Ok, don’t throw Power Point out all together, but make the effort to use the platform to it’s best advantage!
You know those presentations, the ones where the lights are dimmed and someone is standing behind a podium, droning in monotone about something, you’re not quite sure because you were lost at the first slide. Snooze fest!
Since the dawn of computers and the discovery of a way to dress up a speech or presentation using a more sophisticated method than an old time slide show or 8mm film to get the message to the masses, there is a tendency to be “over creative.” (just like this looong sentence!)
Attending conferences, or corporate meetings, it’s easy to see who knows their stuff and who’s relying too heavily on displaying their research of someone else’s knowledge.
So, how do we find a way to be knowledgeable and entertaining while presenting important concepts, and keep the audience awake?
1. Editing a Power Point Presentation
It’s ok to throw up a lot of ideas, facts, and wisdom in a rough draft, but always look at it several times, and cut out the unnecessary fluff.
How many bullet points does it take to complete an idea? How much wisdom can the audience take?
Put it on and take it off, “wax on, wax off, over and over, until it’s consolidated, concise and condensed into one thought per slide, or one word per slide for impact.
2. Presenting Ideas Via Power Point
Determine how much time is allotted for the presentation or speaking event, then determine how many objectives can be successfully introduced within that timeframe.
It’s impossible to present everything known about a subject, so slice it and dice it into something that can be quickly digested in the time allotted. Too many ideas and the audience begins to feel confused, eyes glazing over like the end of a turkey dinner.
3. Do Research for a Power Point Presentation
Ok, it’s true that everything old becomes new again; revised, new ingredients, stirred up and improved. But, just because it’s an old concept doesn’t mean that ownership can be claimed by revising a few key points.
Do the research. How does an old concept fit into a brand new world of thought? It’s better to use the research as inspiration for creating new thoughts on an original subject, that’s the gold nugget that audiences will be looking for.
4. Using Power Point to Speak From the Heart
Remember little 3×5 index cards? They were used to keep key talking points as a place of reference during a speech or presentation. Power Point should be seen only as a larger, and more interactive version of index cards.
The biggest mistake presenters make is reading from Power Point slides. If the material is well known to the presenter, it should roll off the tongue, if not, ask yourself if you’re qualified to make this presentation in the first place.
Speak from experience, speak from the heart, to best engage the audience. Keep the presentation as interactive as possible and there will be less snoring and more happy smiles.
5. Power Points Should Have Spice
We are inundated with presentations, in the form of webinars, tele seminars, or live audience, because everyone is virtually connected all the time through every kind of device imaginable.
Spice it up! The best presentations are when the audience is fully involved with the objectives being presented.
Think of a Power Point as an educational game show. Your audience wants to know how the game is played and they want to participate. The field of “edu-tainment” is clearly here, spice up the Power Point with something visually and interactively entertaining, all the while keeping on point. Often, the element of surprise will pull the audience in.
Now that we’ve pointed out where NOT to go in creating a compelling Power Point presentation, stay tuned, and we’ll give some pointers on how to create an exciting audience pleaser in a future post!
5 Easy Pieces: Throw Away Your Power Point!
- Death by PowerPoint… (chrisjmcc.wordpress.com)
- Dump PowerPoint, don’t drone and 4 more tips for a good med device pitch (medcitynews.com)
- PowerPoint: Filter Slides for Different Audiences (tech-recipes.com)
- Lincoln’s Gettysburg PowerPoint, delivered 150 years ago today (boingboing.net)
- PowerPoint is making us dumber and damaging our businesses (scholarsandrogues.com)
- 10 Tips to Avoid Death by PowerPoint (loopup.com)
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You read my mind…. I’ve been to many, many, many conferences of all types over the years. It matters not what the topic… just because “the laundry list” looks good up on the screen, doesn’t mean it will be delivered that way! I remember my first presentation at the CUE Center – divided it into thirds and one segment definitely was the “audience participation game show format’ What fun!!! Interaction and speaking from the heart are the most important elements… There, I just edited your blog to the most six important words (beginning with interaction!) How’s that for economy of message? Respectfully submitted, Ladyjustice