Monthly Archives: April 2014

Editing for effective Powerpoint presentations

Powerpoint presentations are a common way to present information to audiences. But you don’t want your audience to suffer death by Powerpoint. Even Powerpoint presentations can benefit from editing. The top tip is be restrained.

Tips for editing presentations

  • Be restrained in the use of features, transitions, colours and fonts.
  • Don’t use every feature in a single presentation.
  • Reduce the number of slides.
  • Reduce the number of words on each slide.
  • Use images or simple tables instead of words.

Tips for editing text

  • Be careful of abbreviations. Abbreviations may save space but they can be harder to read.
  • Choose headings carefully.
  • Check how dot points break over two lines.
  • Don’t paste in text directly from a written article.
  • Reformat tables to present numbers clearly.

Remember the aim of any presentation is to clearly communicate your message. What is your message? Think about what you want the audience to remember after your presentation. Will the audience remember your message or the overuse of features such as transitions and animations? Only use features if they enhance your message.

Is there right and wrong in editing?

Writers use editors to get their work “right”, but what does right mean? No two editors will edit a piece of writing exactly the same way, but that doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong. Often there will be several ways to suggest changes to improve writing. For instance, a previous post discussed ways to rewrite sentences to avoid gender-specific pronouns and be gender-inclusive.

Getting it right in editing means:

  • right for the audience
  • right for the purpose of the writing
  • right for the author’s voice.

Getting it right also means the basics:

  • right spelling for names, organisations and places
  • right details such as times, dates and references
  • right grammar.

But language is always changing and what is considered right can vary over time as usage evolves.

What is wrong in editing? Introducing errors when editing is wrong. If the editor is unsure of the meaning or cannot check a detail independently, the editor will make suggestions and include notes and queries for the author to confirm. The final responsibility for a piece of writing belongs with the author.