I’m bringing back this post about PowerPoint from March 2012.  This morning I attended a Provisors group meeting where we had a fantastic presentation by the incoming Sheriff for Ventura County. He PowerPoint was good and added a lot to his talk. However, when he clicked to start a video, it didn’t play.  It was frustrating for him and for the group.  I really wanted to watch his video.

I believe the video did not play this morning because the presentation file was moved from a computer to a flash card and the video file did not come with it. The best way to avoid this issue is to Save As to the flash drive or any other device you are moving your presentation.

I was inspired to dig up this article and share it again.  While I am seeing better presentations, many presenters are lazy and pile on the bullets using 12pt fonts and overly complicated charts and graphs.  Some simply copy and paste the chart from another source and plop it on a slide.

Here is my blog post from 2012.

I just found this video on YouTube.  I did not create this video,  but I wish I had.  The video does an excellent job of bashing how most presentations are created and delivered.  Great use of humor and yet it punches you in the solar plexus.   Without a doubt, it is worth the few minutes to watch.  It might just transform the way you deliver presents.

The title of this blog post and the video says it all.

Folks – I have a news flash for you. PowerPoint is not why the vast majority of presentations fail to communicate and engage the audience.  Most presentations are one-sided lectures and are usually only about what the presenter cares about.  They forget that there is an audience out there and they have their own agenda, their own considerations.

If you want to engage your audience, start by asking the following questions:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What do they care about?
  3. What are their current feelings, thoughts or attitudes about the subject matter?
  4. What do you want them to think or do differently after your presentation?

While designing your presentation, keep in the mind the following tips:

  1. We are visual. We don’t think in words, we think in pictures in full living color.
  2. Keep your slides simple. Don’t make your audience work hard to figure out your slides. They will stop listening to you.
  3. YOU are the presentation, not the slides. Slides are there to help you communicate visually to your audience
  4. DO NOT use slides as your notes. It is awful to watch a presenter read their slides (this also leads to massive bullet point-itis.
  5. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse.  This way you won’t need to read your slides.
  6. Don’t feel the need to have a slide for every single part of the presentation.  Use a logo or try adding a slide with a black background.
  7. Similar to point number 4 – Be very careful not to mix up your presentation with handouts because it forces presenters to create slides with way too much content on them.
  8. BONUS TIP – Don’t give the audience a handout at the beginning of the presentation.  Guess what they will be doing while you are delivering your presentation? That’s right, reading the handout to the end.
  9. BONUS TIP #2 – Have Fun and Enjoy giving the presentation.  The audience will appreciate it.

Remember, you are the presentation! Visual aids are there to support your message.