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I like to make cards and I make them for many reasons: birthdays, weddings, condolence, get-well soon, and congratulations.  Compared to other crafts, card making is nice in that you can create a card, start-to-finish, in a single sitting.  I share the finished product with someone else rather than adding to the clutter of my home.

Card-making also helps me better perform my job.  When I make cards, I practice the skills needed to create an eye-pleasing PowerPoint deck.  The principles are the same and I can safely say that all I really need to know about PowerPoint I learned while making cards.

Here are some of those principles:

Color theory: Show some restraint with colors.  Choose 2 focus colors and then add a neutral color for definition (e.g. orange and blue + black).  Certain colors work well together and others do not. Analogous colors are those that are next to one another on a color wheel.  Complementary colors sit opposite one another on a color wheel.  Choose analogous or complementary color combinations when creating a PowerPoint deck.

Balance: Make sure to balance your design elements.  If you have a bulleted list then you might add a small graphic to the bottom right to balance things out.  When choosing how many design elements to include know that odd numbers tend to create a more dynamic layout.

Style: Every card and every PowerPoint presentation has a style. When I create cards I choose from many styles ranging from cute to elegant, funny to serious.  In the workplace I do my best to comply with the corporate branding guidelines.  Doing so ensures that my presentations are a recognizable work product coming out of SAP.

Layout:   Have a single focal point.   Leave some white space and make sure that the white space draws attention to the focal point.  Poorly executed white space can actually become the focal point – don’t let this happen!  Consider grounding your design elements; this keeps your pictures or words from floating around and helps with readability.

In making a card I tend to use a stamp or picture as my primary design element (focal point).  At work I find the most effective slides leverage visualized data.  Simplifying and distilling data into a meaningful chart has not always been easy. My choices used to be limited by built-in graphic templates; however, visualization software such as SAP Lumira has enabled me to become a visual storyteller.

Please follow me on Twitter: @MandyBayArea

Do you have PowerPoint tips? If so, please share them in the comments. I'm always on the hunt for new PowerPoint tips and tricks!

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