Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


*Beyond* Beyond Bullet Points

Recently, I shared my enthusiasm for the book Beyond Bullet Points, and the presentation method it's helped me learn. Since then, I found out about a Beyond Bullet Points PowerPoint add-in that's made it even easier for me to create high-impact presentations. This add-in was co-developed by Cliff Atkinson, the author of the book, and NetCentrics. I've been a loyal customer of NetCentrics' Getting Things Done Add-In for Outlook for a couple of years now, and they've done a phenomenal job on this add-in, as well.

This product adds a number of toolbar options into PowerPoint, providing easy-to-use guidance that helps you achieve the results described in Cliff's book. One of these options is a "Create New Story" button, which brings up a story creation toolkit that guides you through establishing the main elements of the story you'll be presenting. Following the various screens in the Create New Story process made it very easy to work with. The process felt a bit like creating a screenplay (or so I imagine - I'm not a screenwriter, but I watch a lot of TV). Click the screenshot to get an idea what this new toolkit looks like.

The add-in also puts in some tools to help you manage different color palettes, fills, and other actions that help you create a uniform color scheme throughout your presentation without having to constantly use PowerPoint's (somewhat clunky) color selection dialogs.

One of the key activities in creating a Beyond Bullet Points presentation is use of the slide sorter to create the storyboard, and use of lots of graphics to tell your story. This add-in provides tools to help there, as well. You'll find shortcuts on the button bar to change views, add speaker notes, turn the slide thumbnail view on and off, and a number of other things. Yes, you can do most of that within PowerPoint, but having them right there within easy reach saves some time and hunting.

The bottom line? I am still an enthusiastic advocate of the Beyond Bullet Points method and I urge you to read the book and give this technique a whirl. I also recommend you download the trial version of this add-in to help you create your first Beyond Bullet Points presentation. Once you do, I'm confident you'll find it as impressive as I have.