College Advice Blog

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Oct 9, 2012

Translate your PowerPoint to a Poster

When making your class presentation, it is natural to use technology to make a stunning performance happen. However, some professors will not allow them to be used. When that happens, or even to just have your voice be in front of your audience longer, you can use PowerPoint to create your presentation and convert the information to a visual aid like a large poster.

Keep it Flowing
Nothing is worse than a bunch of content and ideas that jump around and don’t follow a progressive plan. Use bold headlines or numbers to break up the monotony of a whole bunch of text. Pictures make it fun to follow. Graphs and charts will make it functional and informational. When filling out your slides on a PowerPoint, keep the text to a minimum. It should just be main ideas and the very pertinent information. It is up to you to fill in the blanks. It is like the skeleton of your presentation, it takes you providing the muscle to make it really move!

Be Bold
A nice headline in an easy to read bold font should speak volumes before you even begin to talk. Your audience should know exactly what you are going to speak to them about by just reading that one line. Use bold type for headers of new topics and numbers that outline your presentation.

Be Relevant
Stay on topic. If you use your points as a guide, you should be able to stay on your topic even if people ask you questions. Don’t discredit what they have to say or need to know. If they ask a question, be happy that they are paying attention. However, many conversations lead to other ideals and you get lost. Stay relevant to your subject even if it means that you need to put a question on hold for a later point in your speech.

The Formula
“Some poster 'experts' suggest that if there is about 20-25% text, 40-45% graphics and 30-40% empty space, you are doing well.” ~ Author Unknown

As they suggest, the text is the least amount of your worries. Don’t overcrowd your presentation. It needs to be easily followed by the average person and should make sense without you talking about it. If you walk up to an upcoming movie poster, what types of information do you want to know? Well, we study the picture to get an idea of the plot and the stars. We look for text to know what it is called and when it is coming out. We grasp a lot of information in one poster. Apply that to your presentations. Your audience should gain a lot of knowledge by looking at your pictures and graphs. The underlying information is there in text. The filler is the added elements in your verbal speech, much like the voice over at the movies during a preview. What you can’t get from the video, you get from the voice.

The Conversion
You might feel at a loss once you have your ideas in the PowerPoint. How do you get it into poster form?

Okay, here we go:
  • The poster or single slide template should be under “design” in the toolbar.
  • Set up your size of the final product.
  • Open the PowerPoint you want to use.
  • Select “slide sorter” under the “view” tab.
  • “Copy” the slides you want to put on your poster.
  • Paste them into the poster design by clicking “paste special” and then “picture (enhanced metafile) and then “OK”.
  • Arrange your slides accordingly and save. Now you are ready to upload to the printer of your choice!
By using PowerPoint to create your poster, it will keep you on a leash as far as information goes, making it harder to crowd the space. It can be a great tool for building posters for all presentations!

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About the Author 
Jessica Reynolds loves spending time with her family and living life through photography and art. She has spent considerable time running her own businesses while raising her kids. Currently, she blogs for Poster Session, a division of MegaPrint.
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