Standards and a template have been developed to provide consistency in the visual and content quality of the presentations. The standards and template apply to all presentations provided to the Board at meetings and workshops, including those not televised or available online.
Generally, the preference should be to avoid the use of PowerPoint presentations unless there are visuals (e.g., photographs, maps, graphs, charts) that are needed to communicate key points. However, presenters should ensure the visuals are easy to see and understand as viewed by the Board in person on the dais monitors as well as by viewers watching the meeting on TV or online. Presentations primarily featuring only words are discouraged because they often do not add value to the presentation. PowerPoint presentations used only as handouts are acceptable but also should use the template and conform to the attached standards.
John McGillicuddy, Assistant County Manager
Mecklenburg County PowerPoint Standards
(Effective May 16, 2013)
Mecklenburg County provides a template for all PowerPoint (or other electronic) presentations made to the Board of County Commissioners. While the template provides a framework for your presentation, strong consideration should be given to the best way to convey the information to the Board. PowerPoint is often not a particularly useful tool to use in the setting of the Board’s regular meeting. While the PowerPoint looks great projected onto the huge screen on the wall above the dais, Board members are viewing PowerPoint on very small TV screens mounted in the dais console or on their laptops or iPads. This greatly diminishes the value of PowerPoint in this setting. When in doubt, do not use PowerPoint. However, if PowerPoint is used, it is important to follow the standards below that are based on best practices.
Business Support Services Agency – Public Information (BSSA-PI) staff is responsible for reviewing and approving all PowerPoint presentations used at Board meetings. BSSA-PI staff provides assistance to ensure compliance with the County’s PowerPoint standards. PowerPoint or other electronic presentations used for Board meetings must be provide to BSSA-PI staff at least a week before the meeting at which it will be presented. That will provide BSSA-PI staff time to recommend changes, if necessary. If it is determined that the presentation is not suitable for PowerPoint, BSSA-PI staff may recommend that the presentation should be made using an alternative format (e.g., handouts). The Assistant County Manager who oversees the Board agenda process has the final decision on this matter.