When you give a bad presentation, it’s a waste of your time and the audience’s time. A bad presentation can cause you to feel demoralized and frustrated because you’ve failed to get your message across. As an audience member, an ineffective presentation may leave you feeling tired and bored.
All of these impact a company’s bottom line.
The following is a multi-media slide that is displayed in different formats. The purpose of this is to demonstrate the more effective means of conveying information. The order of the display is from PowerPoint Assassin to Competent Communicator.
Slide Example 6: This is my mental picture of the PowerPoint Assassin. Visualize a speaker with his back to the audience speaking in a monotone voice, reading word for word. His audience tunes out. This is a total waste of resources and there will be minimal engagement and retention of information.
Slide Example 5: This is a bit better, but there are too many bullet points and the bullet points are too wordy. If you put full sentences on the screen you may have a tendency to read them word for word. The audience may also tune you out and start reading themselves. Remember, as a presenter you should be the focus of the presentation not the slides.
Slide Example 4: We are now getting into slide design that is starting to become effective. The bullet points are short, there is a visual that compliments the point that is being made, and there is a headline statement that encourages thought and conversation. To make this even more effective I might animate the bullet points so that they appear one at a time or in groups of two or three. I would practice this so that I am just taking an occasional glance at the screen.
Slide Example 3: This is even better in my opinion. I know my subject matter so well that I can just speak on the subject and engage the audience. The visual and the headline statement can provide clarity to what I am saying and make it more memorable.
Slide Example 2: This is another visual option where I would use animation to introduce the points one at a time. The negative thing about this visual is that it utilizes clip-art. From a learning perspective, it can be better to use photographs of people or objects because the brain links photographs to a point much faster.
Slide Example 1: This is the same slide above using photographs of people or objects rather than clip-art. I have also made an effort to reduce any visual clutter so that the audience just needs to glance to comprehend the points.
Final Note: Many times I see people using multi-media slides and I ask myself, “Why are they using a slideshow when they could be a lot more effective and engaging if they just talked?” The answer is usually that the slides are being used as a crutch, as an alternative to notes.
If you want to stand out as a speaker, eliminating the use of slides, reducing the quantity, and designing them with a focus on effectiveness will help you stand out and get noticed.