Oct 15, 2011

16by9 > 4by3

This is no algebra problem. It is something I have realised today because today I made my first presentation in a 16 by 9 mode.

Let me explain in detail.

When you create a new presentation in MS PowerPoint the default screen aspect ratio is 4 by 3 (or 4:3). The ratio between length of the screen and the height is 4 by 3.

The book Nudge tells us that most people never change the 'default' setting of their mobile phones. What is true of mobile phones is also true of MS PowerPoint. All of us present in 4:3 mode. Most of us do not even know there is an alternative to it.

Introducing: Screen Aspect Ratio

MS PowerPoint gives you various choices of screen aspect ratio. The default setting is 4:3 but my recommendation is to try 16:9. It is one more step towards standing out. The look of your presentation will change and the audience will like it.

Where is it?
In MS PowerPoint 2010, under Design tab, choose Page Setup. Under 'Slides sized for:' choose 'On-Screen Show 16:9'. You're done!

What happens when you choose 16:9?
Your screen becomes wider. The look of your slideshow changes.

How does it look?
This is how it looks. It does make a small but important difference to the look and feel of our presentation.

Point to Note: Do not change the aspect ratio of an old presentation. Your images will get stretched. If you do want to present 16by9, start with a new file.

Choose 16by9 and take one more step towards changing the status quo and choosing to standing out. Ok, I seem to be overselling 16by9 :-)