The best presenters know not to hand out their on-screen slides as a leave behind for their audiences. But when under the gun and without time to create a separate more detailed handout, distributing slides is sometimes unavoidable in the corporate world.
To address this problem at Edelman, we created the “Magical 2-in-1 Deck,” a solution which exploits PowerPointʼs option to customize Notes View through the Notes Master. The result is a single PowerPoint presentation that looks one way on screen (minimal text), and a very different way when printed or made into a PDF as a leave behind (much more detailed text.) Hereʼs how it works...
Design your slides ﬁrst and foremost for on-screen display. This means large and limited text and a preference for strong imagery. Write your speaker notes and place them like you might normally do into the notes section.
At this point, if you wanted to print and hand out your Notes Pages, you would be stuck with PowerPointʼs ugly default layout, shown below. This just screams “lazy,” and it is. But weʼre not done yet.
So hereʼs where the 2-in-1 Deck comes in: The ﬁrst thing to do is to change the page orientation of the Notes Master to landscape—just like your on-screen slide layout. Then, just make a few design adjustments, so that your notes ﬁeld becomes a sidebar add-on—almost like a souped up footnote. You can apply basic text and background formatting to the notes ﬁeld, but donʼt go overboard. This view is now a print document and should be treated as such. Use 11-point type.
If you wish, you can go into each individual notes page and further stylize the text or the entire layout on a slide by slide basis like we did with the blue subheads above. The important part of this is that if you donʼt want to think about creating two different documents, you donʼt have to.
And thatʼs the Magical 2-in-1 Deck.
Special thanks to Edelman and my New York Presentation design team who helped develop this technique.
After careers in theatre and the circus, Nolan Haims moved into the world of presentation, designing presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading ﬁnancial institutions and all the major television networks. Currently Nolan is Presentation Director for Edelman, the world's largest PR company. He writes about visual communication at PresentYourStory.com.