Are you making the presentation or your software?

Monday 4 January 2013

Are you making the presentation or your software?

Today more than ever, we love to use technology to assist us in getting our messages across. We have come to think of programs such as PowerPoint and Keynote (Mac users) as second nature and the expected norm. But have things gone too far when it comes to the utilization of these tools?
We should of course remember that these are tools and not the be all end alls that cause us to become lazy and complacent in what it is we are trying to do and accomplish in the first place. Quite frankly there are times you wish that the speaker would be more compelling and less concerned about the visual. And really, why have a visual if all you are going to do is just read the slides when they come up on the screen? Come on, you are much better than this!
Here are some rules that can help make your presentations more effective:
1. Don’t give your presentation software the center stage. I have seen on several occasions where panic was present as the presenter(s) worked feverishly to ensure that all the equipment was set up trying to avoid the “oh my gosh” moment. Your tools are there to augment you and not the other way around. You are the focus…NOT your handouts….NOT your props etc.
2. Have a logical flow with your presentation. Why not get up there and tell a story? You have to let your work flow and be adaptable. Your presentation cannot be dependent on bullet lists.
3. Your Presentation must be readable. If the people sitting at the back of the room cannot read your slides, your print is too small. Fonts, pitch, lighting, room size etc. cannot leave this all to chance. That is why your slides are not the same from presentation to presentation. Each one is “opening night”. In fact, the rule of thumb is no more than 6 words on a slide.
4. Less is More.  To be blunt…”Keep it simple”. Fly in’s, transitions, dissolves can get tiring and aggravating to those that have to watch it. The less slides the better and better to do without the heavy sound effects.
5. Distribution of your handout. Do not distribute your handout prior to or during your presentation. People will focus on that and not you during the presentation. Tell them up front that you will give this to them at the very conclusion of your presentation. If you really want to take it to the next level…embed your slides on your blog or Team Website.
These rules apply to all aspects be they businesses, political parties etc.

2 thoughts on “Are you making the presentation or your software?

  1. Great post Bob. Just yesterday, I watched an individual basically read his power point for a 45 minute presentation. At most, a power point should be an outline and a way to share graphics. Connecting is ultimately up to us, not a slideshow!

  2. Bob, great post! Lots of valuable information… now how do we get the whole world to read your post, because we know there are many people out there who violate these rules every day! Thanks again Bob!

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