Wednesday, 25 May 2011

PowerPoint Slide Design Lesson #4

Your slides are not an all-you-can-eat buffet!

This is a replica of a genuine slide from a recent talk I attended.  The knowledge of the presenter was fantastic, the delivery okay - the presenter closed his eyes when he faced the audience - but the slides....

Each slide was a visual feast -in the style of an "all you can cram onto your plate" buffet, and our eyes definitely overate!

There were too many clashing elements: large uneven boxes with harsh black lines, a mishmash of fonts and tiny, irrelevant images.  And just how many synonyms do you need for Scholarship and Wisdom?

To my mind, all the slide needed to have on it was this.

Then you narrate around the elements, guiding your audience through the cycle.  The presenter clearly knew his stuff, so why he put so much on the slides, I may never know.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

PowerPoint Slide Design Lesson #3

Your slides are not your resume nor your CV. 
Establishing your credibility at a presentation is not about telling them what you have done and how important you are.  Your presentation is not about you at all.

It is all about your audience

You will be credible if you
  • connect with your audience
  • demonstrate you understand their needs and their challenges, and 
  • give them practical solutions to their problems.  
Make their life better and you will gain all the credibility and respect that a slide like this simply will not.

this is a genuine example from a recent presentation in the UK by a corporate coach.  I have removed personal details and the corporate logos to maintain their anonymity.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

PowerPoint Slide Design Lesson #2

Your slides are NOT your handouts.

Sure PowerPoint has printing options that let you print 3, 6 or more slides per page of handouts, with or without lines alongside for your learners to make their own notes.

But if your slides contain enough information to be great handouts, then they are lousy slides.

Slides are not written materials - they are not handouts, booklets, or reading matter. They are visual stimulation to add a new communication mode to your oral presentation or narration.

In the opening scenes of a movie, the narrator doesn't describe the scene ("the camera hovers over the roofs of buildings in New York...."). What would be the point?

PowerPoint Slide Design Lesson #1

In a presentations, your slides are NOT your presenters notes - they should not be written to remind you what to say!

If you want to remember what to say...
* learn the story of your presentation
* jot a few reminders on small postcards, just in case you forget
* practise, practise, practise

Keep your slides for powerful images that enhance your narrative and connect with your audience.