How Do I Do an Air Force ROTC Briefing Using PowerPoint?
By Robert Frankel
The Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) is a program designed to prepare college undergraduates for service as active duty officers in the United States Air Force. Students in the AFROTC program are called cadets.
Cadets, during their time in the program, are required to give briefings, which are military-style presentations on a topic of interest. Briefings given for AFROTC are similar in almost every respect to briefings given in the actual Air Force.
Open PowerPoint to create a new slide show. If you were given a template--a predesigned and formatted slide show--to use for your briefing, press "File," then "Open," then select the template from the list, and then click "Open." AFROTC templates often have official Air Force emblems on them. If you did not receive a template, you probably don't need one.
Use the same font throughout the entire briefing, such as Times or Ariel. According to the Tongue & Quill, the Air Force's official style manual, use font size 40 for titles, size 30 for subtitles and sizes 22 to 26 for all other text. If you have a template, do not change the settings. If you are designing your own slides, use a light color on a dark background or vice versa. Do not, however, use red/green or blue/red combinations.
Design the title slide. Put the name of your briefing on the first line with a font size of 40 and your cadet rank in the second with a font size of 30. Center both lines.
Put your overview on the next slide. Here, you will list the main topics of your briefing. Your overview should include--each on its own line--all of your main points in itemized form. The overview can be as long or as short as necessary.
Create the main part of the briefing on the next slides. Remember that each topic has its own slide; that is, main point #1 is on one slide, main point #2 is on another, and so on. Feel free to use more than one slide per main point.
Copy your overview slide and place it at the end of your briefing. Make edits as you wish so that the conclusion presents a good overview of what you just presented. This is your summary, which you will show on the screen while you reiterate the topics that you covered.
Reserve your final slide for questions. The final slide is blank other than the word "Questions?" centered on it. When you show this slide, say, "This concludes my briefing. Are there any questions?"
Don't put too many words on the slides. You're supposed to know the information; the slides are just there as a visual aid. Follow the "7x7 Rule": at most 7 words per line, and 7 lines per slide.
Add pictures where appropriate. These will make the briefing more interesting.
See Resources for an example of an AFROTC briefing.
Robert Frankel began writing professionally in 2010. He has written for "The Daily of the University of Washington" as a film critic and cultural analyst. Frankel is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in economics at the University of Washington, Seattle, and is a cadet in the Air Force ROTC detachment on campus.