint – Beyond the Screen


About Steve Manicor

Steve is Omnipress' Director of Business Development. He has over five years serving the meetings and training industry. He leads our product/service leadership and development teams. ...read more

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