With deadlines piling up, finishing those slides early could be the last thing on your mind. However, one thing you shouldn’t be cramming for is your slide deck, especially if you haven’t touched PowerPoint in a long time.
Craft your deck with laser-like focus by knowing how to maximize the available time you have. You’ll have to make compromises, but if you know your priorities, you can still turn in a winning deck.
A precise schedule lets you know how much time you can actually work with. Determine your deadline’s exact time and day. Plot out your agenda to create a visual reminder of everything you need to finish. This is better than thinking that you can act tomorrow instead of today.
Remember to include short breaks in your plan. Working without a break can burn you out and delay you further. If you’re clueless when it comes to PowerPoint, focusing on your content and delivery should be your main priority. Determine what your strengths are so you can devote time to an area that you have more experience in. Rest assured that if you’re truly in need, there are easier ways to get some things done.
Trying to be a design expert overnight is difficult, so if you want your deck to look good, you may have to resort to using templates. Not all templates are created equal, so make sure that you find a high-quality template you can use for your deck. The template you choose should complement your content well.
Consider if the theme, mood, and color scheme all go together. You might take too much time trying to figure out how to make your deck look well-designed, so be careful not to let perfectionism take a huge chunk of your already limited time. When push comes to shove, you can always ask someone for help. You can also delegate tasks if you’re working in a team.
Ask for Help
It’s hard to admit to ourselves that we just can’t finish certain tasks. Working on a tight deadline can be an overwhelming problem to tackle alone. It’s better to let go of our pride than to let a presentation end in disaster by doing everything ourselves.
If you work with a team, you have full advantage of the skillsets available to you, especially if you’re collaborating with members who specialize in different fields. You can have someone in charge of research, have another person compile information and slides, or have someone work on the designs. If the deadline is simply impossible to meet on your own, ask for a helping hand or two before it’s too late.
According to bestselling author Harvey Mckay, this team strategy works whether you’re a boss or an employee. Everyone will benefit from collaborative effort.
In Short: Maximize Efficiency
In the most dire of cases, you can always ask for a later deadline, but use this option as a last resort. After all, it’s much better to exhaust other options than to hope for a deadline extension.
Remember: planning your schedule until the deadline allows you to focus on a workable path now instead of relying on the time you have for tomorrow. Templates may work for a rushed presentation, but a good deck needs a lot of time and preparation to be successful.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you feel you really need it. SlideGenius specializes in making PowerPoint decks, so we’re quite familiar with beating deadlines. Contact our team ASAP if you’re in a pinch, and we’ll be here to help you out.
Mackay, Harvey. “Deliver on Deadline Every Time: 6 Tips” Inc. May 7, 2012. www.inc.com/harvey-mackay/how-to-meet-deadlines-under-pressure.html
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