Happy New Year! Let’s make it a Happy and a New Year in presentations by ditching the standard slideware template and in particular Blue Wave with Times New Roman, centre justified. There really is a better way! And like your other New Year resolutions, this does actually have purpose and value behind it. Say goodbye to the old ways and welcome in the new by changing your presentation style.
Templates, unless specifically crafted by a professional for your particular use, really should be left behind in last year. Their value in delivering uniformity with brand colours and fonts may work in industry but in medicine (the majority of readers of this blog) they really have no place. There is no need for every presentation from one institution to be identical; their messages are not identical. Some institutions suggest their use is compulsory, “they” seldom attend the event and if the message is delivered with passion and impact without the template I’m sure “they” would be impressed. The visual conflict with the media is unhelpful and distracting. The colour scheme prescribed may not fit the message and it significantly limits slide “real estate”.
The use of the identical Microsoft template merely highlights a lack of creativity and desire to conform. Or laziness. This is the reason so many presentations use Times New Roman. Fonts should be chosen for their visual impact and ease of reading, ideally a non-serif font; Time New Roman is a serif font. “Default” is hardly the first message The Good Presenter wishes to impart to the audience, even before starting to speak. Centre justification makes script harder to read. The tradition of using this formatting style comes from books. Presentations are not books.
Make it a Happy New Year for your presentations by making a resolution to ditch the “default” template and be a little more creative. Don’t use a template that restricts creativity and space. Don’t use the default font. Don’t centre justify. Have a Happy New Year, when it comes, wherever you are.