Send your Notes Pages, not your Slides

If you’re still "sending your slides", you haven’t yet stretched your PowerPoint thinking as far as it can go.  Because when you stretch yourself into the new world of a unified design approach, things only make sense when you start "sending your notes pages" instead.

Anol_1For example, Anol is a Beyond Bullets reader and a project manager for GetIT Multimedia, a training company located in Singapore. Anol recently redesigned the company’s PowerPoint presentation using a unified design approach that allows you to create simple and elegant slides on-screen, at the same time as you create effective handouts.

What does it look like when you do that? Anol was nice enough to share the elegant results with us in this PDF of some of the notes pages from the presentation here: Download GetITIntro.pdf

The top half of each page in this PDF is actually the slide area, that will appear on screen when Anol gives this presentation.  The text area below does not appear on screen, but represents the ideas that are being explained verbally when the slide area is presented. Importantly, this explanation is written in complete sentences rather than bullet points, so that the ideas are clearly and fully-described with no ambiguity. For an organization, this ensures that you document your intellectual assets in a narrative and searchable form.

When you look at Anol’s slides in the top half of the page, they don’t make sense if they stood alone, which is why it is important to always send them in Notes Page format, to ensure that their context is preserved.

Because of this unified design approach, this single PowerPoint document does double-duty as both interesting slides and a printed handout.  After all, if you’re doing all the hard work of preparing a presentation, why not effortlessly produce multiple media at the same time?

Tip: The next time you prepare a presentation, try this unified design approach. (My new book includes a detailed description of how to do it, including formatting of the slide and notes masters.)  Then deliver your presentation, and afterward offer to "send your notes pages" rather than your slides.  Your audience is sure to be very impressed by the delicious fruit of your elegant labor.

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6 Responses to “Send your Notes Pages, not your Slides”

  1. Get Marketing Mileage from Power Point

    Send your notes pages, not your slides…. So says Cliff Atkinson over at his ‘beyond bullets’ blog. It makes so much sense it’s almost silly that the notes function of Power Point has been so neglected.

  2. steve says:

    I looked at the PDF, very nice, but how did you manage to get the formatting added to the Notes pages!

  3. cliff says:

    Hi Steve – my new book describes how to format the slide and notes masters in PowerPoint in a way that produces effective slides and handouts.

  4. Mike Williams says:

    I always wonder about controlling how a file created on my machine displays on another user’s machine when opened. PDF offers a potential stability here, I guess, and may make for a better format for emailing PP “documents.” Is there an easy conversion tool?

  5. cliff says:

    Hi Mike – I use Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs from my PPT files. If you Google “PowerPoint to PDF” you’ll find a number of other options too.

  6. I saw this on another post and it made me smile

    Iā€™m not mentally ill, I just have a problem with reality. šŸ™‚

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