Mar 19, 2012

Are you living in "Default Land"?

Default (noun): A particular setting or value for a variable that is assigned automatically by an operating system and remains in effect unless cancelled or overridden by the operator: changed the default for the font in the word processing program. (source)

If you are going ahead with the default settings of MS PowerPoint then you are living in Default Land. And living in default land is not going to help you at all. To become better at making presentations, the first step you must take is to come out of your default land and explore.

How do you know if you are living in default land?
Go back to your last few PPT slides and ask these questions:

  • Did I go ahead with Calibri, the default font?
  • Did I choose a template for my presentation or went ahead with the normal white stuff?
  • Did I choose the template I always choose or tried something new?
  • Did I change the colour, alignment or fonts of my data table?
  • Did I change the font size of my text?
  • Did I change the alignment of my text?
  • Did I change the legend, look and feel of my charts? Did I change the line colour and make it thicker?
The list is endless but you get the point. Every time you do anything in your PPT, if you are going ahead with the default choice (the choice which your software does for you) ask yourself if you like it. Ask yourself, can I change it and make it better? You will be pleasantly surprised that the default is so much boring and mundane. To become better, the first step is to challenge the status quo (the default). Come out of your Default Land.

Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'. - Ronald Reagan

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