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Using Presentation Software in OPSEC Presentations

The successful OPSEC Manager is one that possesses both “hard” skills (such as job-related OPSEC skills or technical skills) and “soft” skills (such as presentation and communication skills). The following tips will address the effective use of Presentation Software, such as PowerPoint or OpenOffice in an OPSEC Presentation.
  • Ensure that your slide designs are consistent. The overall design of the slides can be made to be uniform by using a slide master, but keep the font and colors constant whenever possible.
  • It’s tempting, and all-to-common, to simply “cram” all of the information into the OPSEC presentation slides and read them. This is a great way of ensuring that all of the required elements are covered, but also a great cure for insomnia. Use key phrases and summaries, which will support the in-depth explanations of the presenter. Remember, the slides are supporting you, not the other way around!
  • Take advantage of white space. Large blocks of text are hard to read, and distract the viewer from what’s been spoken.
  • Avoid gimmicks or flashy features, such as complicated background images, animated elements or “fly-in” text. Overuse of these elements can quickly become a distraction.
  • only use “build” screens when absolutely necessary. Build screens are lists or text blocks that are built one item at a time progressively, such as on a mouse-click. Although these screens certainly have a legitimate purpose, they can slow down the presentation.
  • Use high-quality, relevant images. An image that looks fine on your computer screen may appear differently on a larger screen, such as a projector screen. A similar principle applies for text- make sure that it’s large enough to read, but not intrusive.
  • Rehearse and learn to navigate your OPSEC presentation. A good, general rule of thumb is to time your slides for approximately one per minute, or more if discussion is required. Also, learn to navigate in a non-linear fashion, such as skipping to particular slides or reversing to a previous slide.
  • Consider what will happen to your presentation after you're done with it. Will it be distributed? Will it be reused by someone other than yourself? Consider including your notes and/or contact information.

    Presentation Software can greatly enhance an OPSEC Presentation, if it’s used properly. Used improperly, it can ruin the presentation. In the world of OPSEC, OPSEC skills are not enough. Communication, interpersonal skills and writing ability are an integral part the OPSEC Manager’s domain.

    Creative Commons License
    Presentation Software in OPSEC Presentations by OSPA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at www.opsecprofessionals.org.
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