I've never used PowerPoint before. But last night, when I was planning a presentation I gave this morning to some people from birthright Israel, I decided to embrace the new-to-me technology, and teach myself something while I had an excuse to do so. I delved into the text fade, the color schemes, the layouts, tried to make effective use of bullets, try to keep the copy short, etc. It was pretty easy, actually; I've been training myself on blogs, basic HTML, Googledocs and spreadsheets, collaboration software, and the like...after that, learning PowerPoint seemed to come naturally.
Good thing I didn't read this first. I would have been so traumatized by FastCompany contributing editor Seth Godin's lists of what to do and not to do that I probably would have never gone to sleep; I likely would have missed my own presentation, as I sat at my computer, glassy-eyed, spending hour after hour cross-checking my presentation with the list, making sure I'd included enough original touches, photos, music, etc, all the while chanting my mantra: "What would Godin do?...What would Godin do?..."
Hopefully Godin (who holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age" by Business Week), as represented by his words on the internet, will forgive me my beginner's trespasses. I promise that I will try harder next time.
(link to Godin's blog via Jeremy)