Learn To Be An Accomplished Presenter That People Actually Want To Listen To Part 2

Learn To Be An Accomplished Presenter That People Actually Want To Listen To Part 2

Ah, PowerPoint – the trusty companion of many a speaker, yet often the subject of heated debate in the world of presentations. Having been through my fair share of public speaking gigs, I’ve learned that using PowerPoint is like walking a tightrope. It can elevate a presentation to new heights or plunge it into the depths of monotony. So, let’s dig into this classic puzzle and figure out the secrets of when and how to use PowerPoint like a pro.

Firstly, let me dispel a common misconception: PowerPoint is not the be-all and end-all of a presentation. It’s more of a sidekick, there to enhance the speaker’s message, not overshadow it. Think of it like salt in cooking – a little sprinkle can elevate the dish, but too much can ruin the entire meal.

Remember, the spotlight is on you, not your slides. Your storytelling prowess and preparation should steal the show, not flashy animations or crowded bullet points. Slides should complement your narrative, not overshadow it. Think of them as supporting actors in your grand performance.

Let’s embrace the mantra: less is more. Use PowerPoint sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Your audience came to hear you speak, not to watch a slide show. Too many slides can turn your presentation into a snooze-fest faster than you can say “transition effect.”

When it comes to timing, think of your slides as your trusty sidekick, not the star of the show. Aim for a maximum of one to one-and-a-half slides per minute. For a 60-minute talk, that’s a tidy sum of 60-90 slides. Quality over quantity, my friends.

And please, I beg of you, resist the urge to cram every detail onto each slide. Stick to key points, data, quotes, and illustrations that truly merit attention. Your audience will thank you for sparing them from death by bullet point.

Now, let me be clear- I am not anti-PowerPoint. Quite the contrary. I love using PowerPoint in my presentations. I use it to emphasize speech points, showcase data, and enrich my stories. Often I use it to add a sprinkle of music to my presentations or show a movie clip that helps illustrate my point.

That being said, let’s dive into some practical tips. Here are the key do’s and don’ts to help you wield PowerPoint effectively and keep your audience engaged.

The Do’s:

  • Use PowerPoint minimally and purposefully: Ensure each slide serves a distinct purpose and adds value to your presentation. Less is often more.
  • Focus on storytelling and engagement: Craft a compelling narrative that draws your audience in, using slides to enhance key points and reinforce your message.
  • Time and pace your slides appropriately: Maintain a steady flow, allowing enough time for each slide to resonate without rushing through or dwelling too long.
  • Keep slides concise and focused: Aim for clarity and brevity, highlighting key information without overwhelming your audience with unnecessary details.

The Don’ts:

  • Overload slides with text: Avoid turning your slides into wordy documents. Use bullet points sparingly and opt for visual aids or images to convey complex ideas.
  • Read directly from slides: Your audience can read, too. Engage with them directly and use your slides as prompts rather than scripts.
  • Rely solely on slides for content delivery: PowerPoint should complement your speech, not substitute it. Maintain a balance between verbal and visual communication.
  • Overcomplicate slide design: Fancy animations and flashy effects may distract from your message. Keep it simple and focus on clarity and readability.
  • Neglect audience interaction: Don’t let PowerPoint become a barrier between you and your audience. Encourage questions, discussion, and engagement throughout your presentation.

In conclusion, my dear speakers and presenters, wield PowerPoint wisely. Let it be a tool in your arsenal, not a crutch to lean on. For in the end, it is not the slides that make the speaker, but the speaker who makes the slides.

So go forth, my friends, and may your PowerPoint presentations be as captivating as your words.

Proactive, Productive and Profitable,

Dino Watt

PS: Head on over to my Facebook group called “Command the Room”. It’s a group dedicated to helping like minded speakers improve their craft.

PPS: I save audiences from boring speeches by helping speakers make a lasting impact. 🤝