Despite its call for dry contents delivery across virtual and in-person meetings alike, PowerPoint stays the go-to choice for countless professionals, even as other options emerge that offer better usability and also flexibility exterior of the Microsoft ecosystem.

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Part that the presentation platform’s popular stems from its familiarity — numerous organizations still run Microsoft-first IT software program environments, making PowerPoint the obvious an option for simple presentation design. Simplicity gives the second component of this popular permutation since creating a straightforward PowerPoint presentation on a single topic needs minimal time and effort.

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The problem? “Simple” doesn’t always mean “effective”. Staff across markets, industries, and also verticals an international have stories about unbearably long and boring PowerPoint presentations that were long on details but brief on value. The 7x7 dominion offers a structure to help boost PowerPoint type and duty by reducing text volume and also improving details impact.

In this piece, fine break under the 7x7 preeminence in PowerPoint, ideal practices, and offer some actionable examples that seven-by-seven options in-situ.

The PowerPoint Problem

To placed it simply, most viewers don’t like PowerPoint. While the format has the benefit of speed and also convenience — and also can conceivably be used to connect information quickly and also concisely — plenty of presentations room overlong and overwrought v bonanzas of bullet points the seem relevant however are really just digital warm air.

In many cases, the disconnect between appearance and activity is boring at best and irritating in ~ worst. As detailed by the BBC, however, in extreme cases — such together NASA’s Challenger shuttle disaster — overlooked info in one overstuffed presentation deserve to have significant real-world consequences.

Best bet? To avoid PowerPoint frustration and also fatigue, that time because that a new framework: The 7x7 rule.

What is the 7x7 ascendancy in PowerPoint?

The 7x7 ascendancy is simple: for every slide, usage no much more than seven lines of text — or 7 bullet point out — and also no more than 7 words every line. Slide titles aren’t contained in the count.

There’s no certain data sustaining the 7x7 model as the ideal; part PointPower proselytizers consider 8x8 good enough while rather say 6x6 is much more streamlined. The suggest here no the hard-and-fast number however the underlying idea: reduced out extraneous information to enhance presentation uptake.

Slides have the right to still contain images — and also should, wherever feasible — but sticking to the 7x7 dominance helps cut down on excess data that might be better-shared in follow-up emails or one-on-one discussions. In effect, the 7x7 rule is a means to reduce the lot of time staff spend pretending come care around PowerPoints and instead aid them emphasis on slide info that’s relevant, contextual, and also actionable.

Best practices for the 7x7 dominion in PowerPoint

Building a usual PowerPoint slide is straightforward. Like any kind of business practice, however, it have the right to be improved with a standardized set of rule designed to border waste and improve efficiency. And also when it pertains to most PowerPoint presentations, nearly any adjust makes a positive impact.

Let’s failure some the the ideal practices for structure PowerPoint slides v the 7x7 rule.

1. Single slide, single concept.

Each on slide should deal with a single concept fairly than do the efforts to attach the dots across multiple data points, fads or ideas. While the fine to build on previous slide data as your presentation progresses the single slide, single concept strategy helps focus presentation initiatives from words go.

2. Photos increase impact.

As noted above photos are a welcome enhancement to slides, so long as castle relevant. If you find yourself adding unrelated share photos just to include some shade — don’t. Save slides, text, and also images on-track.

4. Forget the funny.

Almost everyone has actually a story around a “funny” PowerPoint joke the was nothing of the sort. In many cases, this heavy-handed humor efforts are shoehorned in ostensibly to assist viewers better remember on slide data. In fact, they shift the focus away from your major objective.

5. Plan it out.

Before producing your presentation, produce a basic outline the highlights your major concept, how you arrangement to acquire it across, and how numerous slides in full it must take. Then, draft her slides. Take a break, evaluation them, and also cut earlier wherever possible.

6. Think about the 7x7x7.

If friend really desire to walk all-in top top the 7x7 rule, consider including another 7 and also aiming for no an ext than 7 native in each line, no an ext than 7 currently on every slide, and no much more than 7 slides in total. That not easy — however offers a much better chance of acquiring your suggest across.

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7x7 rule in Powerpoint Examples

So what walk the 7x7 dominion look like in practice? that one thing to talk about building a much better slide, yet it’s easy to fall ago into bad habits as soon as it’s time to put together a presentation. It provides sense; content creators are frequently trying come convey a far-reaching amount of info in a short period of time, and it’s basic to acquire sidetracked by the notion that every item of data must be contained to do the meeting a success.